I have a lot on my plate right now - and I'm not referring to food - so I haven't been in the kitchen much. Besides, I have a newfound love. These days, after I am done attending to my kids, home reno and errands, you'll hardly find me sitting in front of my laptop dutifully blogging (or reading blogs). Heavens, no. Instead, I make myself a nice hot cuppa tea and watch GLEE online. Heh heh. High five to any GLEE fans reading! ;)
Anyway, here's a dessert I made when strawberries were still dominating the supermarket shelves. Since then, blueberries have slowly but surely taken over, and I can't wait to make a nice blueberry cake soon. But for today, let's shine the spotlight on the strawberries.
These beautiful long-stemmed ones were from Cold Storage. I grabbed a box, admiring their fresh, pristine state. They were a far cry from the tired, bruised ones I saw the day before at another supermarket chain (every punnet was bad ... how they had to audacity to put them up for sale is beyond me).
We ate most of these juicy strawberries as is, but I saved some for making Strawberry Shortcake - the American version, that is ... which consists of strawberries and whipped cream sandwiched in a split biscuit (scone). It is a classic dessert that is not to be confused with the Japanese Strawberry Shortcake, which is a frosted sponge cake with layers of strawberries and whipped cream.
I used the recipe from Joe Pastry, who gave a wonderful photo-by-photo tutorial. The one thing that fascinated me was the addition of hardboiled egg yolks to the biscuit dough. As Joe explained, "The biscuits are a variation of my go-to recipe, but sweeter and incorporating Rose Levey Beranbaum's trick of adding hard-cooked egg yolk for extra color, lightness and tenderness ..."
The weather was crazy hot that day, and while it was the perfect time to enjoy this treat, it was a nightmare to take photos. I could not get any good shots when the cream refused to co-operate, and I couldn't care less either. I just wanted to eat! That's all you're getting today, folks. ONE photo of my Strawberry Shortcake, melting cream and all. :)
Was it good? Hell yeah!
(from Joe Pastry)
- 220g plain flour
- 2 hardboiled egg yolks, pressed through a fine mesh strainer
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 30g sugar
- 56g cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 177ml buttermilk
- About 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 recipe Chantilly Cream
1. Preheat oven to 260 degree celsius*, arranging a rack on the top shelf of the oven. Once that's done, combine the fruit and the sugar and allow to sit (macerate).
* I don't know about you, but for my oven, 260 degree celsius would be too hot. I didn't want my biscuit tops to burn, especially when they were sprinkled with sugar. So, I lowered it to 220 and it worked fine for me.
2. Sift the flour and leavening together into a bowl. Add the salt and egg yolk and whisk to combine. Add butter and rub between your fingers until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add cold buttermilk and with a spatula, slowly and gently bring the dough together. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead once or twice to form a smooth dough. Pat into a mass about 3/4-inch thick (about 2cm) and using a biscuit cutter, cut into 2 3/4-inch rounds (about 7cm). You'll have 7-8 portions. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and bake 10-12 minutes until golden.
3. Prepare the Chantilly cream. When the biscuits have cooled, split them and lay them on individual plates. Spoon on some of the Chantilly cream, then a layer of the macerated strawberries, then apply the tops of the biscuits. Add another layer of Chantilly cream and finish with more strawberries. Consume immediately, with gusto.
For step-by-step photos, click here.