Shortcake is a sweet cake or biscuit (in the American sense: that is, a crumbly bread that has been leavened with baking powder or baking soda).
Shortcake is typically made with flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, salt, butter, milk or cream, and sometimes eggs. The dry ingredients are blended, and then the butter is cut in until the mixture resembles cornmeal. The liquid ingredients are then mixed in just until moistened, resulting in a shortened dough. The dough is then dropped in spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, rolled and cut like baking powder biscuits, or poured into a cake pan, depending on how wet the dough is and the baker's preferences. Then it is baked at a relatively high temperature until set.
Though today's shortcakes are usually of the biscuit or sponge-cake variety, earlier American recipes called for pie crust in rounds or broken-up pieces, which was a variety still being enjoyed in the 20th century, particularly in the South.
Strawberry Shortcake and other addition:
The most famous dessert made with shortcake is strawberry shortcake. Sliced strawberries are mixed with sugar and allowed to sit an hour or so, until the strawberries have surrendered a great deal of their juices. The shortcakes are split and the bottoms are covered with a layer of strawberries, juice, and whipped cream, typically flavored with sugar and vanilla. The top is replaced, and more strawberries and whipped cream are added onto the top. Some convenience versions of shortcake are not made with a shortcake (i.e. biscuit) at all, but instead use a base of sponge cake or sometimes a corn muffin. Japanese-style strawberry shortcakes use a sponge cake base, and are a popular Christmas treat in Japan.
Though strawberry is the most widely known shortcake dessert, peach shortcake, blueberry shortcake, chocolate shortcake and other similar desserts are made along similar lines. It is also common to see recipes where the shortcake itself is flavored; coconut is a common addition.
For the shortcakes:1 ½ Cups of All Purpose Flour
¼ Cup of Sugar
2 tsp of Baking Powder
1 Stick or Half Cup of Cold Butter
¼ tsp of Salt
½ Cup of Heavy Cream
1 Egg Yolk, beaten
Egg Wash, for the topping ( 1 egg beaten with a bit of water)
Additional Sugar, for sprinkling on top
For the Berries and Cream:Fresh Sliced Strawberries
Zest of One Small Orange
2 Tbsp of Sugar, or more if the strawberries are not very sweet
Juice of Half an Orange
Ready whipped cream
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a peddle attachment, combine together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and mix until the butter is dispersed thru and is the size of small peas.
3) Add the cream and egg yolk. Combine together just until a dough forms. Dump on a board and form the dough into about half inch thick. Cut squares or circles and place on your prepared baking sheet.
4) Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle a little sugar over them.
5) Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden, let cool completely.
6) For the strawberries, place them in a bowl along with the sugar, orange zest and orange juice. Let them sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
7) When ready to serve, slice the shortcake in half, spoon a little whipped cream on the one of the cut sides and add some marinated strawberries on top, place the top half on and spoon a little more whip cream over the top and fish off with a fresh strawberry.