When strawberries are in season in summer, strawberry short cake is the perfect, quintessential summer dessert.
There are few desserts that are so simple a child can assemble them, yet that still command the admiration of the simple strawberry short cake.
To make a strawberry short cake, start by picking the freshest, most tasty strawberries you can. Rinse and pat dry the strawberries, remove their caps and stems, and slice them into a bowl.
Toss them lightly with sugar, and allow them to rest for at least an hour. The sugar will draw the juices from the strawberries, turning it into wonderful strawberry syrup.
For the short cake, you have a number of choices. You can use a traditional short cake, which is actually more like a scone—a thick, dense cake—rather than a shortbread cookie. If you’re pressed for time, you can make a sweet biscuit, or even use slices of a rich, butter pound cake.
You’ll also need whipped cream. The best is, of course, freshly whipped cream, but the kind that squirts from a can will do just fine.
To assemble the strawberry short cakes, place your “cake” on the serving plate or dish. Spoon some of the strawberry mixture and liquid over the cake. Top with another piece of cake, and top that with whipped cream. Garnish with a little more of the strawberry mixture, and a sprig of mint.
If you are feeling especially decadent, make a coulis from strawberries to decorate the plate.