It’s SUMMER!!! And I can’t express enough how much I am loving this season. Everywhere I look is green, flowers are in full bloom, birds singing outside the window, the sky is blue with white fluffy clouds floating about while the sun sneaks a peak from behind them.
Yes, that’s how I am exactly describing how the days are. It’s almost like in a movie scene. A perfect set up on how a perfect summer day is supposed to be. That’s how exactly it is outside now. Just a perfect day.
I don’t know how many times I’ve already said before that some of my favourite things in summer are flowers, blossoms and strawberries. I love seeing small wild flowers sway in the wind around our white picket fence, on the meadows and along the pavements outside our apartment building.
Oh and the strawberries! This is not (the first and definitely not) the last time I am writing about strawberries this season. The Norwegian strawberries are not yet in season but as soon as they are I’ll make sure to eat as much as I can. And buy as many as I can. Just like every year, I buy them in crates, and freeze them so I have enough to last until the next spring. Then anytime I need some strawberries for a cake, a smoothie, ice cream or anything, I already have some available.
The other day, I was craving for a “summer” cake. I rummaged through my recipes and cookbooks in search for a summer cake. And then it hits me. What’s more summery than a Strawberry Shortcake??? Of course. And I just have the perfect recipe for one.
So I baked my sponge cake, made a quick strawberry jam, sliced and diced my strawberries and put my stainless steel bowl inside the freezer to chill it before using it to whip my cream (tip: easier to whip cream on a chilled bowl).
As I was making the sponge cake batter, I decided to add some orange blossom water. To make it a little extra special.
I assembled the cake, decorated the top with some fresh strawberries, blue berries and pretty small blossoms. Without waiting for it to chill, I cut a slice right away for myself. Because I can’t wait any longer.
And as I took the first bite, the cold freshly whipped cream that was almost like biting a fluffy white cloud, the freshness of the strawberries and that floral hint on the sponge… Oh it was an absolute “summer” on my mouth. Bursting with yummy flavours and the orange blossom made it extra special. Just a very subtle hint of floral that you wouldn’t notice until you almost finish the first bite.
A strawberry shortcake maybe a simple cake, but with a few simple things can make it extra extra special. Either adding a little something on your cake, decorating with pretty little details or sharing it with somebody you love can do exactly just that.
Here’s the recipe.
Orange Blossom Biscuit (Sponge Cake)
120 g all purpose flour
3 tbsp (30g) cornflour
1 1/4 tsp (5g) baking powder
5 eggs , separated
150 g sugar
2 tbsp orange blossom water
full fat cream, whipped to stiff
soaking syrup: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 tbsp orange blossom water mixed on a measuring cup until the sugar is dissolved.
- Preheat the oven to 180*C
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper and a 20cm cake ring. Place the cake ring on the prepared baking sheet.
- Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder.
- Whisk the egg yolks with 1/3 of the sugar until pale and thick. Add the orange blossom water and whisk a few times to incorporate.
- Beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Add the whipped egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and gently fold with a spatula.
- Gradually fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
- Fill the prepared cake ring with the batter and smooth out the top using an offset spatula.
- Bake for at least 20 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove from the ring and cool upside down on a cooling rack.
- Trim the top of the sponge to make it even.
- Slice and divide into 3.
- Soak the fist layer with the syrup using a pastry brush.
- Spread a layer of strawberry jam* and spread the top with a layer of whipped cream.
- Put on the next sponge on top and soak with the syrup. Spread a generous amount of whipped cream and spring a lot of fresh diced strawberries before adding the next sponge.
- Soak the top sponge with the remaining syrup. Frost the top and the sides of the cake with the rest of the whipped cream and chill for about an hour.
- To decorate, add slices of fresh strawberries, blueberries and small fresh blossom in random wreath design.
I make my own jam from the frozen berries I have in my freezer. I heat up about 400 grams of frozen berries until soft, add 2-3 tablespoons of fruit pectin and boil for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Keeping a close eye and stirring continuously to avoid burning the bottom. I then transfer it to a shallow bowl or plate and cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge.
Sometimes I make a big batch of this and keep in a mason jar inside the fridge. This is what I use for flavouring cakes, buttercream, frostings, fillings, smoothies, ice cream and just about anything. I don’t add any sugar because for me the sweetness of the sugar is enough. But feel free to add some if you want a sweeter jam.
Try this recipe and tell me what you think. What you added, how you decorated, who did you share it with… Oh and use the hashtag #sugarboyed so I can also see pictures. Have a nice week ahead.