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Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

February 13, 2013

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

As much as I tend to despise winter I do love a good blizzard.  It keeps you home bound, you get to sleep in, it’s practically a guaranteed pajama day, it’s a perfect excuse for decadent hot chocolate, and I’m not the one shoveling us out afterwards.  Well thanks to Nemo I got one of those home bound days 🙂  I slept in to a lazy 7:20 am, I most certainly made hot chocolate and I baked.  I baked so much I ran out of flour-it was wonderful.

hot chocolatechocolate strawberry mini cake

Most of my experiments involved chocolate and strawberries because that’s the first thing I think of around Valentine’s Day 🙂  While some of the ideas still need tweaking this chocolate strawberry shortcake turned out divine!  It’s the perfect blend of an old fashioned shortcake with a chocolate-y twist! With its delightfully crunchy outside and tender, fluffy inside, the traditional buttermilk biscuit is infused with rich dutch cocoa and studded with smooth dark chocolate. Sweet, juicy strawberries and freshly whipped cream make this a unique treat that is light and delectable. For the best results keep all your ingredients cold and be careful not to overmix or over-work the dough.

chocolate strawberry shortcake

One Year Ago: Whipped Nutella in Phyllo Cups
Two Years Ago: Valentine Sugar Cookies 

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake
Yields 6-8 servings

*For for detailed pictures of making biscuits visit my traditional strawberry shortcake post and fluffy biscuit post.

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
balsamic vinegar

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup dutch process cocoa powder*
¼ cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
2 ounces (1/2 cup) dark chocolate, chopped
¾ cup buttermilk, cold
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar

*this is one place you’ll want to use a good quality dutch processed cocoa powder. I use cacao barry extra brute which has a deep reddish brown color and intense chocolate flavor.

Directions:

1. Place the sliced strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of sugar and add a small splash of balsamic vinegar. Stir to completely combine, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk until completely combined.

3. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and cut in with 2 knives, a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles course crumbs and the largest butter pieces are no bigger than the size of small peas. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

4. Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk and add all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork just until the dough comes together in clumps.

5. Knead the dough in the bowl 2 or 3 times, folding the dough over itself, just into a rough ball and then transfer to a lightly floured surface. There will be floured bits still left, just press them into the dough as you go. Cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and roll or pat out to 1 inch thick. Cut into 2 inch rounds with a biscuit or cookie cutter dipped in flour. Make sure to push the cutter straight down and pull back up without twisting so that the biscuits will rise evenly. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet in two rows spaced about 2 inches apart. (You can re-roll the scraps once, any more than that and you risk kneading the dough too much and you’ll end up with tough biscuits) Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, the biscuits will be very fragrant and the tops will look dry. Allow to cool slightly, they can be served warm or at room temperature but I tend to prefer them warm.

6. To serve: Place the whipping cream and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Beat on high until frothy, add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Cut open a biscuit on a plate, spoon some strawberries with juice over one side and dollop with cream. Top with the other half of the biscuit and enjoy!

chocolate strawberry shortcake

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