Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wolfgang Puck: Strawberry Shortcake

I think I have discovered the pinnacle of strawberry shortcake recipes.  I know that's quite a statement, but this is quite a shortcake. The cake is buttery and flaky outside, with an incredibly tender middle.  The strawberries are elevated to boozy new heights.  And homemade whipped cream just makes everything better.  I could probably just eat this for the next week and be perfectly happy.  And yes, I know it's December.  Don't judge.

Strawberry Shortcake
From Wolfgang Puck

2¾ cups cake flour
¼ cup granulated sugar, plus additional to sprinkle on top
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 2 tablespoon pieces
1 cup heavy cream, plus additional to brush on top
2 pints fresh strawberries, stemmed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons kirsch
½ teaspoon orange zest
½ cup sweetened whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, and salt and pulse 2 or 3 times. Add the chilled butter and process just until combined. With the motor running, pour the cream through the feed tube, stopping just before the dough forms a ball.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead, forming a smooth ball. Do not overwork. Roll out the dough into a round, ¾-inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out 8 circles. (Knead the scraps together and reroll as required.)

Arrange the 8 circles on the prepared baking tray, brush the tops with cream and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are golden and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain the strawberries. Cut each berry into thick slices and toss with the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, kirsch, and orange zest, and gently mix. Set aside.

When ready to serve, split each shortcake in half and warm slightly. Top the bottom half with strawberries and cream. Then put the rounded top on the cake and top with additional berries and cream.

Makes 8 servings

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