Monday, August 11, 2014

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking: Baby Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry Fairy Drawing by Cherie Bender
 Perfect for Valentines Day Good Wishes! These baby strawberry cakes are also deliciously good for you.
Mixing almonds and oats into the biscuit dough gives an extra nutritional boost: almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, great for your heart. Oats lower cholesterol with beneficial phyto chemicals. Strawberries provide a high vitamin c source, and are a natural skin astringent.

As always, please try to use only organic products:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup plus 1 tbl natural turbinado unprocessed sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbl (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cubed into 1/2 inches
1 cup chilled heavy cream, divided, saving some for brushing
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
4 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
1 tbl Grand Marnier orange liqueur

To Prepare:
1 preheat the oven to 375 decrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2 pulse the flour, oats, almonds, 1/3 cup of turbinado sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor until finely ground.
3 add the butter; pulse until only pea-size pieces
add 1/2 cup of cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla; pulse until  large moist clumps form.
4 on a baking board, knead the dough until it combines. Pat into a 4 x 6 inch rectangle shape. Halve lengthwise, then crosswise into thirds. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet and brush with cream. Sprinkle with 1/2 tbl turbinado sugar.
5 bake and rotate the sheet halfway through cooking until golden brown on the edges, for approximately 20 minutes or when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
6 set the biscuits on a wire rack, let cool.
(The biscuits may be made a few hours ahead of time and stored in a tight container at room temp)
7 combine the strawberries and the Grand Marnier, in a large bowl, mixing gently with a wooden spoon, tossing the strawberries often, and letting sit for a good ten minutes.
8 whisk 1/2 cup of cream, 1/2 tbl of turbinado sugar, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla in a small bowl until the cream forms peaks.
9 cut warm biscuits in half, place the bottom halves on plates, spooning the strawberries on top and covering with dollops of whipped cream. Top with the remaining shortcake biscuit halves. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint for decoration.

I love the idea of an indulgent dessert that is also good for you! This is a perfect recipe to celebrate a new baby, a christening, or the addition of a new pet to the family. In fact, I just whipped this dessert up to celebrate, with a few of my closest friends, my adoption of another adorable Japanese Chin named Angel Claire Bodhi Bear. Which makes two; my first Japanese puppy being Dalai Lama Luck Dragon.
I hope you enjoy making this delicious recipe, and indulging in the luscious taste of healthy sweet strawberries!

References: Cooking your way to Gorgeous by Scott Vincent Borba