Strawberry Chocolate Shortcakes
“Strawberries are the angels of earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.” Jasmine Heiler
I had dinner the other night at “Bread and Ocean Bistro” in Manzanita Oregon. That statement in itself is a significant foodie testimonial. Bread and Ocean Bistro, which is the love child of Julie Barker and Bread and Ocean bakery, is the alter of great food. Everything we had was prefect and we patted our stomachs in joyful satisfaction. Then we ordered dessert…….It was more than perfect, it was a proclamation to the entire reason we are born with taste buds. Now, it seems simple enough, just a strawberry shortcake, but leave it up the Julie to create something stellar out it.
The shortcake was a chocolate shortbread, strawberries were organic, and the whip cream had orange zest in it. Oh, and then there was the chocolate shavings sprinkled liberally over all that. It was magnificent. I vowed to come home and create one as close as possible minus as much fat as I could carve off. BUT! One must wait, for the perfect opportunity for making such concoctions, so that you won’t eat them all yourself! Oh, and one needs the proper audience to hummmmm, and yummmm over the creation as well, or all is in vain. Don’t you agree?
A few weeks later, my dear friend was turning 60. Well, it just so happens that she loves loves loves champagne. And it just so happened that I had a bottle of Mumm’s Cramant champagne, my daughter had given me chilling in the fridge since Christmas. (real big drinker, huh?) Champagne and strawberry chocolate shortcake? Yes! The time was ripe to strike!
Rubbing my hands together in anticipation, I eagerly made this shortcake for our women’s circle to celebrate her birthday. It was greeted with the appropriate moans and groans of delight that every cook adores. I was able to trim a considerable amount of fat from the shortcake. IF you use low-fat vanilla yogurt instead of whip cream you will also lower the calories significantly. Make sure and use organic strawberries because conventional ones are simple poisoned. They taste so much better too. Oh, and the champagne was smashing with it!
Strawberry Chocolate Shortcake
Inspired by Julie Barker
1 ½ cups of unbleached flour
Scant ½ cup of sugar
1/3 cup of a good quality cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup of cold butter
½ cup of lowfat buttermilk
Whisk the flour through the salt in a medium bowl of your desire till they know each other real well. . Cut the butter up into little chunks and drop in into the flour mixture. Either use a pastry blender, or your fingers, (my favorite) to squash the butter into tiny pieces so it resembles a coarse meal. Then mix the buttermilk in slowly till all mixed together and looking seductive. Using a big ice cream scoop, scoop out batter and drop onto an oiled cookie sheet. You’ll get about 7 biscuits. Flatten out the biscuits a bit and sprinkle with raw sugar, and bake for 18 – 20 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on rack to await the strawberries.
2 pints of strawberries, sliced
1-2 tablespoons of sugar
Juice of half of orange
Mix the strawberries with sugar and orange juice and let set while the shortcakes cool.
1 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup of fat free sour cream
1-2 tablespoons of sugar
The zest of one orange
Juice of the other half of orange
Mix these together and let set for a few minutes for the flavors to marry.
(You can also use whip cream and add orange zest and a couple tablespoons of sugar, right at the end of whipping it. Naughty, oh so naughty.)
To arrange the masterpiece;
Cut the biscuits in half carefully. Arrange the bottom of the biscuits on a beautiful plate, scoop a bunch of berries on them. Drop a generous amount of La crème on the strawberries then top with the biscuit top. Drop another generous dollop of crème then top with a strawberry. Serve with champagne, (or not!) Celebrate summer with life!