I once had a discussion with a Parfumier who believed that taste was secondary to the nose. She explained that one will experience the fragrance of a strawberry before one actually tastes it. I said, strawberries don’t have a fragrance, unless they’re warm, and even then it’s a stretch. But she insisted that the reverse is true. This Strawberry Shortcake Genoise is so intensely strawberry that I couldn’t help but recall that conversation. Does my nose taste these strawberries or is my mouth doing the work? I concluded that what was happening was not in my nose, but dans ma bouche. For sure.
Incidentally, I think that I prefer Strawberry Shortcake with traditional shortcake to genoise. While the texture of the genoise is beautiful, a cake that is dense and a little crusty, a cake that soaks up the juices, and softens even more with whipped cream is my preference to the light, delicate and airy genoise called for in this recipe.
SPECIAL SHORTCAKE EQUIPMENT
STRAWBERRY SYRUP AND PUREE
- Using the 6 cup individual Marianne pan all the ingredients needed to be reduced in volume, but for the frozen strawberries I used the regular amount. It's a good thing because I didn't get nearly the amount of juice from them I should have.
- For the puree, I whizzed up the remaining strawberry into a puree and set it aside.
GENOISE (SHORTCAKE) BATTER
- Everything went together easily,
GENOISE (SHORTCAKE) SYRUP
- Before syruping the cake, I removed the crust off the bottom of the cake.
- The sugar seemed to make the syrup too thick so I added a little water until the consistency seemed loose enough to moisten the cake. Being that I didn't want the cake to be pink on the outside, I only applied (with a squeeze bottle) the syrup to the bottom and in the inside of the cake,
- and then wrapped each individually so they wouldn't dry out.
STRAWBERRY WHIPPED CREAM
- I did not want to buy seedless strawberry jam, so I microwaved a few more frozen strawberries to render the juice and mixed it with apple jelly. I did this because the pectin sets the whipped cream nicely. Then I added the strawberry "jam" into the cold cream.
ASSEMBLING THE SHORTCAKE
- I filled each depression with strawberry puree
- and laid the fresh strawberries over the puree.
- Then I placed a dollop of strawberry whipped cream over top.