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Monday, June 17, 2013

Drunken Strawberry-Lavender Shortcake

Father's Day was quickly approaching, and we hadn't heard any peep about any kind of gathering for The Wifester's step-dad. We love him bunches, and so after asking if there had been any plans set forth, finding out that there hadn't, we invited my in-laws over for dinner. We don't need a holiday, parent appreciation day, or any such occasion to have them over, we like to gather at least once a week anyways, usually two or three times. But Father's Day requires more than our regularly scheduled trip across the street to the bar for dinner, followed by a couple of rounds of Oh Hell! back at our house, in which The Wifester and I lose all of our card playing cash to The-Father-in-Lawster. And so I looked into the fridge and checked out our freshly acquired stock from the CSA (community supported agriculture, for those who don't know) that we just subscribed to. Mmmm, there's lots of fresh veggies to make those wonderful spring rolls. Yep, we'll have spring rolls for appetizers. And it's Sunday, and The-Father-in-Lawster loves his hot wings on Sunday, so that was already decided. And I knew I wanted to make that super-easy, extraordinarily delicious no kneed bread (recipe to follow another day, meanwhile, google it)... So upon looking further into the fridge for inspiration, a wonderful thing appeared-
STRAWBERRIES! Lots and lots of strawberries were readily available, and what's better than two big, ripe, mounds of sweet, sweet strawberries to make a dessert with?
My thought process in this situation happened like this:
    Desert has one "s", like the Sahara Desert. Dessert has two "s'es" like Strawberry Shortcake. I have strawberries. I have a shortcake recipe. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE! That's it! I'll make strawberry shortcake!
And so the Drunken Strawberry Lavender Shortcake Cake came into existence.
For the cake part of this divine concoction, I followed The Pioneer Woman's Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe because, honestly, it doesn't get any better than that cake recipe.
Her full recipe can be found here.
For those who don't want to link over there to see it, the cake part is as follows:


  • 1-1/2 cup Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 9 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Sugar 
  • 3 whole Large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream, Room Temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Preparation Instructions
IMPORTANT: Be sure to use a cake pan that’s at least 2 inches deep! Before baking, the batter should not fill the pan more than halfway.
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and corn starch.
Cream 9 tablespoons butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined.
Pour into greased and floured 8-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until no longer jiggly like my bottom. Remove from cake pan as soon as you pull it out of the oven, and place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.

And now here's where we mix things up a bit:
As soon as the cake went into the oven, I started on the filling. I wanted something just a little bit better than regular ole', run of the mill, strawberry shortcake. I knew right away that liquor was going into that bad boy. It had to. This is a cake for The-Father-in-Lawster, after all. Liquor is almost mandatory. Sadly, I didn't have any Grand Marnier on hand, but I did have rum. Oh, sweet, versatile rum. I adore you. But there still needed to be more. Then it hit me. It hit me square in the jaw, like a punch in the face. I have fresh, aromatic, lovely English and Spanish and even some unspecified species lavender. Now if you've ever had strawberry-lavender lemonade, you already know how spectacular the strawberry-lavender combination is. And if you haven't already experienced it, go! Go now and get some! Or wait until you've made this cake. Because I promise you won't be let down.
Okay, so I rinsed, topped, then chopped my strawberries. Once I had a nice big bowl full of chopped up strawberries, I sprinkled sugar over them, just enough to sweeten it a bit. Then I dumped a good dose of rum over it all, threw in some chopped up, freshly picked lavender, and mashed the entire mixture with a fork. Cover that up and place it in the fridge until your cake is cool. You may want to take it out occasionally to sneak a bite of drunken strawberry mash, and that's okay. I won't tell.
When the cake has baked, and is all cooled down, you can cut the cake in half, making it two layers.
At this point, go ahead and whip up your whipped cream. I pour a bunch of heavy cream, a splash of vanilla, and a few pinches of powdered sugar into my Kitchen Aid mixer and let it do the work for me. You use whatever you have on hand. Or use Cool-Whip, if that better suits you. Again, I won't tell.
Now you're gonna take that strawberry mash out of the fridge and pour it all over the top of the bottom layer, juice and all, really let it all soak into cake. Lay the top layer of the cake on over that, then cover the entire thing, sides and all with your whipped cream. To top the whipped cream topping, I sliced up some big, pretty strawberries and decorated. Then I threw that beauty into the freezer for about 10 minutes just to let the whipped cream set firmly.
This cake was eaten before I could even get a single picture of the completed product. But here's a shot of the leftovers:

Mmmmm...I want more right now!

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