One of my friends told me about a 4th of July dessert she saw somewhere. It happened to be made of all my mother's favorites (coincidentally, Lucy's favorites, too!) - fresh fruit, whipped cream, and a slice of cake. Sort of a cross between a trifle and a strawberry shortcake. A long narrow platter was lined with slices of cake. Fresh blue and red berries were heaped on top and it was served with whipped cream.
My July 3rd is going to be a busy day with appointments and errands. I suspect that most people who work in offices will be putting in a full day of work. They'll be hitting the grocery store Thursday night or Friday morning, so anything quick and easy will be appealing. This fits the bill perfectly. So easy to assemble but it's a showstopper.
I baked a simple loaf cake. If you're in a rush, pick up a Sara Lee pound cake in the frozen section of the grocery store. I won't tell. I sliced it and spread the slices out on the plate. Since there aren't any children partaking of it, I splashed a teaspoon or so of Chambord on top of each slice. Then I heaped strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries over the whole thing. Honestly, it could serve as a centerpiece. All the fruit is so pretty on top. You can spoon the whipped cream over it just before serving or pass a bowl of whipped cream, which might be easier.
For fun, I also made it in a dessert bowl. If you're having a more elegant dinner on the 4th, say in your penthouse overlooking the Iwa Jima Memorial where you'll be able to see the fireworks in the sky behind it, you might want to serve individual portions.
A couple of observations. Don't slice the fruit and don't macerate it. It will make the cake soggy. Also, be sure to dry the fruit after you wash it. I did not slice the strawberries but I did pluck out the hulls. They can be very pretty but not practical in a dish like this. In retrospect, I wish I had sliced each piece of cake just to make serving it easier.
Feel free to switch around the fruit proportions depending on what your family likes.
1 loaf cake
8 ounces strawberries
12 ounces blueberries
6 ounces raspberries
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter softened plus extra for greasing pan
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, beating after each one. Alternate adding the flour and the milk. Bake for 1 hour and fifteen minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edges before turning out of the pan.
Beat the cream until it begins to take shape. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat.
|Bake a loaf cake.|
|Slice and lay flat on serving plate.|
|Or place a piece of a slice in individual bowls.|
|Wash and dry the berries.|
|Heap the berries on the cake.|
|Serve with whipped cream.|