Almond Strawberry Shortcake

Almonds and strawberries are delicious by themselves, but you combine the two and you get something downright delightful.  So, the other day after I bought 2 pounds of strawberries, I decided they would be perfect for strawberry shortcake.  Traditional strawberry shortcake is made with a sweet biscuit, but I have come to prefer pound cake or angel food cake.  I haven’t made angel food cake in a long time, but my almond pound cake recipe won out this time around.  Velvety, moist, and dense, this cake is a star on it’s own. When you add strawberries macerated in Grand Marnier, it explodes with 3 dimensional flavor. Top it off with my Whipped Dream (my whipped cream replacement) and you have a masterpiece.
Almond Pound Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
3 sticks Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine sticks
2 ½ cups sugar
5 eggs
2-3 tsp almond extract*
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup rice milk
·      Preheat oven to 300 °F
·      Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
·      Combine and whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.
·      Cream margarine with sugar until light and fluffy.
·      Add 1 egg at a time. Beat well after each addition.
·      Add almond and vanilla extracts.*
·      Mix the flour into the margarine mixture alternating with the milk (starting and ending with the milk.
Pour into the prepared pan.
·      Bake for 1-1.5 hrs.
·      Cool 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
* If you don’t want a strong almond flavor, then add only 2 tsp of the almond extract.
2 pounds of strawberries hulled and cut into large pieces
¼ cup sugar (adjust to according to the sweetness of the strawberries and taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp Grand Marnier (according to taste and is optional.)
½ tsp lemon juice
·      Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
·      Stir to mix.
·      Set aside for 1-2 hours. (To speed up the maceration, place in the microwave for 30-60sec).
Dream Whip
1 cup sugar
  cup water
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
·      Wipe down your mixing bowl and beaters with lemon juice.
·      Place the egg whites and vanilla into a mixing bowl.
·      Combine sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a sauce pan.
·      Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved.
·      Very, very slowly add the sugar mixture to the egg whites, beating constantly on high speed for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
·      Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
**Don’t make more than ½ a day before serving as it doesn’t last much longer than 2 days.
·      Spoon some of the strawberries onto a slice of pound cake and a dollop of Dream Whip on top of it all.
·      Enjoy!