Strawberry Shortcakes Franco-American Style

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I just love seeing what the next recipes will be for us to bake each month!  This one I knew immediately would be perfect for part 1 of our Father’s Day celebration as my parents are “official tasters” and I know they love strawberry shortcake…so we aren’t going out on a limb or anything. 🙂 The recipe says these are called shortcakes for lack of a truer name.  They are a hybrid of part French, part American…with resulting shortcakes that are biscuit like-ladyfingers.  The word ladyfingers scared me a bit…a little too close to my failed Cardinal Slice that was part ladyfinger…the most delicate of the batters.  I did notice right away the recipe and temperature seemed different so I was hopeful…wary, but hopeful!

I made the ladyfingers the day before I needed them since the recipe says they could be made ahead of time….basically three steps:

  • Draw 12-3 in circles on parchment paper and flip
  • Prepare the ladyfinger batter…the most nerve wracking part of the whole process…and like I have said before, I just don’t like hearing the air escape as you so delicately fold.  I know I was a little less thorough folding because of my previous experience and since the recipe stated it was ok to see some egg white, meringue in the mixture 🙂
  • Then, pipe the discs starting in the center and dust twice with powdered sugar at two intervals while they rest.  Bake until golden…about 8 min.

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IMG_2879I have to say these smelled delicious while they were baking.  I ever so carefully pealed them from the parchment after they cooled and stored them until the next day. Yay, they seemed to be a success!! 🙂

For the filling, we had two options:  use only macerated berries or if you want to elevate your shortcakes to a whole different level, add roasted strawberries as well. So of course, I went the roasted strawberry route since none of us had ever had them.

I went ahead and prepared the two different strawberries just prior to assembling the shortcakes.  I followed Dorie’s suggestion and filled the inside of the first layer with a circle of cream and filled it with the roasted strawberries, put the top layer and covered with macerated strawberries and more cream.  Wow, these are a showy dessert!

To make a long story short…the reviews…there were 8 of us sharing these 6 shortcakes and the overwhelming reaction was they were simply delicious.  People had strong opinions about the roasted strawberries being added in though…a few LOVED them, a few LIKED them, one didn’t much care for them, and one…me, HATED them.   It was kind of funny…the general consensus was…we have SUCH delicious strawberries here in Southern California it is hard to make a plain, or slightly sugared strawberry taste any better than just that.  The roasting was kind of like taking the natural “strawberry” and making it taste more like strawberries in a jam.  All in all, a keeper for sure…just probably plain, sugared strawberries next time haha!

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Chocolate Cranberry Brownies

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Busy times here at our house…we had two kids move back from school for the summer…with much more than what they left with!!… our first college graduation (YAY)…that was a quick four years, graduation party, and left the next day for a family vacation before our college graduate began her full time job…phew!  All fun but what an exhausting two weeks.

Since we were traveling I had to sit out the fruit foccacia but I will have to tell you all, I did make the Nutella Buttons and Limoncello Cupcakes again for the graduation party and they were a huge success!  Those are great recipes!

This week’s recipe was “Chocolate Cherry Brownies” which gave the option for dried cranberries in place of the cherries…I went the cranberry route.  Personally, I was thinking why mess with a good brownie recipe by adding fruit into it but that is just me. 🙂  My fruit dessert loving tasters were all over this one….and they loved it.

This is a simple, straight forward, one bowl type of recipe.  It is worth noting I added an additional 8 min to the cooking time and still wonder if they were slightly undercooked.  They turned out like a brownie but slightly fudge-like.  Like I said earlier, I wasn’t too hip on adding cranberries to the brownie but I have to admit it was way better than I thought it would be.  I actually ate it and thought it was good…would I prefer a plain one, yes but this was good.