Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
The most important part of pastry chef Chris Hutchenson's strawberry shortcake recipe isn't strawberries or shortcake—it's rain. "Water content is the most important factor in the flavor and texture of a strawberry," says the pastry chef for Passion Food Hospitality in Washington, D.C. "Rain before picking makes a bland berry."
Hutchenson gets his berries from local farmers' markets and folds them into strawberry milkshakes at Burger, Tap and Shake and preserves served with peach pie at District Commons. But the inspiration for his strawberry shortcake was to "achieve a sweet and fluffy cake to complement the light strawberries and whipped cream topping," he says. "This cake is…like a blank canvas. I use it in loaves, sheets and most of my layered birthday cakes as well."
Courtesy of Chris Hutchenson, corporate pastry chef, Passion Food Hospitality
Yield: 8 servings
- ¾ stick butter, cold and diced
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
Dice and chill the butter. Sift the sugar, salt, flour and baking powder. In a food processor, blend the butter and sifted flour mixture. When mix is mealy, add the vanilla, eggs and milk. Blend until a batter forms. Bake in a parchment-lined large loaf pan (9 x 5 x 2.75 inches) at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Strawberries and Garnish
- 1 pound strawberries, cleaned and sliced
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- Whipped cream for garnish
Clean and slice the berries. Mix them with the sugar and salt. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
Slice the cake lengthwise into 2 or 3 layers. Spoon the berries over the bottom layer. Garnish with whipped cream. Repeat for second layer, if needed. Finish it with the top slice of cake. Serve immediately.