Strawberry Shortcake. Sugar or Glaze?

I’m from the PNW (Vancouver, WA), though gone for 20 years now and if so it would be a recent thing. And come June when school let out and every kid in the neighborhood headed to the strawberry fields to make our fortune picking (only to quit three days later when we all were sufficiently reminded just how awful farm labor is) there was a lot of strawberry shortcake eating going on.

Though my experience is that what is acceptable as the “shortcake” part of strawberry shortcake does vary quite a bit regionally.

We make biscuits (with real flour, butter, baking powder, etc.) and let the sliced strawberries macerate in the sugar for a while. Usually my wife makes the biscuits while I prepare the strawberries and whip the cream (with sugar and vanilla).

We made this for some friends last week and one of them literally asked us how we made the whipped cream. We thought she was joking. I can kind of understand never having made it, maybe, but not knowing how to make it? It’s cream! It’s whipped! That’s all you have to do!

I have no clue how to make it myself. I mean, clearly it’s whipped but…is cream like half and half? I wouldn’t know to add sugar, let alone vanilla. Do you whip it by hand? In a mixer? High speed? Medium? How do you know when it’s done? All those things are questions us whipped cream idiots want to know XD

I know I’ll probably get drawn and quartered, but I much prefer Cool Whip to like…the whipped cream that comes in a spray can. Can’t say I’ve ever had freshly made whipped cream though.

I have nothing against using sugar, but I voted glaze, because that’s how I grew up. I wouldn’t have stopped someone from using sugar to macerate the strawberries (the brother in the OP just sounds rude), but if I’m making it, I’m using glaze.

And this sponge or angel cake is right out. If you’re serving that, it’s not strawberry shortcake, it’s cake with some strawberries on it. The biscuit like shortbread is divine and not remotely comparable.

You start with cream - it’s usually called heavy cream or whipping cream. You put it in a bowl and use the electric mixer. Start at a slow speed (so it doesn’t splash everywhere) then increase the speed as it thickens. Keep mixing it until it is the desired stiffness. Some people like it denser, some people like it really airy.

It’s common to add sugar and vanilla but not strictly necessary - it will whip fine without them, it just won’t be as sweet. I find powdered/confectioner’s sugar easier to use but regular table sugar will work fine. You can use other flavorings, or even colorings, if you want to get creative.

For small amounts, you can whip it in a blender–no splashes that way. Either way, I recommend starting with the whipping cream very cold. If you start with warm cream, you can accidentally end up with butter (which is not necessarily bad, but not what you were aiming for).

I’ve been known to add just a touch of almond extract to mine. It makes for a very rich flavor.

:confused: Better enables laziness? How is it that the way that involves separating a dozen eggs, beating the whites into a meringue, (finding something non-wasteful to do with the yolks), folding the meringue into a separate batter, and pouring the whole thing into a fancy tube pan that most people don’t even have to bake your shortcake is the lazier way?

Same here: strawberries, whipped topping and sponge cake/angelfood cake/pound cake/whatever.

I’m guessing it is because you can buy angelfood cake. Buy Bisquick and you still have to make the biscuits.

I don’t like strawberries but hapened to be on the phone with my mom just now and she said something about having strawberry shortcake over the weekend and so I asked her this question.

She says sugar.

See? Everybody can participate at the SDMB! :slight_smile:

ETA: Did you cast a vote in the poll on her behalf?

I voted I hate strawberries. :smiley:

Isn’t it hard to get the whipped cream out of the blender?

Good point about using cold cream. In fact I usually chill the mixing bowl ahead of time also, if I remember.

I’ve never found it so. The final high-speed whip clears most of it out of the blade area, if you don’t let it sit too long afterward, and it comes out with a little encouragement from a long-handled spoon–not that different from getting it out of a mixing bowl.

I also make butter in the blender in much the same way, except I start with warm cream and use lower speeds and pulsed blending. It can be a little tougher to get all the butter out.

Yeah, I’m talking store-bakery-cake level of lazy. But I do put love and effort and time into the most important component, the whipped cream.

Angelsoft: Please tell me you have some foodie friends who can gently pop your freshly whipped cream cherry if you are disinclined to self-flagellate.

While I have firm beliefs on the strawberries and cream, I’m pretty flexible on the “sponge cake/angelfood cake/pound cake/whatever”. I’ve had bisquick biscuits or pound cake or sponge cake or angel food cake, homemade or store-bought, and I’ve been fine with all of them. I’d probably be okay if you stuck a slice of wonder bread down there. Truth be told, as often as not, I’ll just make myself a dish of strawberries and cream and skip the shortcake part.

If I could get sinfully sweet, soft, ripe local strawberries, redolent with that heavanly strawberry smell, I would vote nothing, but if all I had were supermarket strawberries, I would vote for sugar to bring out the sweetness and flavour of those strawberry shaped lumps in the plastic clamshell.

Any kind of cake, real whipped cream.

I use sugar but I also add a little bit of orange juice.

Now I want some.

Sad as it sounds, I have no friends at all, foodie or not. So I guess I’m just gonna have to try it myself someday. :stuck_out_tongue:

I put the bowl and the beater in the freezer for a bit before I whip the cream. Now I’m getting hungry.