Refined Strawberry Shortcake
Why This Recipe Works
For our Refined Strawberry Shortcake, we used a genoise sponge cake, whose structure is dependent on egg proteins versus the weaker gluten proteins of a butter cake, making it better able to absorb the berries’ juice without breaking down. To ensure the ideal airy, springy texture, we followed a number of key steps: Fully dissolving the sugar in the eggs by heating the mixture over simmering water made for a more viscous mixture that’s more capable of holding in air. Transferring the batter to a wide, shallow bowl to fold in the dry ingredients and melted butter made folding more efficient so that we could retain as much air in the batter as possible, and lightening the melted butter by combining it with some of the batter before folding it in made it easier to combine. To balance the sweetness, we added lemon zest to the cake’s batter and lemon juice to the berries. To give our berry filling cohesion, we thickened some of the juice with cornstarch, and we drizzled the remaining juice over the cake before adding the berries to ensure that it was evenly moistened.