Orange Strawberry Shortcakes

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“The All-American Biscuit” according to a primarily Urban classically trained French Pastry Chef.

Lets start off with the difference between Biscuits and Shortcakes. Shortcakes are usually made with vegetable fat (think Shortening), have the addition of sugar in the actual dough, and are topped with sugar before baking. Creating a caramelized sugary crust. I find sometimes they end up dense and can be a bit sweet when you add sweet cream and ripe strawberries.

The use of Biscuit dough rather than a sweeter Shortcake dough is becoming more popular, and quite frankly I’m into it. If you miss the sugary crust you can always top your biscuit with sugar rather than salt in the following recipe.

I typically prefer a folded Biscuit vs. Drop Biscuits, so typically I use the following recipe and method. With that being said, I do love experimented and trying new recipes so watch out for new and improved methods in the future.

Be prepared to use your hands and have a clean work space for your dough. I believe mixing shortcakes by hand is the best way to mix your dough. Whenever I’ve tried to mix biscuit dough with a machine (especially in mass quantities), I’ve ended up with lower quality biscuits.*

Buttermilk Shortcakes (Biscuits)

2 1/4 Cups (290g)  All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons           Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon          Baking Soda

1 Stick (114 g)        Butter (Frozen)

2 1/4 Cup  (290g)   Buttermilk

-Scale dry ingredients.

-Mix the dry ingredients on a sanitized work space.

-Create a “well” and grate the frozen (with a cheese grater) butter into the center of the dry ingredients.

I don’t have a cheese grater at home, but I used a perforated spoon to grate my butter and it worked. 

You want the butter to be as cold as possible especially when mixing and folding the dough by hand. Which is why I make sure to scale the dry first. (You can always grate the butter and refrigerate it while you scale the dry, but that does involve more planning than I desire for home baking.)

-Add the Buttermilk and mix the ingredients together starting at the center and incorporating the dry ingredients from the outer circle.

Be sure to try and use your finger tips rather than the palm of your hand. I have a bad case of hot hands and have made a career of avoiding the use of my entire hand in delicate situations. I know its awkward at first but trust me its worth it.

-Fold the dough as you would fold a book at least 4 times before rolling the dough out to the desired thickness. I like my biscuits thick, so I aim for an inch and a half.

-Cut Biscuits with a 2 inch cutter, if you don’t have cutters. The average circumference of a glass is 2 1/2 inches, or even the lid to pam spray works. Basically any circular hollow household object (once cleaned and sanitized) will do.

-Brush with Cream and top with Salt.

I don’t specify salt in the ingredient list simply because what ever you have lying around at home should work. Running out and buying a specific type of salt and having it lie around the house seems so unnecessary. I used a thicker variety of sea salt, Maldon Salt is ideal because it is definitely more attractive. Just keep in mind the finer the grain of salt the more pronounced saltiness, so sprinkle according to your taste.

-Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, or grease your go-to cast iron pan.

-Bake at 425F for 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven.

*English (UK) Biscuits or Scones do work well with the help of various appliances.

Assembly:

When I am making my shortcakes, you best believe theres a biscuit in my mouth already. Fresh out of the oven EVERYTHING is always better.

You are not ready for the glutton that is my Short cakes.

-Cut the biscuits intended for Strawberry Shortcakes in half.

-Butter each side.

-Add whipped Cream. I usually do a Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar per cup of Heavy Whipping Cream, but trust your tastes and judgement.

-I also added Lavender Orange Marmalade, your favorite jam or  whatever you have lying around the house works.

-Quartered Fresh Strawberries.

I do not like macerated strawberries with my Shortcakes. If you are using perfectly ripe Strawberries there is no need. There’s a time and a place for macerated strawberries, just not in my biscuits!

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Pictured above are Harrys Berries Strawberries. My all-time favorite strawberries grown in California, which is a special treat in New York.

July 4th, 2018

I figure I’ll kick my blog off with how I spent my Fourth of July.  This was my first fourth of July were I actually saw Fireworks. The past few years I’ve worked through the Holiday, which isn’t really the worst Holiday to work through. (New Years Eve is my least favorite holiday to work.)

I met up with my friend Morgan, who I met a few years ago now, in Los Angeles. Back then we both worked at the same restaurant, and we have been friends ever since. We both have similar tastes and interests (which is simply a love for food and wine.)

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Fun Fact: Brooklyn is so huge, that in order to get to some parts of the borough I have to take a train into the city and back to Brooklyn.

The night kicked off with a killer sandwich from Campbell Cheese and Grocery.  Specifically their Albacore Tuna Sandwich with White Beans, Capers, Kalamata Olives, Radish, Parsley, Lemon, and the best Ciabatta that I’ve had in New York thus far. Toasted to perfection. I’d make a pit stop even if I weren’t hungry for a bit of shopping and a sandwich for the road.

LOCATION
502 LORIMER ST
BROOKLYN, NY 11211

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Honestly couldn’t name each variety of cheese, but Morgan simply keeps her house stocked with cheeses at all time. Which is greatly appreciated.

TaiheikaiSake

Taiheikai Tokubetsu Junmai

The World Of Sake: Before that evening on Morgan’s gorgeous Brooklyn balcony, the only Sake I have had either was warmed, or in the form of a Sake Bomb. I have made Sake Ice Cream before but thats a story for a different day.

Taiheikai being the specific brand of the producer Watari Bune. Tokubetsu Junmai “special pure” designating that it is a high quality sake and a pure rice wine without the addition of alcohol.

Not my usual beverage of choice for such a humid day but I loved it. Perfect for a hot summer day,lightly floral and with some weight to it. Served chilled.

This bottle inspired me not only to try and understand sake, but also to watch an amazing documentary on Netflix called Birth Of Sake. Definitely recommend watching, so good I watched it twice!

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Eminence Road Farm Winery

 

Considering it was an All American Holiday, Morgan thought we should drink domestically. Eminence Road Farm Winery out in the Catskills is as domestic as it gets! She found this beauty at a natural wine store, I’m unsure if the winery or the wine store wrote on the bottle itself but it reads Still Funky Riesling.

It delivered just the right kind of funk for us. Nothing like your typical German or Alsatian Riesling, as it sees a bit of skin contact and is unfiltered and unfined.

Lightly sparkling, and chock full o’ texture. My love for skin contact whites, stems from my love of tannins (pun fully intended.) Orange peel and peaches really shinned through for me. It was a beautiful pick me up after such a smooth sake.