Thursday, June 30, 2011

Small-Batch Shortcake with Strawberries and Devonshire Cream

Have you ever had one of those moments where you couldn't decide whether you wanted to make strawberry shortcake or strawberries with Devonshire cream? Yeah, that happened to me. So I made them both!

This wasn't the usual shortcake recipe we use in my family (rather, it was one for cream biscuits), and it wasn't as buttery, but it was definitely good. Also, the cream is technically mock Devonshire cream. But really, who cares? It's yummy! I made the shortcake recipe smaller so that it yields four cakes. If you want the full recipe, e-mail me or something.


1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup 10% cream

you'll also need:
mixing bowl
greased cookie sheet
wire rack
metal spatula
floured surface and extra flour
rolling pin (optional)
biscuit cutter (or just divide with a knife into 4 square pieces, if you don't have one)

1. preheat your oven to 425 F. Mix together your dry ingredients. Add the cream and stir in quickly. If the dough is too sticky you can add a bit more. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but manageable.
2. turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and work the dough into a smooth round.
3. gently roll or pat the dough into a rectangle. Fold the dough over twice. Flatten into a rectangle again. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick. Folding it helps it separate into layers after baking.
4. cut out four biscuits. Don't be afraid to make a rustic-looking one so you don't waste any dough. Place them, well space and away from the edge, on a cookie sheet. Don't be afraid to line the sheet with aluminum foil before greasing: eliminates cleanup.
5. bake the biscuits in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly brown. Immediately take them off the cookie sheet with your metal spatula and put them on the rack to cool.

Mock Devonshire Cream

4 oz. package of cream cheese, or half a brick, at room temperature
3 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch salt (I forgot to add this)
1 cup 35% whipping cream, plus 3 tablespoons 35% whipping cream, divided

you'll also need:
2 mixing bowls
a hand mixer or stand mixer
a rubber spatula
saran wrap
aluminum foil

1. put the cream cheese, brown sugar, salt (if you're not too stupid to forget it) and 3 tablespoons of cream into a mixing bowl. Beat them together with the mixer, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until they're fluffy and well-blended. Set aside.
2. pour 1 cup of the cream into another bowl. Starting on the lowest setting and working your way to the highest, beat the cream with the mixer until soft peaks form.
3. put the whipped cream into the first bowl and gently fold the two together.
leaving the spatula in the bowl (you can use it to serve), tightly cover the bowl with saran wrap, then cover that with aluminum foil (I did this because I used a metal mixing bowl, and you should never put aluminum foil directly on a metal bowl or container. Put the bowl in the fridge and chill until ready to serve.
4. lick all the remaining whipped cream off the mixer's beaters, and also anything left in the second mixing bowl. Industriously clean everything up and wait for dinner to be over so you can move on to dessert.

To Serve

Gently slice each cream biscuit in half. Voila: you have shortcake! Wash, hull and slice some fresh strawberries. Layer Devonshire cream on each half biscuit and top with strawberry slices. You could also layer them in the reverse order. Eat your dessert. Revel in the fact that you could have your strawberry shortcake and your Devonshire cream, too!

 I got the recipe for the shortcakes (cream biscuits) from The Great Canadian Cookbook. The Mock Devonshire Cream recipe is from my mother.

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