Today’s bake-a-long recipe is Dorie Greenspan’s “Franco-American Strawberry Shortcakes”, from her Baking Chez Moi cookbook. I’m writing this after partaking in the (very tasty) fruits of my labour, so I’m sitting on my sofa, tapping away at my laptop, with a happy tummy and a satisfied smile on my face. If I was a cat, I’d be purring. Tl;dr: Strawberry shortcake = yum.
Strawberry shortcake is a quintessentially American dish, I think, although it seems to have had it’s roots in the England. Dorie takes the standard biscuit-cream-strawberries dish and gives it a bit of French flair by making the biscuits out of ladyfinger batter, and suggesting the addition of a dollop of roasted strawberries with the dish. I, in my infinite wisdom and eagerness to eat shortcake, did not make the roasted strawberries, but they sound delicious and I dare say would pump up the flavour very nicely.
I’d never made ladyfingers before, and I was surprised with how easy they are to make! Beat some egg whites, fold in the egg yolks, add some flour and corn starch, and bam! you’ve got ladyfinger batter. You can mix up the batter in the time it takes to preheat an oven to 400 degrees, and given how quickly that can happen with the latest ovens, that’s saying something.
I piped the circles of batter that Dorie talked about, as well as the traditional ladyfinger shapes, and then dotted the remaining parchment paper space with small dots. The batter baked up very quickly, with a nice light golden colour, although if I had to do it again, I’d probably pipe a second layer of batter on top of the first, as they turned out rather thin.
After cooling them, and removing them from the parchment paper with a flat offset spatula, I promptly ate all the little dots of ladyfingers. Dorie says they’re nice to eat later in the day – ha! I ate them all before I even finished removing my shortcakes from the parchment paper. (I remain unrepentant. Taste testing is important!)
To make the whipped cream, I chilled my mixer bowl and beater in the freezer, which made the cream and icing sugar mixture whip up verrry quickly. Super quickly. Like, turn-my-back-to-put-the-biscuits-on-a-plate-quickly. Which really works for me, because the quicker the recipe, the faster I can eat the results!
To serve, I put two ladyfinger rounds on a plate, piped the whipped cream on top, and spooned macerated strawberries over it all, then topped it off with another ladyfinger round.
The DH and I dug in!
I was going to take a photo after the first bite, but it was just too delicious. So delicious that after five minutes, all that was left was the empty plate. And the garnish. Which I then ate.
I also packed one away for my lunch tomorrow. Salad plus a strawberry shortcake. Now that’s my kind of balanced meal!
So yes, it was a good recipe! Quite easy to make, tasty to eat, and looks good too. I’ll make this one again, and you should too! And then invite me over to eat them with you, yes? Ah, mon ami, you are too kind!
Next Post: Strawberry Pannacotta (Apparently I have strawberries on the brain. And in the fridge.)
They were good, weren’t they. The empty plate says it all!
The empty plate, and the full stomach — you’re absolutely right!
We loved these as well, from gandparents to the kids.
Your plate looked like mine! Practically licked clean! Love the piping job on your shortcakes!
Thanks! I would have licked the plate, but the DH frowns on that. I did lick the beaters, however. Mmm…whipped cream!
Your shortcakes look delicious. I love the trick of freezing your bowl and beater first, I’ll have to try it next time.
These were really good! I made the roasted strawberries…mixed reactions from my tasters. Sometimes just plain strawberries are perfect.
I think the plain strawberries were fantastic, but I do wonder what the roasted strawberries would have tasted like.
I thought these were delicious! I didn’t mind that the cookies were thin … that way I can eat more!
I like the way you think! I shall have to use that rationale some time. 🙂
Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
I like that this look like you have spent way more time in the kitchen than you actually have!
I completely agree! They look so fancy, but they’re actually pretty quick to whip up!
These were a fun twist, weren’t they? I love the idea of baking up some nibbles for the chef 🙂
I know! They were fun! Fun to make, and fun to eat!
We thought these were fabulous! Yours look lovely…glad you enjoyed them! They were a perfect summer dessert!
Thanks! I agree — they’re a perfect dessert to celebrate the start of summer with!
I loved them too and I like your idea of a balanced meal…the shortcakes do cover 3 food groups after all.
EXACTLY! And if you consider that cream even has (some) protein, it’s a totally balanced lunch! And a tasty one, which is very important!
Best thing learned from this one–how easy ladyfingers are to make. I’m not even sure why people buy them. 😉 Love this book and things I’m gaining from it (well, not the weight).
Ha! Exactly! I completely agree that one of the best things I learned was how easy to make ladyfingers! Never buying them again — yay, no preservatives! 🙂 And, yeah, a side effect of this group is weight gain. But all in a good cause! 🙂
Your Shortcakes look scrumptious. And someone wise said “An empty plate is a happy plate”. BTW, great tip on chilling the bowl and beaters, so thanks for that one
“An empty plate is a happy plate” — love it!
So I did pipe out a double layer for my ladyfingers. I failed to read the directions and used all the batter on my disks. Make the roasted strawberries next time, you won’t be disappointed.
Cool! Did the double-piped ladyfingers turn out the way you expected? And yes, I’ll definitely make the roasted strawberries next time!
As always, your pictures are amazing! I applaud you for having the patience to pipe them. 🙂
Yay! I always look forward to your comments!
Salad plus a strawberry shortcake is exactly my kind of meal! Unless it’s breakfast and then I just need the strawberry shortcake 🙂
Exactly! Strawberry shortcake is healthy! It’s basically toast with jam, plus some calcium from the whipped cream, amirite? Definitely healthy. 😉