So yesterday was M's birthday, and initially I had planned to make Boston Cream Pie/Cake (I recently purchased round cake tins and a cake leveller, and I figured it'd be a good opportunity to give them a try). But since we were going to a friend's for dinner, I thought I'd take suggestions. The final outcome was this strawberry shortcake:
The recipe was surprisingly quick and easy, and the strawberry sauce so simple and divine...just sliced/mashed strawberries with a bit of sugar. However, the scones, while flaky and aromatic with a hint of sweet, failed to rise properly, so I'll need to look into tweaking the recipe or my method to improve the look and texture. We may just need to purchase a new canister of baking powder...
Recipe from: http://www.joyofbaking.com/printpages/StrawberryShortcakeprint.html
[UPDATE: Tried a new scone recipe and found to be much preferred: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/worlds-best-scones-from-scotland-to-the-savoy-to-the-us/detail.aspx]
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (76 grams) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) cream, half and half, or milk
2 pounds (900 grams) fresh strawberries
1/4 cup - 1/3 cup (50 - 65 grams) granulated white sugar (or to taste)
1 cup (240 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)
1 - 2 tablespoons (15-30 grams) granulated white sugar (or to taste)
SCONE METHOD: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla extract and add to the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat or roll the dough into a 7 inch (18 cm) round. With a 3 inch (7 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack.
STRAWBERRY SAUCE: Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries. Place about one third of the strawberries in a large bowl and crush them with a potato masher or fork. Add the remaining sliced strawberries, along with the sugar. (The amount of sugar used will depend on how sweet the berries are.) Set aside to macerate at room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes.
TOPPING: Chill the bowl and whisk in the freezer for about 15 - 30 minutes. Place the cream and sugar in the bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. The whipped cream can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours.
To Serve: Cut the scones in half and place the bottom half of the scone (soft side up) on a dessert plate. Top with some of the strawberries and whipped cream. Place the top half of the scone on the strawberries. Top with whipped cream and a few more strawberries. If there is any juice from the strawberries, drizzle a little over the top of the scone. Serve immediately.
Serves about 6-8 people.