Valentine’s Day Desserts Part 1 – Chocolate Shortcakes with Strawberries

chocolate shortcake“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”                               –Charles M. Schulz

We love holidays here at Entertaining Family because they are the perfect excuse to bake something special. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we are treating you (and ourselves!) to some decadently delicious desserts.

Chocolate always prevails on Valentine’s Day so we will begin with a chocolatey twist on traditional strawberry shortcake. This recipe diverts slightly from standard shortcake as we add an egg to give the cakes a slightly richer and chewier texture.

Chocolate Shortcakes with Strawberries and Cream

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling

4 tbl cold butter, cubed

1/4 cup plus 1 tbl half & half cream

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar

1 tbl Grand Marnier (optional)

1 pint whipping cream

2 tbl powdered sugar

Chocolate shavings (optional)

Supplies

Pastry cutter, or two knives

Baking sheet

Parchment paper

Mixer with whisk attachment – or a strong arm and a wire whisk!

Before you begin making the dough, prepare the strawberries

For the Strawberries

Hull, slice, and place in a bowl. Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar (depending on desired sweetness) and 1 Tbl Grand Marnier (optional). Mix well. Allow to macerate in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or more) to draw the juices and saturate the berries.

When you are ready to bake heat the oven to 400°

Prepare the Shortcake

Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar into a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture has a sandy texture.

Make a well in the center and add half & half and the beaten egg. Mix all ingredients until combined. Make four patties, about an inch thick and 3 inches across. Flour your hands or dust them in cocoa powder if the dough is sticky.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle a little sugar on the tops.

Bake 12-14 minutes. A toothpick in the center should come out clean with just a few crumbs. Watch them carefully so they don’t overbake and dry out.

Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Split carefully with a serrated knife.

Whip the cream

In a mixer fitted with a whisk, whip 1 pint of cream to desired creaminess. Add 2 tbl powdered sugar just before desired consistency is reached. If you like a sweeter cream, add more powdered sugar and mix in at the end with a spatula or spoon.

Assemble!

On the bottom piece of shortcake drizzle some of the juice from the strawberries, then top with cream and berries. Place the top of the shortcake and add more berries and cream as desired. If you want to add even more chocolately goodness, grate a chocolate bar and sprinkle the shavings on top.

Enjoy!!

 

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