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Shortcake

Shortcake refers to an American baked dessert made with a sweet biscuit. Strawberry shortcake is the most popular multi-layered version of this dessert.

 

History

The exact history of shortcake is unknown. Biscuits or shortcake was cooked in different forms by the Romans and they combined shortcakes with fruits like apples and strawberries to make sweet desserts. However, food researchers have stated that the shortcake was a European innovation. The very first recorded version of the dish was way back in the 1500s by Shakespeare in his popular play THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.  Another version is also mentioned in a European cookbook printed in 1594. European versions were triangular in shape with a crumbly, buttery texture. With time, cooks noticed that the tip of the shortcake kept breaking off and they started making round versions which slowly became the standard shape. Cooks also started combining summer fruits like cherries, raspberries and blackberries into the shortcake to make fresh fruit based desserts.

 

Ingredients and Preparation

Shortcake is prepared by sifting together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and soda together. Butter or shortening is cut into the mixture to make a pastry like mix. Cream or milk is combined into the flour to make a batter like dough. The dough is usually patted onto round tins or round stands and baked.

 

Popular Variations

Strawberry shortcake is the most popular version that is made during the summer season. The shortcake is split and then filled with mashed berries and whipped cream. It is then dusted with icing sugar and garnished with more fruit before serving. Other fruits like raspberries, cherries and blackberries are also used to make sweet desserts in the same way.