Saturday, April 3, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

Happy Easter everybody!!! I hope your day is filled with chocolate, sunshine and family. Unfortunately I will be spending my Easter morning making dessert for 300 people. I did have the chance to celebrate early with my family and we spent the day reminiscing, dying eggs and eating chocolate candy.
One of my family's all time favorite Easter memory involves my lively and precocious little sister. One year she decided all she would eat the entire day was chocolate and carrot sticks. While everyone else sat down for Easter dinner, she helped herself to a chocolate easter bunny and a bundle of carrots. Of course all that sugar left her with an excess of energy and an inexplicable but undeniable urge to perform 100 cartwheels before bedtime. Much to our amazement she completed this task without falling over or running into any walls. In fact, she seemed pretty much unfazed by her feat. Soon thereafter we all went to bed only to be awoken at 2 in the morning by a screaming and very very sick sister. I had the pleasure of sharing a room with her at this point in our lives and unfortunately received the brunt of her sickness at the foot of my bed. The white carpet in our old bedroom retains hints of the orange and chocolate stains to this day. Needless to say, she did not perform her amazing feat of 100 cartwheels in a row again. I believe she is still off carrots and milk chocolate to this day.

I hope she is not angry with me for sharing this story! To make up for it, I want to give her a shout out for her incredible craftiness. She decorated the beautiful easter eggs pictured above. She very carefully cut strips of origami paper and pieced them together in the beautiful patterns you see here. They are absolutely gorgeous.
Well it wouldn't be a holiday dinner without a little dessert right? I made a strawberry shortcake with cream cheese frosting.

Strawberry Shortcake

Orange Chiffon Cake

1 # cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1# sugar
1# 5oz egg yolks
8 fl oz vegetable oil
8 fl oz orange juice
1 Tbs vanilla
1# 5oz egg whites
1 orange, zest

1. Sift the dry ingredients together and mix with 1/3 of sugar.
2. Combine yolks, oil, juice, zest, vanilla in mixer. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into larger bowl and set aside.
3. Whip the whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (you will see white foam). Increase speed and gradually add the remaining sugar. Continue to whip to create a medium peak meringue.
4. Gently fold 1/3 of meringue into yolk mixture to fully combine. Fold in rest of meringue.
5. Divide into 2 greased 9" round pans and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp almond extract

Mix all ingredients together.

To Assemble Cake:
1. Drizzle each layer of cake with Grand Marnier (optional).
2. Spread half of frosting over bottom layer. Layer with sliced strawberries.
3. Place second layer of cake on top. Spread rest of frosting on top and decorate with sliced strawberries.

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