Discover morsels of delight in Bite-Size Desserts: Creating Mini Sweet Treats, From Cupcakes and Cobblers to Custards and Cookies by Carole Bloom, including recipes for Raspberry, Ginger and Honey Shortcakes; Pavlovas with Passion Fruit Sauce; and Mascarpone Raspberry Parfaits.
Makes fourteen 1-1/2-inch round shortcakes
Flaky shortcakes accented with ginger are filled with a delectable combination of fresh raspberries and honey whipped cream. I like to use clover honey when I make these, but try using different types of honey to create distinctive flavors.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner.
Pulse together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, chopped crystallized ginger, nutmeg, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Pulse until the butter is cut into pea-size pieces, about 30 seconds. The mixture should be crumbly. Don't cut the butter too small or the shortcakes will lose their flaky quality.
Use a fork to lightly beat 2 tablespoons of cream with the egg yolk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. With the food processor running, pour this mixture through the feed tube and process until all the ingredients are combined and the dough is moist, about 30 seconds.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured flat surface. Dust your hands with flour and shape the dough into a disk or rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Dip a 1-1/2-inch round plain edge biscuit cutter in flour and use it to cut out the shortcakes. Cut straight down through the dough without twisting the cutter, which seals the edges of the dough and keeps the shortcakes from rising well in the oven. Place them on the lined baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of space between them so they have room to expand as they bake. Gather the scraps together and knead slightly. Pat them into a 3/4-inch thick disk or rectangle and proceed as above to get 14 shortcakes. Brush any excess flour off of the shortcakes.
Brush the tops of the shortcakes with 1 tablespoon of cream, being careful that it doesn't run down the sides and under the shortcakes. If it does, wipe it up because it can cause the bottoms of the shortcakes to burn. Lightly sprinkle the tops of the shortcakes with the Demerara or crystal sugar. Using these types of sugar on top adds extra texture to the shortcakes.
Bake the shortcakes for 10 to 11 minutes, until light golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool the shortcakes completely on the baking sheet on a rack.
Place the raspberries in a medium-size bowl. Add the superfine sugar and Grand Marnier, if using. Toss lightly to coat the berries completely. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the raspberries marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
Whip the remaining 1/2 cup of cream in a chilled bowl of an electric stand mixer with the wire whip attachment or in a medium-size bowl using a hand-held mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add the honey and continue to whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.
Using a serrated knife, slice each shortcake in half horizontally. Place the bottom of a shortcake on a serving plate and cover with a small scoop of whipped cream. Place 1 tablespoon of raspberries on top of the cream and cover the raspberries with another small scoop of whipped cream. Lightly place the top of the shortcake on top of the raspberries or arrange it at an angle to the bottom of the shortcake. Top with a sliver of crystallized ginger at an angle in the cream. Scatter a few raspberries around the plate. Repeat with the remaining shortcakes, whipped cream, raspberries, and slivers of crystallized ginger.
Serve immediately or cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate up to 3 hours before serving.
The shortcakes can be baked up to 4 days in advance of assembly. Store them in an airtight plastic container between layers of waxed paper at room temperature. To freeze for up to 4 months, wrap the container tightly in several layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Use a large piece of masking tape and an indelible marker to label and date the contents. If frozen, defrost the shortcakes overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Making a Change
Replace the raspberries with blackberries, blueberries, or thinly sliced strawberries, or use a combination of berries.
This page created June 2009
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