Shortcake is one of the things I don't make.
I don't make it, because my Mum does.
And man, she makes a good shortcake.
I think in every family somebody specializes in something, right? Maybe you are the excellent birthday cake maker. Or the beloved scone bringer. Maybe you're known for your lasagne or your perfect roast.
Mum has always made shortcake. Given that my aunts on my Dad's side also make it, I wonder whether it was my Grandma's recipe (she of the award-winning sponge, very soon to be forthcoming!!)... I'll ask Mum when they're back from galavanting around South Australia.
Anyway, Mum makes passionfruit shortcake. Always has a passionfruit vine growing somewhere, always has frozen fruit in ziplocks in the freezer. It's the passionfruit shortcake she makes for her adored sons-in-law. And for Dad, for super special treats (when she has a house-full and can be sure he'll only get one piece, being diabetic and all that...)
So I never make it. It's her thing.
'Cept I have all these strawberries, and we were going to a friend's house for Sunday lunch, and I thought, why not...
I bought a couple of these cool bakers boxes at The Essential Ingredient (somewhere I should never be let loose) and boxed it up.
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries
Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl then rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre and stir in the egg. It will feel really dry, keep mixing until you can knead it well into a ball.
Push into a round 7 inch (20cm) tin, rough up the top with a fork and sprinkle with sugar. Cook at 160° for 35 mins or until golden. When cooled, split into two.
To make the filling, mix the icing sugar with the butter and fruit. (This works really well with passionfruit too - probably better than my strawberry version.) Mix well to a cream then spread onto one half of the shortcake. Put together, and enjoy!
Perfect with perfectly-made espresso (our friends run a coffee school!)
Highlights of the week so far:
* Having my seven year old nephew Doug to stay for a few nights. Awesome little dude that he is. Henry is now at my sister's place for a short holiday, and I am loving the time just with Tilly. We are having a truly lovely little break, just us. (Although she's pretty excited about bringing him home tomorrow night.)
* It's not often you can say that something helped you be a better parent, but I think this book has. I highly recommend it. I found it via Soulemama and am now on a mission to find out more about Buddhism generally.
* I'm not particularly religious but am always inspired by faith in other people. I stumbled on this blog tonight, via Mammajoy (finally posting again! hooray!) and read the story of Audrey Caroline. It's astonishing how strong some people can be. I thought this woman, Angie Smith, was amazing and I was really inspired by her perspective.
* Learning about white balance for photos from my friend Katie who in 10 minutes gave me a crash course and helped me take better 'inside' photos!! She is the best!
Hope you are having a fab week.