Lately I don`t get out much. I work a whole lot, I bake a whole lot, and I read quite a bit, but mostly when I read I fall asleep, in awkward places in awkward positions that make my neck hurt later.
I haven`t been seeing my friends as much as I should, but I have time to call them sometimes if I walk home instead of running home, which is usually a good enough of an excuse for me.
But sometimes I worry that my friends will all abandon me for being so boring.
So last weekend, for my dear dear friend Arlene`s birthday, I went out.
I wore a short skirt.
I baked a cake.
I drank to much sangria.
I watched some amazing flamenco dancing and cheered on a man named Jose, a 60 year old ladies man who sang Spanish love songs while beautiful women danced in front of him.
I pretended that I didn`t work at 5am the next morning.
I felt like the 23 year old that I am.
It was wonderful.
And on the theme of playful, fun, youthfulness and all those good things that go along with them, I made strawberry shortcake. It was light and fruity, it was summery and it was darn good if I say so myself.
Adapted from a recipe from Epicurious
8 Large Egg Yolks
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/4 cup Milk
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
4 Egg Whites
2 cups Whipping Cream, very cold
1/4 cup Sour Cream
4 tbsp Icing Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tbsp Rosewater
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1 tsp Rosewater
1 lb Fresh Strawberries, cut into slices
Make Rose Syrup
Combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer until the sugar is disolved. Cool. (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of that!)
Preheat oven to 350F
Line 2 8 inch round pans with parchment, do not grease pans! Worst case scenerio don’t use anything. They will come out with some patience.
Sift all the dry ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup sugar, into a bowl
Mix the yolks, vanilla, zest and milk into a small bowl
Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just smooth.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whisk egg whites until frothy.
With the mixer still running slowly add in the remaining half cup of sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the meringue is very shiny and holds stiff peaks.
Gently fold the whites into the cake batter being careful not to over mix.
Pour the batter into your prepared pans.
Bake until an inserted skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 25-35 minutes.
Mix all ingredients in a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Whisk together until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Slice Layers of cooled cake in half lengthwise.
Put the first layer of cake on your cake plate and brush with the rose syrup.
Dollop with a heafty spoon of cream and gently spread out to the corners.
Spread some slices of strawberries on top.
Continue until you’ve done all the layers
Then ice the outside and put strawberries on the top!
I put some flowers on top, because I’m just like that.