This mouth-watering dessert should be eaten while it is still warm. The shortcake dough may be prepared 1 -2 hours ahead of time and kept in a cool place. Have the butter, fruits and the cream ready too, so that the warm cake can be assembled in just a few minutes.
350 g (12 oz) strawberries, redcurrants or raspberies
45 g (3 tbsp) sugar
30 ml (2 tbsp) kirsch or Grand Marnier
250 g (9 oz) plain flour
10 g (2 tsp) baking powder
2.5 g (1/2 tsp) salt
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
65 g (2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
150 ml (1/4 pt) double cream or 1/2 cream and 1/2 milk.
130 g (4 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened for spreading on cooked layers
250 ml (9 fl oz) double or whipping cream
1. Reserve a few fruits for decoration.
2. Slice 75 g (3 oz) strawberries but leave other fruits whole.
3. Crush the rest of the fruit and stir in 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp of the liqueur.
4. Fold in the sliced fruit and set aside.
5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and caster sugar into a bowl.
6. Drop in the butter pieces and quickly rub to a crumb texture.
7. Lightly whisk the egg into the cream and pour on to the dry mixture.
8. Combine quickly into a smooth dough.
9. Butter and flour a 22 cm (8 1/2 in) spring-form tin and press in the dough.
10. Bake at 230°C (450°F) Gas 8 for 20 minutes on a wire rack.
11. Split the shortcake in two and spread half the butter on the bottom layer and the rest on the underside of the top layer.
12. Spread the fruit filling over the bottom cake and sandwich with the top layer.
13. It does not matter if the fruit oozes out.
14. Whisk the cream until softly peaked and beat in the rest of the sugar and liqueur.
15. Spoon the cream on to the shortcake and decorate with reserved fruits.
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