With Strawberries and Cream
I hope everybody had a pleasant week. I had a good one, even though spring has taken a break, again, and the temperatures have dipped. We are now sort of used to it taking a break. We don’t get shocked anymore.
I rarely watch Dr. Oz show, but somehow, this week, I was hanging about doing nothing so I decided to watch Oz and anything else that followed for about 4 hours (4 hours of loafing about). I caught this segment that talked about “the 8 germiest places in your kitchen” (my word dictionary does not recognize-germiest-is it a word?). Anyway the following germiest things caught my attention so I thought I should share with you:
When is the last time you washed your can opener? as far as I know, I usually wash mine immediately after use, drench it with hot water, wipe it and dump it back in the drawer, so I can find it when I need it again (I have only one can opener), I don’t know why, I have just never thought of buying two or three. Okay after Oz and his team tested can openers from regular houses like yours and mine, they found Salmonella, E.coli, yeast and mold. I tried to imagine how the E. coli could have or might have gotten onto a can opener, but I couldn’t find a sensible reason to explain. Here is the remedy taken directly from Oz.com: “If it’s dishwasher-safe, place the can opener in the dishwasher after each use. If hand washing, wash the opener in hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly with clean tap water before air drying after each use. Pay special attention to the area around the cutting blades to be sure all food residue is removed.”
Rubber Spatula: oh yes the one you use for scrapping the sides of your mixer-bowl when you are mixing cakes and other goodies and in the end you lick it off gleefully, partly because the raw mixture tastes nice and partly because you are excited the cake is finally going into the oven. Oz and his team found the following germs on it: E.coli, yeast and mold. E.coli again, are some of us changing diapers in the kitchen? Here is verbatim remedy:“For two-piece spatulas, separate the handle from the spatula portion and, if dishwasher-safe, place both sections in the dishwasher after each use. If hand washing, wash in hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly with clean water. For one-piece spatulas, toss in the dishwasher or hand wash thoroughly in hot soapy water, paying special attention to the area where the handle joins the spatula. Rinse thoroughly and dry.”
Knife block: (the ornamental thing that you use to show off the knives on your countertop): I need your help here, coz mine is made of wood and I never imagined I should be washing wood??? How to Clean It Properly: First remove any knives stored in the block. Turn the knife block upside down and shake lightly or use a can of compressed air to remove crumbs and other loose debris. Hand wash the knife block in hot soapy water, using a small brush (like a baby bottle nipple brush) to scrub out the knife slots. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. These three caught my attention most, for the rest follow the link in the first paragraph.
Today I want to share with you a recipe for strawberry shortcakes. I had mine for dessert, with strawberries and cream and a drizzle of honey. No, I think it was more like an avalanche of honey. Sometimes, I crave honey. Anyway it tasted very nice. Hope you’ll like it, too. Here we go…and please, stop thinking about germs, we are now talking about food, desserts to be precise.
Recipe from Woman’s own Cakes and Bakes, By Gina Steer
- 225g plain flour
- 175g butter or margarine (I used margarine)
- 75g castor sugar
- 300ml (1¼ cups) whipping cream
- 225g strawberries, washed and hulled
- Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C) 10 minutes before baking. Place parchment paper on two baking sheets (trays).
- Sieve the flour, add butter or margarine and sugar. With cool hands, and keeping the fat in one piece, gradually work in the flour and sugar until the mixture forms a ball in the centre of the bowl and the sides are clean.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface (don’t use too much flour) until smooth and free from cracks.
- Roll out to ¼ in/6mm thick then cut into 20 6.5mm (2½in) rounds with a fluted pastry cutter. Place on baking sheets, spaced slightly apart to allow for spreading. Prick lightly with a fork and bake for 15-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool for 1 minute then transfer to a wire rack to cool. (I divided dough into two and rolled between two parchment papers.)
- Whip cream until stiff and soft peaks from, spoon into a piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle. Pipe the cream on to half the biscuits. Pipe a rosette in the centre of the remaining biscuits. Arrange strawberries on the cream covered biscuits. Place a whole strawberry in the centre of the rosette of the cream. Sandwich biscuits together and eat on the same day.
- Plain biscuits can be stored up to one week in an airtight container. You can substitute 75g flour with wholemeal flour and sugar with 50g brown sugar.
- **I weigh the flour and butter, I do not use cup measures as the weight of a cup of flour tends to vary based on individual interpretation or publication, (from 125g to 13og to 155g per cup), butter unless in sticks, is hard to measure in cups.
- Cup equivalents based on 1 cup = 125g flour so that would be the US cup of 240ml, not the Australian cup.
Points to Note:
- Please note that oven temperatures are given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperature depending on your oven. I baked the shortcakes at 360°F (180°C) for 19 minutes, but some were over browned, so next time I shall try 350°F (175°C), maybe for 15 minute .
- I always weigh ingredients, especially the flour and butter. You can use cup measures, but please note if you scoop flour directly from the bag you will end up with 150-185 g of flour instead of the recommended 125g. I suggest you spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. You can also sift the flour first then scoop. My best advice: please use a weighing scale.
- I divided the dough into two and rolled lightly between two parchment papers. If dough is too sticky due to over handling, place in the freezer, before rolling again.