Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Seemingly Strawberry Shortcake

Oh boy, it's been far too long since there's been a post around here. It's already August and you know what that means: plenty of gloom and fog in the inaptly-named Sunset District of San Francisco where the sun goes into hiding until September. Well, all the more reason to turn the oven on, warm the chilly kitchen, and bake up a storm. And my assistant did just that on a chilly morning. Finally!

Her Uncle Soph ordered a cake for her Auntie Betty's birthday celebration, giving me free reign to dream up whatever I wanted. What I wanted was a cake as smart as my assistant's Auntie Betty, so we whipped up a Smart and Sassy Strawberry Shortcake:
This, ladies and gentlemen, is not your average shortcake. Nope, it's two layers of buttery rum cake filled and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting, too-cute baby strawberry halves and slices, and decorated with two borders of fluffy vanilla-infused whipped cream.

Here's a closer look...
And another...
And a view from the top...
Being smart and sassy, this strawberry sweetheart sure loves the limelight. And for good reason, don't you think?
Happy birthday, Auntie Betty! As a guest at the party, my assistant (who did not feel the need to bring me along... Where's the love for us imaginary folk?!) can confirm that while this cake is busy--as the smart and sassy often are--the flavors work together quite nicely: the tangy cream cheese frosting balances out the flavors of the sweet, juicy berries, while the light, airy whipped cream provides a delicate contrast against the rum-infused cake layers--cake layers that leave an ever-so-slightly spicy and boozy finish on the palate.


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