Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake (Becky's first post)

Well, here we go! My first ever blog post

My name is Becky.  I'm a redhead, and so is my older sister Tabitha, who is the other half to this blog. She's pretty awesome. :)

I like to feed people, which is easy when I make things like strawberry shortcake, because who doesn't like strawberry shortcake?

Okay, well actually, when I was younger, I wouldn't have.  I didn't like fruit.  I was crazy.  Now I love fruit!

I come from a big family, although since I'm one of the youngest, most of them have moved out, or are about to.  So I don't really have that many people to cook for any more.

I guess cooking for 5-7 people isn't that skimpy, but compared to cooking for 8-10, it feels pretty strange!  Of course, I don't have any concept of cooking for my family the way it was when I was younger, before my brothers moved out- even we girls were pigs!!!

Moving on, here's the delicious strawberry shortcake that I made last week, before I started this blog, before I saw anybody else posting it.

So much for that.  Now strawberry shortcake recipes are all over the place.

But hey, mine has chocolate ganache!

The 'shortbread' is a sweet, somewhat crumbly biscuit.  Topped with juicy strawberries, silky homemade whipped cream, and rich chocolate ganache, this makes a tasty and fun summer dessert.  Mmmm. :)

You know how I said it was easy to feed people strawberry shortcake?  Well, as it turns out, my sisters weren't quite sure if they liked it.  J thought that it was too sweet, but admitted that she'd eaten a bowl of ice-cream before supper, and didn't really want anything sweet at all.

V compared it to what the cafeteria served when she was in high school.  That was like, years and years and years ago, but what they served was white cake topped with strawberry syrup and whipped cream.  "What you made was like, a biscuit. And the strawberries didn't have enough juice."

Yes. They were biscuits.

I'll allow that I could have left the strawberries soaking in sugar for longer, but it was still delicious.

I was in Chicago a few weeks ago visiting some friends, and we had strawberry shortcake.  It was delicious.  Actually, it was the inspiration for my making this.  The biscuits were just a little bit different (my friend made them, and they were a bit more like drop biscuits), but everything else was just like this (I made it).  Mmmm!  And they liked it.  So there! :)

And, of course, I loved it.  Just so you know, I won't post recipes I don't like.  Not even if everyone else likes them.  I like to think that if I like a recipe, the general public will, and that my family is just picky and weird.  Shhh. :)  Okay so they'll probably read that.

Here's the recipe, which I adapted from here and here.  I didn't use a recipe for the ganache, because I know it by heart! :)

Strawberry Shortcake

Shortbread Biscuits
 2 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 T sugar
1 stick butter, chilled
2/3-3/4 c half and half, milk, or cream (I used some skim milk and some cream)

Strawberry Topping
2 cartons strawberries
1/3 c sugar

Whipped Cream
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
some powdered sugar
some vanilla

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Ganache
1 c heavy whipping cream
9 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

1) Rinse, hull, and chop your strawberries.  Sprinkle with sugar and let stand until juicy- about an hour.
2) In a large bowl, whip the whipping cream with an electric mixer preferably using a whisk attachment.  When the cream begins to form soft peaks, add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Whip until soft and creamy. Set aside in the fridge.
3) Preheat oven to 425 with the rack in the center.  Line an 8x8-inch pan or a loaf pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Process the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a food processor or large bowl.  Cut butter into 8 pieces and either process in or cut in with a pastry cutter until all chunks are about pea-sized.  Dump into a large bowl and make a well.  Mix in desired milk product and let stand for a few minutes.  Fold dough over a few times before pressing into prepared pan.  Bake until slightly risen and golden, checking at 10 minutes.  Once cool, cut into 8 pieces.
4) In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips for 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.  Stir in whipping cream until smooth.
5) Assemble strawberry shortcakes and serve!

Yields 8 servings.

I feel kinda nervous writing my first blog post, so I have to keep going back and correcting the places where I sound like I'm writing an essay for English class.  And I'll probably never be satisfied with my first blog post.  I mean there are so many awesome food bloggers, it's scary!  Who am I to compete with them?  I guess it'll get easier, and I'll realize that all the other bloggers I admire are real people, and I'll stop writing as if I'm getting graded on my use of contractions. :)  I took an AP English test today-- the last of my high-school career, so let me tell ya, I know all about the use of contractions, and how they don't belong in a formal essay.  But this isn't a formal essay.  Right.  Whew! :)

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

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