Im not suggesting that all you do to spend St. Valentine’s day is to eat cakes till you drop or pore your eyes on the belle/dude sitting opposite you– the lazy greedy approach for me would be lolling about with a plate of oven grilled free-range chicken, a glass of lemonade, the type I sat with at Tolu Adeyemi-Doro’s cozy apartment last saturday when she took us (Elkan, Reena & I along with Kunle’s kids – Akin & Kikun) out for swimming AND of course a solid pyrex dish of 100% chocolate cake! And I'm game!
However, I feel I have a fresh perspective to the celebration of love which gives it a whole new meaning that’s why I’m suggesting you try out spending the season of love with your loved ones around the kitchen table. Doesn’t that sound romantic? I can prove you right!

Romance doesn’t just sustain itself, you have to be creative about it and what better way to do this season with your significant other than to ‘spend time’ BONDING with your kids on a weekend around the kitchen baking STRAWBWERRY SHORTCAKE!
Yes! Strawberry Shortcake are a kid’s favourite, I even learnt from my son that there’s a Cartoon Network character called strawberry shortcake! (btw, I’m working on him not becoming a couch potato)…
… so don’t leave out the rest of the family this season of love, try it out with just a dollop of jam and whipped cream or deliciously with white chocolate and passion fruit mousse.

A brief intro, the strawberry shortcake is a favourite American Pudding which isn’t really a scone but a tender, buttery sponge with scone-like properties, split and crammed with strawberries.
Im no stickler for history and origins but I’m like Nigella Lawson a fan of the methodical-to-the-point-of-obsessive American food magazine ‘’Cook’s Illustrated’’ hence I don’t claim to have invented the recipe, but I'm giving you a very good one I have tried from Pam Anderson’s book ‘’The Perfect Recipe’’ (by the way Pam Anderson is the Executive Director of ‘’Cook’s Illustrated’’).

Happy Valentine’s Day in advance as you try out the Strawberry Shortcake;
Please do try it and let us know your thoughts, Lilian (my right-hand belle, lol!)would be mighty glad to take your enquiries and any interesting variations!

· 325g plain flour
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 5 tablespoons caster sugar
· 125g unsalted butter, frozen
· 1 large egg, beaten
· 125ml single cream
· 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
· 1 baking tray, greased or lined
· 6 1/2cm round cutter
· Approximately 300g strawberries
· 1 tablespoon caster sugar
· Few drops balsamic vinegar (optional)
· 250ml double cream or creme fraiche

[ ALL THE ABOVE CAN BE FOUND IN THE CAKEFAIR PANTRY @ click on the 'Pantry' page a place to shop for all items on our featured recipes, so you don’t have to worry trying to find ingredients in your locality.]

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 7.
2. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Grate the butter into these dry ingredients and use your fingertips to finish crumbling the butter into the flour. Whisk the egg into the cream, and pour into the flour mixture a little at a time, using a fork to mix. You may not need all of the eggy cream to make the dough come together, so go cautiously.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll gently to a thickness of about 2cm. Dip the cutter in flour and cut out as many rounds as you can. Work the scraps back into a dough, re-roll and finish cutting out you should get 8 in all. Place the shortcakes about 21/2cm apart on the baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg white, and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. If it helps with the rest of your cooking, or life in general, you can cover and refrigerate them now for up to 2 hours.
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown, and let them cool for a short while on a wire rack. Meanwhile, crush half the strawberries with the spoonful of sugar and the few drops of balsamic vinegar if using, and halve or quarter the remaining strawberries, depending on their size. Whip the double cream, if you're using.
5. The shortcakes should be eaten while still warm, so split each one across the middle and cover with a spoonful of the crushed strawberry mixture, a few halved or quartered strawberries, then dollop some whipped cream or creme fraiche on top, and set the top back on.
Serves: Makes 8
Juliet Nnamdi-Uzoezie

p.s. if you are still intimidated by all the ingredients and methods, here's a link to a website i found where you can watch how it's made: