Last week was birthday week in my family. My sister's was on Wednesday and mine was Sunday. So, you know what that means...cake!!
I was in charge of making my sister's cake. Unfortunately for me, she's not really into the whole fondant, decorated kind. You know, the kind I actually like to make since the baking part isn't the big thrill for me. It's the decorating part that gets me going. Once I accepted the fact that I wouldn't be breaking out my fun decorating tools, I had to come up with a cake that she'd like. I know she likes berries so I instantly thought of Carmine's Strawberry Shortcake.
For those of you that have never been to Carmine's, PLEASE GO. GO NOW!!! It's a family style Italian restaurant. There are 2 locations in NY - one on the upper west side and the other in Times Square. It's always really loud and crowded so you'll probably have to wait a while for a table. But please do. It's so worth it!
The main thing that's so amazing about this restaurant is the garlic. I'm talking giant hunks of garlic! If you're a garlic freak like me, you will absolutely love it! I love going to this restaurant with my other garlic partners in crime - my buds John and Andy. We always have a great time and we are all equally garlic fanatics!! Best part, they even have mouthwash in the bathrooms!! See, they've got ya covered.
Although we're always busting from the dinner, we always have to order their strawberry shortcake. Oh My Goodness!! It is so amazing!! Which brings me waaaaaay back to the main point to this post.
I am fortunate enough to own the Carmine's cookbook.
Basically there are 3 parts to the recipe - the syrup, the cake and the whipped cream and assembly.
The syrup is a simple syrup flavored with fresh strawberries.
The cake is like a pound cake recipe made in a loaf pan.
So, make the syrup first. Then make the pound cake. I decided to cut the cake lengthwise in thirds. Make fresh whipped cream by mixing up heavy cream, some vanilla extract and some confectioners sugar. Don't let it go too long (like I almost did) or you'll have butter.
Drizzle each layer with the syrup. Put a layer of whipped cream and sliced berries. On the top layer, drizzle some Amaretto and sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts.
You're probably wondering what kind of cake I got in return, right?!? The hubbs made me brownies (Duncan Hines) - has to be the Chewy Fudgy kind!! My sis got me cupcakes from the Cupcake Cafe in the city. Same ones I had at my wedding.
They done good. :)