This time we decided that there being only two of us, and living in Velacheri, that too on a road which has the appearance of slightly beaten up Sea of Tranquility crater on the moon, with little chance of anyone visiting, we would slowly work through the cake over a period of a few days.
The first part was easy. The sponge cake, made from my old bible The Joy of Cooking (which had lost its last few pages which was the index) was a breeze. I realised that I had lost nothing of my original talent. :-) It was soft, spongy and beautifully browned on top.
The cream was the next hurdle. The only kind available in any supermarket nearby was the tetrapack version that Amul sells which it calls Fresh Cream. Having occasionally beaten a cream to death (in other words beating it till the butter came out in big clods) I bought a spare packet in case of disasters. I need not have bothered.
The whipping, with an electric egg-beater, started at 7.15pm on a weekday soon after we had returned from work. At 7.30pm, I gave up and my wife took it up. Around 7.45pm she gave it back to me. At 7.50pm the motor gave a small groan and gave up the ghost, a slight acrid smell of burning plastic testifying to the finality of the situation. And the cream? What about it -- it continued in its pristine state (it did not even turn to butter).
At this point I poured the cream qua cream over the sponge cake (which had been neatly divided into two layers in the hope that we would make a layered cake). I carefully decorated the top with cut strawberries and there it was - somewhat the worse for wear, the (unwhipped) cream having soaked right through, but it tasted quite nice. After all why shouldn't it -- sponge cake, cream, sugar, strawberries - all necessary ingredients for a successful dessert if not in the right format :)
Oh! Before I forget -- anyone know how to make a strawberry shortcake without running through a beater each time? It might help my finances a bit... (something tells me getting proper whipping cream might help....but in Chennai?)