Whoa! WAY TOO MUCH cream on this creation. I went a bit overboard. I admit it. In fact, this American Shortcake should be festooned with ruby-red strawberries snuggled on a bed of minimal cream. Somehow, I did the reverse. Oh well.

This recipe is from my grandmother’s handwritten notes. I’d say it’s from around the 1950s or 1960s as most of my grandmother’s recipes were from that time period.  I don’t remember her ever making it though. Probably because, like me, she was always on a diet. But over Christmas, I thought what the heck and decided to whip it up and stun the guests we had over for dinner. Stunned they were but most likely due to the humongous amount of cream weighing down the cake.

So if you decide to make it, just decorate the top with a chunky layer of strawberries and then a dollop or two of cream to finish it off. Here’s the recipe, which I’ve converted to metric.

2.5 cups plain flour, sifted

3.5 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

125g butter

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup icing sugar

3/4 cup milk

60g butter or marg, softened

strawberries + whipped cream

Sift together the flour, BP and salt. Then stir in the sugar. Cut the 125g butter into small pieces using a knife and then rub into the sifted mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and half the milk (make sure it’s only half) and stir with a fork until lightly blended. Add enough of remaining milk to get a fairly soft dough. Knead dough about 20 times on a lightly floured surface and divide into halves. You need to get two 20cm rounds, so just pat out the dough and then place on a lightly greased tray. Chuck into a very hot oven for about 20mins or until golden brown. Allow to cool.

Mix together the icing sugar and softened butter until smooth. Spread one of the halves with this mixture (I actually doubled the amount of icing sugar and butter). Cover this layer with sliced strawberries and sweetened whipped cream. Top with the other layer and finish with more strawberries and cream (far less cream than I used). Voilà!

Looks more like the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps than an American Shortcake.

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