Spring is my favorite season, I just love to see whole trees in bloom. And this weekend, we are just starting to see the baby quail following Mama and Daddy around. Another sign of spring are strawberries, and we are starting to get some nice ones from California in the stores.
Somewhere along the way, I put the little sponge-cake things you buy at the store into the “nasty” category (they seem to be in the Twinkie food group), but I still like the concept of something cakey combined with strawberries. But fear not, I have found a replacement... a chocolately replacement. These come together very quick, and are actually quite good to just eat on their own. Technically I think they fall into the category of a biscuit, instead of butter or shortening, whipped cream is the fat of choice (which I guess is just butter in a more airy form).
Serve the shortcake with strawberries that have been rinsed, trimmed and cut in half (or smaller if they are huge). Any of this would be good with ice cream too.
1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup chilled whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Oven: 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat cream and vanilla in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Stir cream into flour mixture until most clumps form. Transfer mixture to lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough forms ball, about 10 turns. Pat dough out to ¾-inch thickness. Using 2 ½ to 3 inch cutter, cut out biscuits. Gather dough, pat out again, and cut a total of 6-8 biscuits. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack. Good served with strawberries (slightly sweetened, with some Grand Marnier added) and crème fresh or plain yogurt with a bit of honey added.
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