Our hot, dry, spring/summer accelerated berry season, so ALL the berries were suddenly ripe and taking over the farmer's markets. In that photo above, everything but the strawberries usually aren't ripe until July! This was the third week of June, and although strawberry season was already starting to wind down there were still plenty.
|ALL THE BERRIES: boysenberries, blackberries, blueberries, tayberries, and Tillamook strawberries|
If you have Rose's Heavenly Cakes you will notice that these strawberry shortcake genoise are quite similar in construction to the Red Fruit Shortcake or the Marionberry Shortcake. In fact, the Strawberry Shortcake Genoise is designed to be one 9 in cake, but there is an option to make individual portions which as you can see is what I chose to do. I think I chose that option because it uses less strawberries which meant more for us to eat as-is. And the child can eat almost a pint of fresh berries in one sitting.
|completed genoise batter|
In order to get enough strawberry juice to syrup the cakes, Rose has you use frozen, defrosted strawberries. After getting as much juice as you can, the frozen strawberries are pureed and set aside to fill the bottom of the genoise cups.
The strawberry juice gets concentrated and added to a sugar syrup with either Grand Marnier or fresh squeezed orange juice. I opted for the orange juice and the orange flavor really elevated this dessert from a regular shortcake to something amazing.
The genoise gets syruped, the frozen strawberry puree fills the bottom of the cups, and now the fresh strawberries are arranged on top. The fresh berries get a little maceration in sugar to loosen up their juices, and it was almost a shame to do so as these berries were already incredibly ripe and sweet.
And finally, the whipped cream topping is made. This is simply whipped cream with a bit of strawberry jam, and although it was nice to have that hint of strawberry in the cream and a light pink topping, it wouldn't ruin the dessert to use plain whipped cream (the jam does stabilise the cream, preventing seepage which would be important if assembling ahead of serving).
This is a marvelous way to celebrate the beautiful, ripe strawberry. Next time if the berries are super fresh and ripe I might skip macerating them.