Food Network magazine recently published a recipe for chocolate shortcakes with what looked like a delicious strawberry cream filling, and I was on that like white on rice. My mom wasn't thrilled about the idea of chocolate shortcakes, so instead of scratching the idea completely, I decided to make a batch of basic shortcakes and then the chocolate ones too, with enough of the strawberry cream filling for both types. Holy moly, folks, this stuff is incredible.
For the traditional shortcakes, I followed the Barefoot Contessa recipe (shocker, I know), and much like her scones, these shortcakes were delicious. Just the right amount of sweet, with a flaky inside that melted like butter in your mouth, and a crunchy, sugary outside that rivals your best biscuit recipe. The chocolate shortcakes, though, took a bit more work and it was worth every second. I'll include that recipe at the end of this post and hope for your sake that you try it out. Amazing. I could eat the strawberry cream filling on its own, but add the macerated berries on top of the entire thing and you have nothing less than pure magic.
I'm so happy we kept things low-key this year. A relaxing day with my mom, and the newest mom in our family, my sister Carly. As for me, I had plenty of quality time with my fur baby, and that's always the best treat in the world.
Oh, and hey, sorry about the lack of pictures of the finished shortcake assembly. We ate them all before the camera even made it into my hands.
For the shortcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped
2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon 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
1/4 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.