I started writing about strawberry shortcake, but quickly realized that the real star was the the easiest and foolproof small batch biscuits I made. Even if you don’t have strawberries, give the biscuits a try.
Whenever strawberries are in season i always plan on baking with them. Except I always end up eating them straight out of the basket because let’s be honest, it is the best way to eat a nice route strawberry. As a kid i would lightly dip them in sugar before eating them letting the sugar dissolve slightly in my mouth before biting into it.
I’ve been seeing strawberry shortcakes pop up everywhere (June 14 is National Strawberry Shortcake Day) and I got a hankering to make some.
With 2.5 people in the household, I only need a recipe for 2. I found a recipe in my Small-Batch Baking cookbook and made it quickly. The dough was a bit of a disaster and called for too much liquid so I had to add in more flour. The next day when I re-read the recipe, it was me who messed it up. I like to scale all my flour and I ended up only putting half the amount called for. When I re-did the recipe, they turned out, but I liked my accidental ones better! The extra fat made for a delectable buttery biscuit.
With a bit of recipe testing, I’ve adapted the recipe to suit my tastes. The biscuits are foolproof, just pay attention to cues. You’ll want a batter that’s sticky, but not soupy and you’ll want to bake it until it’s a light golden brown. It’s an extremely forgiving recipe and even this “nervous chef” can still turn out a decent one. You can reduce the sugar (omit to make savoury ones) and probably even omit the baking powder and still have them turn out. I halved the flour and so these are a wee bit smaller than the original. If you want a larger biscuit, double the flour and cream, but leave the rest of the ingredients the same. Because it only makes two, you can get creative without worrying too much about ruining a big batch. They’re so fast and easy to make that you can have fresh biscuits everyday like I have for the last 3 days…
Strawberries vary in sweetness so this recipe is very loosely written so you can do everything “to taste”. Super ripe sweet ones won’t need much sugar.
Strawberry Shortcake (adapted from Small-Batch Baking)
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons of heavy cream (whipping cream)
2/3 cup of strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon of sugar
As many strawberries as you feel like eating, sliced
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Mint as garnish (optional)
1. Place sliced strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle some sugar on top. No need to be heavy handed, a small amount is needed. Toss the berries and the sugar together and let it sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest. Macerating the berries will make it extra delicious, but you can always skip this step. I don’t recommend it though.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
3. In a small bowl (I use a Pyrex measuring cup), mix the vanilla and heavy cream together.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together with a fork. Slowly drizzle the liquid in while mixing being careful not to overmix. The dough will be sticky and shaggy. If not too sticky, add a tiny bit more cream. If the dough is really wet, add more flour a little at a time.
5. Divide dough in half and shape into a ball (you may need to flour your hands first if the dough is really sticky). Flatten slightly and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
6. Bake for 20 mins or until light golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle should be clean.
7. Place biscuits on cooling rack until completely cool.
In a small blender (like an immersion blender)/food processor puree the berries and sugar.
Make whipped cream
Whip the cream and sugar using a handmixer until light and fluffy. It’s a small amount so be careful about overwhipping or you’ll end up with butter! I almost turned mine into butter.
Assemble the shortcake
Divide the syrup on two plates. Add a biscuit, scoop up half the strawberries and half of the whipped cream. Garnish with mint. Repeat for the other plate.