When my grandmother kindly gifted me her box seats for the Hollywood Bowl for a jazz concert, I was at a loss of what to bring. Obviously a cheese plate- you can’t go “bowling” without a little wine and cheese. But coming up with the main course and dessert proved to be a challenge. I needed to make something portable that did not need reheating. After many grand ideas, decided to keep it simple and served my new favorite- turkey wrapped asparagus sandwiches and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Growing up strawberry shortcake was my favorite dessert- it was easy to make, especially since half the time we bought the store bought cups.
2 whole eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cups buttermilk, shaken
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small even pieces
1 pint strawberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Juice of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter the bottoms and sides of cupcake pans.
In a large measuring cup with a spout, lightly whisk the eggs, yolks, 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and the vanilla. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer set to low speed, add the cold butter one piece at a time, about 10 seconds apart. Continue mixing on low speed until all of the butter has been blended and there are no clumps. Mixture should have a fine crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk to these dry ingredients, and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the egg mixture; once the mixture has been added, increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, but no more. Gently fold batter once or twice (but no more) to ensure the egg mixture has all been incorporated.
Divide batter evenly among the cupcake pans. Bake until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs but no batter, about 15 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Top each shortcake with strawberries and juice.