Foodie Friday: Strawberry Shortcake

Food & Drink >

20130609_204256Satisfying a sweet tooth doesn’t always have to be complicated.  There are fantastic and simple flavors found in all sorts of fruits and berries.  Composing a compote and whipping some cream can suddenly create a masterful dessert that will quiet the toughest of critics.

This week I wanted to visit a childhood favorite and offer my rendition of what has to be one of the most popular desserts of all time.

For my vegans readers you can try substituting coconut milk for the dairy products. The vanilla extract can also be substituted for a fresh vanilla bean if that’s your preference. Just split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a small knife then scrape out the gooey vanilla bean paste from the inside and add it to your cream. When it comes to a vegan alternative to the whip cream there are a bunch of recipes that I was able to find easily online. All of the coconut whipped cream recipes require you to chill the coconut milk over night in the fridge. This will separate the water from the thicker richer cream element that you would then skim from the top of the can, carefully making sure not to include the water at the bottom of the can. It is a good idea to add sugar to taste when using coconut cream since it is naturally sweet already. I have included the measurements for my vegan version along in the recipe. The items that are measured differently are notated with “*V” for vegan. There is also a recipe included for a whipped vegan coconut cream that is a delicious and super easy vegan alternative to whipped cream.

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Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberries

2 pints fresh ripe strawberries washed and stemmed

1/4 cup white sugar

Slice strawberries lengthwise and toss with 1/4 cup white sugar (possibly less depending on the tartness of berrys) in a mixing bowl. Set aside at room temperature to macerate for at least one hour.

Shortcake

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

*V – 3 teaspoons baking powder

4 teaspoons white sugar

*V – 3 teaspoons white sugar

1 pinch of salt

4 tablespoons chilled sweet cream butter cut into pieces

*V – 4 tablespoons room temperature coconut butter

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup milk

*V – 1 cup coconut milk and 2 tablespoons water mixed together

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly butter/grease a cookie sheet  and set aside

Sift flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender cut in the butter/coconut butter until it resemble coarse cornmeal in texture. Mix in cream and milk or coconut milk/water and stir until just combined (be careful not to over mix).

Spoon batter onto cookie sheet with a large wooden spoon about two three inches apart and bake for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees or until golden brown. You can test the cakes by sticking a toothpick into it. If it comes out clean and is golden brown it’s done.

Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes to cool. With a bread knife carefully cut each serving  in half horizontally.

Whipped Cream

1 cups heavy whipping cream chilled

1 tablespoons white sugar

1/2  teaspoon real vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients into a chilled mixing bowl. With either a whisk or hand mixer with whisk attachment, whip the cream mixture until soft peaks form or about 2-3 minutes

Vegan Whipped Coconut Cream

1 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon coconut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons white sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat over low until all ingredients are melted together. Allow to cool and then chill thoroughly. Combine all ingredients into a chilled mixing bowl.

With either a whisk or hand mixer with whisk attachment whip the cream mixture until soft peaks form or about 2-3 minutes

Strawberry Shortcake Assembly:

On each serving plate place the bottom of the shortcake  followed by a generous amount of strawberries and a big dollop of whipped cream.  Don’t forget to get some of the juice from the bottom of the strawberries in there too! Place second layer of cake carefully on top.

Serve immediately.

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Since today’s recipe focuses on a popular dessert, why not feature some upcoming events that cater to your sweet tooth? Here are a few that caught our eye.

Saturday, June 15 I All Dessert Food TourColumbus, Ohio   Join Columbus Food Adventures for this van-based tour featuring some of the best desserts in Columbus. This tour will start at the acclaimed Pistacia Vera in German Village, visit Sugardaddy’s popular downtown location to sample some of their sumptuous brownies and blondies, learn about artisan coffee at Cafe Brioso and then head north to the Pattycake bakery in Clintonville. Of course no dessert tour of Columbus would be complete without Jeni’s splendid ice cream. Guests will visit their new Clintonville location to try some of their newest seasonal flavors. Finally, the tour will finish with a fabulous dessert cocktail created by mixologist extraordinaire Cris Dehlavi at M Restaurant (there will be a non-alcoholic drink option available for those under 21 or who do not wish to consume alcohol).

Sunday, June 16 I World Famous Sweet Tooth TourNew York, New York   Satisfy your sweet tooth each spring and summer like a New Yorker! Experience the great spots where New Yorker’s kids can be kids and adults become kids all over again. And while you walk the neighborhood you can also pick up a bite or two. This tour was rated the #3 Sweetest Attraction in the USA by TripAdvisor in July 2010.

Wednesday, June 26 I Peach Jam 2013Atlanta, Georgia  PEACH JAM 2013 is a four day celebration of Georgia’s favorite fruit, the peach, brought to you by Slow Food Atlanta and Community Farmers Markets. Guest attendance is free at all events. Events include a peach BBQ sauce competition, a cocktail competition, a peach cook-off and a cobbler competition. For more information click on the link above and to register to compete in any of these events head right over here. All recipes should include fresh, Georgia peaches. Prizes vary based on event, but include fame and fortune!