Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer = Strawberries? (It's recipe time!)

It's that time of year again. You know, the time of year where you can't go more than 30 feet without seeing one of these signs as you drive.

I'll tell ya, normally I drive right on by these signs without even thinking of stopping. I'm just not a big strawberry fan. In fact, I'm not a fan of most berries. I know, I know. You're shocked. This year, however, I decided to enjoy the strawberry season (and support some local farms) by making a family favorite.

Strawberry Shortcake.

"But that's so boring!" I know. Trust me, I do. So let's up the ante and make it Strawberry Chocolate Shortcake. (Women around the globe are rejoicing. Wait... maybe it's just me who loves chocolate enough to rejoice.)

The recipe is simple. Mix your shortcake ingredients in a bowl, turn the dough onto a flattened surface and press it out into a half inch thickness. Then cut 3" rounds with a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter oooor you can be classy like me and use the rim of a wine glass. Place the rounds on a greased sheet and bake for 17 minutes.

While the shortcakes are cooking, you'll wash, hull and slice your strawberries. Toss the strawberries in a few tablespoons of sugar and put to the side.

Next, beat some heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla together for an amazing whipped cream. Unfortunately, I missed getting any pictures of this process. It's tough to take pics AND beat the mixture. (Please don't ask what happened when I tried...)

That's it! Assemble your shortcakes by slicing each cake in half and sandwiching strawberries and cream and adding a dollop of cream on the top. Garnish with a strawberry if you'd like

Finally, Enjoy!

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in pieces
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 quart strawberries
  • 2 cups whipping cream (or heavy cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the over to 350 F and butter a baking sheet.

Sift together flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Mix with a spoon. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry mixture until the mixture takes on a coarse consistency. Stir the milk in until a dough forms. Don't be afraid to use yours hands to mix as the dough stiffens.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and press into a 1/2" thickness. Cut 6+ 3" inch rounds from the dough, place on the sheet and bake for 17 minutes or until the centers are firm.

Wash, hull and slice strawberries. In a medium bowl, toss with 1 tbsp of sugar. Feel free to add more, if you prefer a sweeter strawberry.

Pour the whipping cream into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium high till the cream forms soft peaks. Beat in 4 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla.

To assemble, slice each cake in half and places berries and whipped cream on the bottom half. Add the top portion plus more whipped cream and a crowning berry.

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