Strawberry Shortcake: summer is here!

Nothing like juicy berries and fruit in general to really make summer a reality! This past week-end,  SWEETTABLESCAPES tried the yummy looking Strawberry Shortcake with lemon-Pepper Syrup recipe by Melissa Clark, published in the New-York Times Dining Section last Wednesday..

It’s hard not to eat the bright red, juicy strawberries, even harder not to gobble down the entire bowl of whipped cream (my weakness) but if you resist, you have a juice and syrup-soaked cake which screams SUMMER!!!


You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, more for greasing pan
  • 2 quarts strawberries (about 2 pounds)
  • 25 grams superfine sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 155 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 4 grams baking powder (about 1 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 grams salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 330 grams granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter or cooking spray. Line with baking paper and grease the parchment.
Cut off tops of strawberries and thinly slice half of them, leaving remaining berries whole. Mix sliced strawberries with superfine sugar and half the lemon zest. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip eggs and egg white on high speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Gradually pour in 230 grams (1 1/4 cups) granulated sugar and whip on high speed until mixture is a pale yellow color and has thickened enough to mound onto itself when beater is lifted, 1 to 3 minutes.
Using a rubber spatula, gently and patiently fold flour mixture into egg mixture. Fold in milk, vanilla and butter until completely combined.
Gently pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in pan. Invert cake onto a cooling rack and peel off baking paper. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, whisk together remaining 100 grams ( 1/2 cup) granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water and the pepper. Simmer on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining lemon zest.IMG_3296IMG_3297
Whip heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form.
Using a serrated knife, horizontally slice cake in half. Generously brush each cut side with lemon-pepper syrup. Transfer the bottom half to a cake plate, cut side up, and spoon sliced strawberries and any juices over it. Spread half the whipped cream over sliced strawberries and gently place the other cake half on top. Spread remaining whipped cream over top and sides of cake (or mound it all on the top). Garnish with whole strawberries and drizzle with more lemon-pepper syrup for serving.
One 9-inch cake (8 servings

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