Friday, May 20, 2011

Recipe Of The Day: Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

Today being National Pick Strawberries Day we figured we would put up a classic recipe that gets lots of play come Summertime here in California. Today we are gonna put a little twist on Strawberry Shortcake, no not the little girl's cartoon character many of us grew up making fun of, but the sweet and sugary treat that is typically light, fluffy and filled with gooey strawberry goodness.

Today we are improvising so instead of serving this sinfully delightful dessert on its routine sponge cake base we are serving it up on a moist Dutch Cocoa infused cake round that just screams to be eaten.
Quick to make and delicious to eat, this treats base and fillings can be made a day ahead and reserved until ready to be used.

So don't scare yourself into thinking this is one of those kinds of treats that has to be made right before service.


For the shortcakes:
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour, Plus More For Dusting
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 TBS Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
¾ tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Kosher Salt
4 TBS Cold Unsalted Butter, Cut Into Pieces
3 OZ Milk Chocolate, Roughly Chopped
2 Large Eggs
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Raw Or Turbinado Sugar, For Sprinkling

For The Toppings:
1 Quart Strawberries (Hulled And Halved Or Quartered If Large About 3 Cups, If Large)
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Heavy Cream

Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make the shortcakes:
Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until sandy.
Add the chocolate.
Whisk 1 egg, the cream and vanilla in a glass measuring cup; stir into the flour mixture with a fork to make a shaggy dough (there will be some dry bits).
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; pat flat until 1 1/2 inches thick.
Cut into 6 rounds with a knife or cookie cutter, using the scraps for the last cake.
Place the rounds on the baking sheet; freeze for 20 minutes.
Beat the remaining egg; brush onto the cakes and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake until firm, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a rack to cool.

Meanwhile, Make The Toppings:
Toss half of the strawberries with half of the sugar in a bowl; set aside.
Place the other half of each in a saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, mashing with a fork to make a thick puree, about 10 minutes.
Cool completely.
Whip the cream with a mixer until medium peaks form; swirl in the strawberry puree.
Split the shortcakes in half.
Layer some of the strawberry cream and reserved fruit on the bottoms; cover with the shortcake tops.
Finish with more strawberry cream and the remaining berries.

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