Strawberry Shortcake

Do you belong to a CSA? Some of my family members and I get food boxes from Growing Washington, and it's so exciting to open the box every week and come up with a plan for all the fruits and veggies. Recently we got a couple of cartons of strawberries and decided to make Strawberry Shortcake. We usually make whipped cream with heavy cream, a sprinkle of sugar, and a dash of Disaronno. I wanted to make homemade biscuits too, so I searched a few recipes, and decided on this one from Joy the Baker.

Strawberry Shortcake

About 1 carton strawberries
Some sugar
Some heavy cream

2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 C cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C heavy cream

Cut the strawberries into small slices and toss in a few sprinkles of sugar. Refrigerate until needed. Whip together the cream, some sugar, and a glug of Disaronno. Refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the oven to 400, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, vanilla, and heavy cream. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and mix in with your hands until the mixture resembles little crumbs. 

Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients. Knead until the mixture comes together. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and knead for a few minutes. Form the dough into a rectangle and cut into 6 pieces. Brush the biscuits with some extra heavy cream, sprinkle with sugar, transfer to the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

To build the shortcakes, cut a biscuit in half, pile the bottom half with strawberries, top with cream, and then top with the top half of the biscuit.

Where has Jamie Been?

So I've been a little MIA recently, but it's been for good cause! I've been doing this:

and this:

and this! (sorry, didn't take any of my own photos!)

The strawberries are just strawberries dipped in tempered chocolate. The cake is the same recipe as this. But the brownies! I will give you the brownie recipe. I've been making an effort to buy more cook books recently. I obviously love cooking, and I love books, but I get most of my recipes and inspiration from the web. So, I picked up Baked NYC's cookbook, Baked. I was drawn to their rustic styling and use of ingredients like malt powder. 

These brownies are very delicious - on the fudgey side. Brownies are one thing I often don't make from scratch (egad!), I just don't find homemade brownies THAT much better than boxed. But these - these brownies are worth it. Make them from scratch.

1 1/4 C flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 oz dark chocolate
1 C unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan. Whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Place the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder in a large heat proof bowl (glass). Place this bowl over a double boiler (an inch or two of water simmering in a sauce pan) and gently stir until melted and smooth. Turn off the heat but leave the bowl over the water, whisk in the sugars until combined. Once the mixture is room temperature, add the eggs one at a time and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir - don't over beat at this point or the brownies will be cakey. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and fold in gently with a spatula. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.

 ~ By the way! All of these treats were made for Mr. Olivier Wever's 40th birthday party - the talented and innovative artistic director of Whim W'him, a contemporary ballet company in Seattle. Find out about the company here. And more pictures of the party are here! ~