Short-Cake

April 11, 2012

I love dessert. I know it is not typically healthy, but I do love a delicious taste of sweetness every now and again.

For the past several weeks, I’ve seen juicy ripe strawberries in all of the groceries stores where I shop – Whole Foods, Jungle Jim’s, Meijer, Kroger, Remke-Biggs… (Okay, I guess it is evident that I am somewhat of a food snob –now that I’ve admitted that I shop at so many places.)

The following is a fairly healthy dessert that features strawberries served over a home-made shortcake that is light and biscuit like rather than spongy like the ones available in the produce aisle.

In addition to the strawberries, I usually offer macerated oranges for an unexpected twist. It is a great dessert for spring and summer dining. I saw the original recipe in Cooking Light Magazine.

Shortcake Ingredients:

1/3 Cup “Softened” Butter (Equals 51/3 Tablespoons/pats)

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Oat Flour or Brown Rice Flour (It you don’t have either, use All Purpose)

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

3/4 Cup Milk

1/4 teaspoon Almond Abstract

2 Egg Whites

1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Turbinado Sugar or Sugar in the Raw

Fruit:

2 Quarts Sliced Fresh Strawberries

2/3 Cup Sugar

4 Large Oranges, Peeled and Sectioned

1/2 Cup Sugar

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

Next wash two quarts of fresh ripe strawberries. Remove the hulls and then slice each strawberry into thin sections. Gently place the thin slices into a non-metal bowl. Pour the 2/3 cup of sugar over the strawberries and gently stir. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for at least 30 minutes. The strawberries and sugar will become a delicious syrupy topping.  (You can add more or less sugar depending on your taste and the sweetness of the berries.)

Start sectioning each unpeeled orange by slicing the top and bottom off. Then following the curve of the fruit, remove the peel with a knife from top to bottom, a couple of inches at a time. Once the peel is off, place the orange on its side and cut between the membranes to get a juicy wedge. Go around the orange doing the same for each section. Whenever I do this, I feel like a real chef, because it really does make the orange wedges easier to eat and they look prettier too. Place the oranges in a non-reactive bowl and stir in the sugar, just like you did for the strawberries. Let them sit for at least a half an hour.

Place the butter that you have allowed to sit until soft into a stand mixer or large bowl. Mix on medium for a few minutes, then add 1/2 cup sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.

Stir the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) together in a medium bowl. To create a smooth cake, alternately add and mix in the dry ingredients and milk. I usually add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Mix for two minutes. Then add and mix in half of the milk. I repeat by add one-third of the flour mixture, then the balance of the milk, followed by the last third of the flour mixture. Stir in the almond extract. The extract really adds a unique flavor that taste like cherries to me.

In a small bowl beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons of sugar until the eggs form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Pour the finished batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the pan with the tablespoon of raw sugar. This will give a sparkle to the short-cake when it is done.

Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

I serve this as a pie wedged slice topped with strawberries or oranges. And of course a dollop of fresh whipped cream makes everything taste better.

Yummeh!

Home-ista Kelly

P.S. I typically add a whole grain flour to my all-purpose flour. I’ve been told this can increase the nutrition and most people think the desserts, cookies, pancakes etc, actually taste better.

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