Strawberry Shortcake

One of my favorite summer desserts–Strawberry Shortcake.  Since last year, I’ve been making my shortcakes with cornmeal and I haven’t turned back.  It is insanely delicious!!

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Normally, when I make strawberry shortcakes, I usually just macerate my strawberries.  What does that mean??  That means tossing your fruit with a little bit of sugar and allowing the fruit to sit for at least 20 minutes.  This allows the fruit to release it’s natural juices and creates a bit of a sauce, which is perfect for topping yogurt or ice cream.  But today!  Today, I’ve decided to roast the strawberries instead.  I know, it sounds weird, but it’s UH-MAZING!!  This dessert dates back to the 1500’s and nowadays is know as National Strawberry Shortcake Day.

It’s perfect for those wonderful summer days and it’s easy to travel with.  So you can enjoy it at the beach or on a picnic!  (Yes, I am that person that will bring strawberry shortcakes to the beach.)  Serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  (The secret to my whipped cream, which everyone goes bananas over, is Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste.)  It makes such a difference in your desserts!!  I mean, a HUGE difference.  I use it in all recipes where I need to add vanilla.  I even added a touch in my strawberries before I roasted them.   Maybe you will make this for Father’s Day?  Don’t forget to subscribe!  New recipes plus cooking class schedules will be posted!!

Strawberry Shortcakes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tender, soft shortcakes layered with sweet, roasted strawberries and topped with light vanilla whipped cream

Ingredients

-3 tbsp brown sugar

-1 1/4 cup AP flour

-1/4 cup very fine cornmeal

-1 1/2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/4 tsp baking soda

-6 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold, cubed

-6-8 tbsp heavy cream, very cold, plus extra for brushing

-sparkling sugar, for topping shortcakes

-1 lb strawberries, hulled, quartered

-1 tbsp granulated sugar

-1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

-1 lemon, zested

-2 cups heavy cream, very cold

-granulated sugar to taste

-vanilla bean paste, to taste

Directions

  1. For shortcakes:  Preheat oven to 400 F.  In a food processor, add the brown sugar, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Place the lid on and pulse a few times, just to evenly distribute the ingredients.  Remove the lid and add one tablespoon of very cold butter.  Replace the lid and pulse the butter in the food processor 5 times.  Repeat until all of the butter has been used.  The flour should resemble wet sand.
  2. While pulsing, slowly add the cold heavy cream in a very slow stream.  Add enough heavy cream until a dough has formed into a ball.  (You may not use all 8 tbsp of heavy cream.)
  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface.  Roll dough until 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out shortcakes, using a cookie cutter and place onto Silpat or nonstick sheet tray.  Once all cut shortcakes are placed on sheet tray, brush with heavy cream and generously sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  4. Place sheet tray in the refrigerator for 15 minutes so the dough chills.  *Very important step.  The dough must be very cold before going into the oven.
  5. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out cleaned.  Allow to cool completely before assembling shortcakes.
  6. For strawberries:  In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with sugar and vanilla.  Place in a baking dish and roast in oven at 400 F for 12-15 minutes, until softened.  After roasting, remove from oven and cool.  Zest 1 lemon on top of strawberries and toss so evenly distributed.
  7. For whipped cream:  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, add heavy cream and mix on medium speed.  Add sugar and vanilla, to taste, once you have soft peaks.  Increase the speed and whip until medium peaks.  Taste and adjust the sugar and vanilla.  If you are happy with both, increase the speed and whip until you have stiff peaks.  Careful not to over whip!  Put in a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to assemble shortcakes.
  8. To assemble shortcakes:  Take cooled shortcake and slice in half with serrated knife.  Spoon roasted strawberries with juices on the bottom half of the shortcake.  Place the top half on top of strawberries and pipe or spoon a generous amount of whipped cream on top.  You can spoon another generous amount of strawberries on top of the whipped cream, if you’d like.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Mother’s Day Weekend

Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing ladies!

This past weekend was so great! It started out with an amazing event that I catered on Saturday. It was for this sweet little girl who just had her First Communion. I met this very sweet family a few weeks ago and it was such an honor that I got to be a part of their event. When the mother reached out to me to cater her event, she thought it would be a fun idea to do a brunch board with all sorts of goodies. I thought, “how fun!” and I was all in! Their menu consisted of :

  • Lemon poppyseed muffins
  • Double chocolate chip muffins
  • Goat cheese, spinach, and ham quiche
  • Bacon, broccoli, and cheddar quiche
  • Buttermilk pancakes
  • Chocolate chip pancakes
  • Nutella French toast (I mean anything with Nutella is heavenly, am I right?)
  • Raspberry and cream cheese stuffed French toast
  • Assorted bagels (complete with 3 cream cheese smears, arugula, capers, and tomatoes)
  • Cheese board (complete with 6 different hard and soft cheese, crackers, honeys, and nuts)
  • Fresh fruit (with extra strawberries and blueberries)
  • Crispy bacon and smoked sausage
  • Orange juice and raspberry lemonade

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What an AMAZING way to celebrate with your friends and family!! It’s such a great feeling to see the smiles and to hear how everything exceeded expectations!! And as I was leaving, the happy parents both told me that this was the best way to celebrate-at their home and not having to wait at a restaurant for all the food for their large group! I’m looking forward to catering another event with them in the future!

On Sunday, I spent the day with my family. It started with me, my mom, and my cousin, Trish. I bought us a couple bottles of champagne, we had chicken and waffles for brunch, and we spent some time in the pool. It was a perfect laid back day- we talked Game of Thrones and listened to good music all day. And speaking of Game of Thrones!! What an episode! No spoilers here, but OMG! I cannot believe that next week is the last episode! How did this time go by so quickly?… What are your predictions for the finale?