03- A Childhood Favorite

Strawberry shortcake. An American favorite! I can’t help but think of Independence Day. Lying next to the pool, drinking something fruity, the smell of the barbecue, and the laughter of everyone playing volleyball. Although we rarely went through the hassle of making something this amazing, strawberry shortcake was always a family favorite. Prepackaged snack cakes, sugar coated strawberries, and canned whipped cream that always wound up in out mouths before the bowl.

I can’t be the only one with a love affair for this beautiful dessert!

Tessa’s story is a lot more humorous than mine, ” The very first layer cake I ever made from scratch turned into a sliced-strawberries-and-cream disaster. It was my senior year of college, and I wanted to make a cake – the special kind, where the major components did not come from a box or can – for my roommates birthday. I went with a simple sponge cake, fresh strawberries, and homemade buttercream. Food blogs were just starting back then, and I did not own a single baking cookbook. I went online to look for a frosting recipe and just could not believe that one batch of buttercream required so much sugar. I figured there must be a mistake and decided to just go for it on my own. The buttercream was a runny mess, and the berry slices kept slipping and sliding out from between the cake layers. Needless to say, the cake did not last until her birthday parry. However, we did all have a good laugh, and only a few years later, I made the same friends wedding cake.”

Talk about a glow-up! Started with a cake that wouldn’t stay together, and now she has her second book coming out this year all about cake! AND her first book was so beautiful and amazing that it inspired me to do this!

Now, lets get into this cake!

Chiffon Cake:

I just need to start off with saying that I loved making this cake!

  • Conveniently, I had everything for this recipe on hand! Just in case you ever have to throw something together in the future, I would bookmark this one!
  • Per usual, so darn simple!
  • Egg whites! Any cake that has you whip the egg whites separately, is a cake I love!
  • Why? It usually means that it would be a good gluten free cake! Typical gluten free cakes will come out dense because of the flours added to them and not getting the rise; BUT if you have egg whites that will add airy-ness to it, it’s just an extra measure to take to make sure you have a light gluten free cake.
  • Whipped Cream

    • Let’s just be upfront with each other to start with…it’s never been a preference of mine to pair strawberries and basil. But Tessa is a genius, so here we go!
    • Okay, so with my own personal vendetta against this combo aside… something went wrong here. It was like a cottage cheese basil bomb soup.
    • I couldn’t find fresh basil, anywhere. Maybe it was the season, so I went the freeze dried route. If you go with that route, please proceed with caution…or just find fresh basil.
    • That being said, I set my cottage cheese whipped cream aside and started from scratch with plain heavy cream. I slowly incorporated the thickest part of the basil cream and soon got something far more along the lines of my intention. It was an adventure, but I think I got what I wanted all along! Thick, creamy, slightly sweet, whipped cream with just enough basil.

    Overall:

    • After making, building, decorating, photographing, and even dropped off this cake to it’s new home I realized “this is the cover cake!” I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize it, but I love that this simple and beautiful cake was used as the cover.
    • I admire the little things in life that immediately take you to a simpler place in time. This cake delivered.
    • Maybe I’m used to shorter creations, but this was a tall cake! And I LOVED it! (Thank you egg whites!)
    • For me, having the “more is more” personality that I have, I would for sure top each slice with more berries. Maybe macerated berries to give it a contrast in berry texture.

    In conclusion: the taller the cake, the closer to Jesus!

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