Recipe and photo courtesy Rhoda Peacher
Tip: Some recipes for strawberry shortcake call for using chopped berries sprinkled with sugar, but chopping the berries doesn’t create that biscuit-soaking juice. I’ve found that the best way to prepare berries for shortcake is to bruise them well with a potato masher.You don’t want all the berries mashed, but you want most of them bruised sufficiently to yield their sweet juice into the mixture. If needed, add sugar or honey to taste, depending on your preference, and chill for a few hours before serving.
A great twist on strawberry shortcake: A light, baking powder biscuit covered with berries and soaked in juice, and slathered with whipped cream—with a happy helping of a lovely strawberry companion—chocolate!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup + up to 2 T. milk
- 4 to 5 cups fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
- chocolate sauce, as desired
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/8 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease two, 8-inch round cake pans.
In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
Using a pastry blender, cut butter into the mixture until the consistency resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in 1 cup milk with fork until mixture is just moistened (you may need to add extra milk for the mixture to blend evenly).
Using your fingers, spread into prepared pans.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pans.
Cool 15 minutes; remove cakes from pans. Cool completely.
Reserve five whole strawberries for garnish.
Wash, hull and halve remaining strawberries.
In large bowl, combine halved strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar.
To make the chocolate sauce, place chocolate chips, butter, vanilla, and cream in a glass bowl.
Melt for 10 seconds on full power in the microwave.
Remove and stir. Repeat for 10 more seconds, remove and stir. If the mixture is not completely melted, continue in 10 second increments. Be sure to stir thoroughly each time so the chocolate doesn’t get too hot (which will ruin the consistency).
Place 1 shortcake bottom-side up on serving plate.
Top with half of strawberries and half of whipped cream.
Drizzle with a few tablespoons of chocolate sauce, to taste.
Place the other shortcake on top of this, right-side up.
Top with remaining prepared strawberries and whipped cream.
Garnish with reserved whole strawberries.
Drizzle with more chocolate sauce to taste. You may not need a whole recipe’s worth of chocolate sauce; the remainder is also good over ice cream!
Serves up to 10.