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My take on shortcake

I've decided to make a strawberry shortcake for dessert tonight.

The shortcake (just a huge, sweetened biscuit) has come out of the oven. I want to macerate the berries in sugar and amaretto liqueur (I can never spell that word). How far ahead of time can I/should I do this?

I'm going to flavor my whipped cream with either vanilla or a little more amaretto.

Sound good? Could I do better?

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  1. Too bad no one who knows answered you. I'm planning on making my first shortcake this Sunday for husband's birthday, and I'm wondering how you made the big shortcake: in a cake pan or freeform? I was planning on incorporating amaretto myself.
    The recipes all call for macerating the strawberries for an hour or two?

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      That's ok, it still tasted good.

      I made the shortcake in a 9" cake pan. Then, sliced it in half horizontally.
      Macerated the berries with sugar and amaretto for around an hour. Flavored the whipped cream with vanilla.

      1. re: QueenB

        Then that's how I'm doing it too. Thanks for the advice!

    2. Since you started with a sweet biscuit instead of sponge cake, macerated fresh berries instead of buying a jar of that red goo, and used real whipped cream instead of you-know-what, there really was not any good advice you needed. In fact, you gave US some that coincided with what I heard from Shirley Corriher about biscuits: bake it confined in a pan, and it will rise UP instead of spreading out as biscuits tend to do.

      The downside is now I've got to figure out how to fit strawberry shortcake into my weight-loss program!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        I have a recipe (somewhere) from Cooking Light - I think it uses whole-wheat pastry flour & non-fat buttermilk.

        1. re: laurendlewis

          No. I will not compromise as sacred a dish as strawberry shortcake that way. What I meant was, how much (or little) complex carbs/omega 3/lean protein/high fiber stuff will I have to eat how many days before and after in order to do a proper Shortcake Feast?

          I'll have to work it out, I can tell - about two hours after I posted the above, I went to the weekly South Pasadena Farmer's Market, and the first thing I encountered was a grower handing me a strawberry to taste!

      2. I really like the idea of making the shortcake in one pan and then cutting into wedges. Did that work well for you? What recipe did you use for the shortcake? I'm thinking about making rhubarb shortcake for dessert Friday, but was kind of hoping to make it ahead to bring to the dinner. I'm worried the shortcake might dry out, though. Any thoughts?

        3 Replies
        1. re: ScarletB

          It did work very well. Can't say I used the best recipe (the one on the back of the bisquick box for shortcake), but I'm sure there are some great recipes out there that you can just plop into a 9" cake pan.
          Personally, I wouldn't make it ahead of time too far. If you make it Friday afternoon for Friday dinner it should be fine. I had mine again the day after I made it, and while it was still good, the shortcake did dry out some.

          1. re: QueenB

            Hey, that's the recipe I grew up on, and the recipe I made while visiting my mother this weekend. I don't typically keep bisquick on hand, but I do love that shortcake. We freeze leftover wedges individually; they hold up pretty well that way.

            Oh, and this weekend I somehow melted the butter called for in the recipe but still forgot to add it. Still tasty, but of course not as good as the butter version.

          2. re: ScarletB

            Hey ScarletB, here's a biscuit recipe that I've used for shortcake. It is pretty simple but the results are just great.

            Angel Biscuits (buttermilk biscuits)
            Ingredients:
            1 pkg dry yeast
            2 tbp lukewarm water
            5 cups sifted flour
            1 tsp baking soda
            3 tsp baking powder
            4 tbp sugar
            1 tsp salt
            1 cup Shortening(can use ½ shortening ½ butter or all butter - I always use all butter)
            2 cups of Buttermilk

            Heat oven to 400°. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Cut in shortening (or butter), to dry ingredients, meaning cut it up till it resembles small crumbs. Add yeast mixture and buttermilk. Knead together for soft dough.

            Either refrigerate dough in plastic bag or plastic wrap over night, or cut into rolls/biscuits. Yields around 3 dozen, depending on size. (I think both times I made these, I did not refrigerate dough overnight. But the person who gave me this recipe said that the biscuits are much lighter if you do.)

            Bake on greased cookie sheet for 15- 20 minutes.

            I did sprinkle some sugar on the tops before popping them in the oven.

          3. The way I learned to make strawberry shortcake from my mom: macerate about 2/3 of your strawberries with sugar an hour or two ahead of time; reserve the other third and then slice them and add them to the macerated ones at the last minute. that way you get some fresh strawberry taste and texture as well.

            6 Replies
            1. re: cookie monster

              That's exactly how my mom makes it--some of the berries macerated and juicy and some fresh sliced. Also, don't know where this came from, but my mom always makes a little orange icing to spread on the shortcake before adding the berries. (This could also help with any dryness, Scarlet, though as long as you don't overcook the shortcake, you should be fine. Also, the macerated berries or rhubarb should create lots of juice--sometimes my mom adds a little water to stretch the sauce.) There's not an exact recipe for the orange icing, but it's powdered sugar with a pat of softened butter and enough orange juice to get the consistency you like. I usually make it a little on the thicker side and when I spread it on the warm shortcake, it melts a little and runs into all the crevices. So good!

              1. re: sarahvagaca

                I'm thinking of underbaking the shortcake a little bit and making it tonight, and then popping it back into a lower temperature oven to bake a bit more (like 5-10 minutes); that way they'd be warm for eating, too. I was also going to cook down the rhubarb mixture with sugar and vanilla ahead of time, and then bring to room temp and maybe add a handful of strawberries sliced right before serving.
                What do you all think of that? And, of course, whipped cream.

                I found a recipe on epicurious for strawberry rhubarb shortcakes (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...) that calls for cardamom, which I thought would be a delicious addition.

                1. re: ScarletB

                  Hmmm...I think once you stop the baking process and let the item cool (whether it's cookies, cake or shortcake), you won't really be able to just continue baking it later. It doesn't have quite the same effect. Just make sure the shortcake is done, but not overdone, and then you certainly could return it to the oven before you serve just to warm it up a little.

                  The rhubarb and strawberry mixture sounds delicious!

                  1. re: ScarletB

                    I'd fully cook it and then pop it in the oven at about 400 for 5 minutes or less to reheat. Someone gave me that hint here for rolls and they turned out perfect. As sarahvagaca said, you can't stop baking in the middle and finish it up.

                2. re: cookie monster

                  Now THAT sounds like genius! I have a recipe for blueberry pie that calls for cooking the crust and filling separately, then folding some fresh uncooked blueberries into the filling (I think they specify wild blueberries). I haven't tried it because other recipes from that book are really unreliable, but that aspect always intrigued me.

                3. I make strawberry shortcake with cream scones, barely sweetened whipped cream and strawberries that have been macerated in a little sugar and a little grand marnier. YUM. When berries are in season I frequently make this with a mixture of strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. DOUBLE YUM

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Sure, but it is a long drive for shortcake.