Sunday, September 25, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake - Cooking Demo - Pride of America, Hilo, Hawaii

There are tons of things to do on board a cruise ship.  One of my favorites is to attend cooking demonstrations typically presented by a member of the ship's Chef Team.  On our recent Hawaiian Cruise on Norwegian's Pride of America, the recipe demonstrated was Strawberry Shortcake.  The Chef was assisted by the cruise director.

Pre-Demonstration:  Mise en place - the cooking term for everything prepared and ready for assembly.  Even though the cake was pre-baked, the Chef demonstrated making the cake batter from scratch, by hand. 
The cruise director introducing the chef

Chef using a flat whisk to mix the cake batter

Switching from the cake batter to the pre-baked cake

I actually discovered a kitchen implement that I don't own:  a rotating cake stand.  Very helpful for slicing that singe baked cake into three layers, using a long serrated knife

After the cake has been cut across into three separate layers, Chef is brushing some Amaretto (which he kept referring to as Di Saronno) on the cake layers to moisten the cake

Topping the first layer with whipped cream, which had "stableizer" added to it.  Stableizer keeps the cream from getting runny and helps it hold its shape when used as a frosting. 

After topping the first layer with whipped cream, Chef added some chopped strawberries which had been macerated (soaked) in Amaretto

Second cake layer being carefully added

Third layer has been added
Chef using a flat spreader to apply a thin, even coating of whipped cream to the side of the cake

More whipped cream for the top layer

Chef using the flat spatula to even the top of the frosting (whipped cream)

Chef saved the crumbs resulting from slicing the cake layers; here he is gently patting cake crumbs on the side of the cake.

More whipped cream!  Scooped into a pastry bag and being piped in a decorative pattern to the top of the cake

Our cruise director had a different idea - a cake that looked like a volcano (as we would be sailing by the lava flow later that evening.)

Pouring some strawberry juice to mimic "lava"

Chef with a more traditional garnish

Et Voila!  The finished product

Plenty of tasty samples - and it was delicious!
The Recipe:



  • non-stick vegetable spray, for coating the cake pan
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 recipe whipped cream frosting (below)
  • Amaretto Liquor (optional)
Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Whipped Cream Stabilizer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle of the oven.  Lightly coat 2 9-inch cake pans with nonstick vegetable spray.  Line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of baking parchment. 

Into a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, 3 times.  In a small saucepan, bring the milk and butter to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.  In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until pale yellow, fluffy, and doubled in volume.  While still beating, drizzle in the hot milk mixture.  Fold the flour mixture into the milk and eggs.  Spread the batter in the prepared pans and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden, the center springs back when lightly touched, and a cake tester comes out clean.  Set the pans on a rack to cool.  Run the tip of a knife around the edge of the cakes in the pan to loosen them, and turn them out of the pans.  Peel off the parchment paper.

Whip the cream until lightly thickened.  Add the confectioner's sugar, stabilizer and vanilla and whip to the consistency of shaving cream.

Wash and dry the strawberries.  Pick out the 12 best and set aside.  Stem and slice the rest.  Brush the top of the first cake layer lightly with amaretto (if desired.)  Spread a 1/2 inch layer of whipped cream on top of the first layer.  Lay the sliced berries on top of the cream.  Place the second cake layer over the first.  Brush with amaretto (if desired.)  Frost the entire cake with whipped cream, reserving some for garnishing.  Place sliced almonds on the outer sides of cake, top cake with whipped cream florets (using a pastry bag) and the 12 reserved whole strawberries.

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