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.)