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Summer is here

Summer is here but Wimbledon isn’t. Not this year. It’s cancelled. Surely strawberries and cream with a glass of champagne or Pimms isn’t cancelled though. Certainly not here. It’s part of summer, of course.

If you have a sweet tooth, this is for you. Sweet strawberry jam sandwiched between our Homemade Shortbread base and the champagne flavoured white chocolate top. Strawberries and cream with Champagne in a bake. Perfect for Wimbledon finals week, if it was on.

Strawberries and cream
Homemade shortbread, strawberry jam and champagne flavoured white chocolate

Look out for Strawberry Shortbread appearing in the “Select contents” options for ordering online.

Summer celebration

I’ve been thinking of various ideas for celebrations across the year but summer is actually a difficult one. There isn’t really a traditional celebration in summer. Not like Easter, or Father’s Day, or Valentines Day. I’d need to be creative.

I searched for what happens in June and the first thing that came up was the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. It’s not on this year of course and this in itself doesn’t inspire ideas for sweet treats. Grass and sweat is not inspirational in the world of cakes. But what is synonymous with Wimbledon is strawberries and cream. Sweet, succulent strawberries and cream. Not just any old cream either. Whipped cream. That sugary, thick, vanilla flavoured cream. All of this washed down with a glass of Pimms or Champagne. Perfect!

How to bring it all together?

Firstly, the strawberries and cream. They are the stars of the show, so they need to be the main flavours. My Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondie has been a big hit. My first thought was to do something like this. However, I tried it and it didn’t work. The flavour of the strawberries is just not strong enough for a blondie.

What else could work? I went searching for ideas and immediately came across strawberry shortcake. The shortcake thing is kind of American and it wasn’t really what I was looking for. Shortbread, however, is more my kind of thing and it still works. My Homemade Shortbread has the vanilla like flavour of cream and it is a solid base for a tray bake, as in Millionaire’s Shortbread.

The strawberry filling was difficult. Fresh strawberries are not really an option, unless sold the same day, and they wouldn’t fare well in the post. They also don’t have the strength of flavour that I needed. After a few trials, I settled on strawberry jam. The flavour is sweet and the strawberry is concentrated. It also tends to stay where it is put.

All I needed now was the topping. This would need to add a more creamy flavour to the whole thing. Taking inspiration from Millionaire’s Shortbread again, I thought chocolate would do the job. White chocolate is perfect and fits with my core principle that everything is better with chocolate.

So that was the strawberries and cream done. What about the other bit?

Champagne or Pimms

What about the Champagne or Pimms. I think that Pimms is a lovely drink but could be a bit too complex for a bake that has two clear and wonderfully indulgent flavours already. The addition of a fruity, spicy flavour wouldn’t compliment the strawberries, shortbread and chocolate, I thought. Champagne, however, would be perfect, if I could make it work. The subtle but distinct apple and citrus flavours of champagne would be lovely.

Getting the champagne into the bake is a bit of a challenge. The only thing that I know of that tasted of Champagne is Champagne. I searched the internet and found a Champagne flavouring, usually used in cupcakes, sweets, etc. Unconvinced, I bought some. Tasting it convinced me. Adding this to jam or shortbread wouldn’t really work, so the chocolate was it. I tried it and it was wonderful. It not only added the champagne flavour but took some of the sweetness off the chocolate.

Strawberries and cream millionaires shortbread

There it was. A strawberries and cream variation on Millionaire’s Shortbread. A jam sandwich with shortbread on the bottom and white chocolate on the top, with a hint of champagne. A little trial with some friends showed that it was good. Not everyone got the Champagne flavour, but we put that down to taste buds and age. The younger guinea pigs got it immediately.

Look out for Strawberry Shortbread appearing in the “Select contents” options for ordering online.

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