Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bittersweet... Well, Mostly Sweet

Yesterday marked the last of my 12 Baking Basic classes at George Brown College, and I have to say we sure went out with a bang! I am definitely going to miss the wonderful people I worked with and give a HUGE thanks to everyone for helping me out in class (or even talking to me, I'm shy!). Phil, I'm definitely going to try your fruitcake this Christmas, and Ferdie, good luck with the moving plans for the future! Enjoy the market! In a way though, I am grateful this class is over, since getting down to the college, with a heavy toolkit + purse + backpack, in the middle of a crappy, snowy Winter scene, was not favourable even when I had the car (gotta love those damn parking garages... why bother setting up VISA-only (no cash, apparently) payment for a $3 flat fee? Jeez!). Even if you take the transport out of the equation, I can't really say I learned anything from this class, it was more of an opportunity to be creative with someone else's kitchen and ingredients. Hey, I passed (with honours - I got an extra tuxedo strawberry!!) Sigh... guess it's back to the home kitchen for the time being!
It wasn't all a lost cause, of course - that one class gave me the green light to take any of the other Bakery Arts courses at the college, which I intend to at least look at after the construction is finished and everything is back up and running, and when I'm not in another school for nutrition!

On the menu for the last class was Strawberry Shortcake. Now, a good Canadian girl, I never pictured a sponge-based layer cake whenever this dessert was mentioned. To me, it was slightly sweet biscuits with plain whipped cream and plently of in-season (only!) strawberries piled high. Who knew? Anyways, Amjad (being the awesome, yet sneaky chef that he is) shared a secret of his that I'm going to pass on in my modified version of our class' recipe, along with MY kick-ass version of chocolate-dipped fruit (dried or fresh) that blows away anything that the fancy-pants restaurants can dish up with their dainty sorbets and molten lava cakes - that's for tomorrow. (yeah, I'm on a weird rant-thing today. Go figure).

Anyways:

Amjad's Strawberry Shortcake
Makes 1 10" springform cake - 16 servings
1 cup white sugar
7 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
4 very ripe strawberries, hand mashed
2 1/4 cups bread flour
3 cups whipping cream
2 pints strawberries, sliced (reserve 8 for garnish)

  1. Preheat oven to 390 F (200C). Thoroughly grease a 10" springform tin.
  2. Whip eggs and sugar together for 12 minutes.
  3. Beat in salt and extracts.
  4. By hand, fold in strawberries and flour gently so you don't deflate the eggs!
  5. Pour immediately into the pan and bake 25 minutes.
  6. Cool 30 minutes in pans before turning out.
  7. Whip cream to stiff peaks, adding sugar if desired.
  8. Slice cake into 3 layers.
  9. Layer cake, a thin layer of whipped cream, strawberries, another thin layer of whipped cream and more cake until all the strawberries and 1/2 the cream have been used.
  10. Cover the cake with the remaining whipped cream and decorate as desired, using the whole strawberries for garnish. Serve within 48 hours.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 319.2
Total Fat: 19.2 g
Cholesterol: 154.1 mg
Sodium: 45.4 mg
Total Carbs: 31.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 6.3 g

Yum!

As if that recipe wasn't great enough, I have 10 Excellent Blogger awards to give out after being awarded one myself from Dog Hill Kitchen's Maggie!

First off to Big Boys Recipe's Sunny & Sid for being so deliciously creative with their photos (and awesome with their music).
Next, to Amanda of Slow Like Honey for making my mouth water with all her delicious goodies (and if you don't believe me, look at these morsels of awesomeness).
Someone who no doubt has been honoured several times with this award: Blake of Blake Makes.
Another extremely deserving blogger for her dedication to Canadian chefs and great photos out in BC - Valli of More Than Burnt Toast.
Now to Ruth of Once Upon A Feast - Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories for her dedication to her event - Presto Pasta Nights!
Another awesome blogger and event-host is Cate from Sweetnicks... check out her ARF/5-A-Day event!
Helen of Grab Your Fork for making me laugh.
Jennie of Straight from the Farm gets one for her dedication to farm fresh all the way!
New (to me) read on the block Held by Love, Baked From Scratch gets one for her insatiable sweet tooth filling my mind with ideas!
Finally (but not feebly!) Catherine Jheon of Food Network Canada's Food For Thought for keeping me up to date with the latest in both Canadian and worldwide foodie goodness.

There are so many more out there, and my hats off to you!

9 comments :

Anonymous said...

your recipe sounds so amazing and glad you had fun a class... can't wait to try the cake... nice and amazing post

Bellini Valli said...

I really appreciate the nomination Sarah..right back at ya:D I read once in Canadian Living Magazine that the sponge cake type strawberry shortcake is very British and this Canadian and the biscuit kind is the Americanized version...who knew:D

Big Boys Oven said...

Hi Sarah, Thank you for your generous award! Same goes to you from us. Big Boys Recipe blog is our sub blog. Please feel free to visit our main blog wher you can see our creations. www.bigboysoven.blogspot.com

amandalwh said...

Sarah,

Thanks alot for the award! *curtsy* appreciate it! :) strawberry shortcake! i always wanted to try~ but have yet to get the chance to :X after reading your post, i bet it will be very soon u see them on my blog as well! :P

Amanda

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for the E award Sarah. So sweet of you to think of me. And I love the look of the cake - awesome!

Veggie said...

Yum! I love strawberry shortcake!
Can't wait for strawberry season.

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Got here from Amanda's & am glad I did! Congrats on a well deserved award. The cake looks great...delicious! I love sponge cakes; they are ever so light & delicious. Made a Swiss roll yesterday...bliss!

James said...

Now this is something I have to try once our strawberries come into season.

Abbie said...

i just signed up for this course. i'm looking for a used bakery tool kit. can i just bring in stuff that i own in my kitchen OR do i have to buy from the gB bookstore? thanks.