May 13, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

When it comes to desserts, I'm much more apt to choose a fruit-based dessert over some decadent chocolate delight.  For one, chocolate, especially rich, dark chocolate, makes me sneeze.  And I just prefer a lighter, less sweet dessert.  So what better way to use our quart of strawberries, than to make a strawberry shortcake?

It was perfect timing because Justin received an email from Food & Wine with their 20 top strawberry recipes, which included a shortcake recipe.  It came together pretty quickly, and in no time, we were chowing down on dessert.

Justin took care of the strawberries, slicing them in half, and macerating them with some sugar, orange zest, and grated ginger.  The orange and ginger were our added twists, and added some brightness to our strawberries.
As for the shortcakes, mix the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Using your fingers (or a pastry blender if you have one), mix in the cold butter.  Once the butter is incorporated, add in your cream, and mix with a knife until the dough clumps together.
At this point, the recipe has you pat the dough into a round cake pan, but we decided to make individual little shortcakes.  Once you form them to your desired size, place them on a baking sheet, brush on a bit of cream, and sprinkle a little sugar on top.  Then just pop 'em in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until they're golden brown on top.
While your shortcakes are cooking, you can make your whipped cream.  In a bowl you'll need your cream, some vanilla, and some sugar.  If you want a good arm workout, you can whip it by hand, but we opted for the hand mixer.  In less than 5 minutes, we had some delicious, homemade whipped cream.
Once the shortcakes have cooled a bit, slice them in half horizontally, spoon on some strawberries and whipped cream, and top with your shortcake cap.  We also added a bit or orange zest to garnish.
It was so easy, and so delicious.  It's the perfect summer dessert!  The hardest part was waiting for the shortcakes to cool!

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