Le shortcake aux Fraises

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Um. I highly doubt this.

Mostly because that involves some sort of censoring/curtailing of actions and/or mouth that I am just really not that in to. I saw this book today while I was just screwing around like I normally do in the mornings, and it inspired this post. I mean, manners are really not fun, and I this was especially prevalent considering the happenings of last night.

I, Stephanie Stein, do love a dinner party. Or so it has been said.
What I do not love, are guests that are obxnious, too loud for their own good, and/or phony.

I knew I was in trouble last night when this incredibly annoying man that I will call by his actual name, Incredibly Annoying Man, arrived at our doorstep with two bottles of wine and a lecture starting immediately with how gracious he is. To continue, Incredibly Annoying Man talked about how wonderful my mom and I were before we could make it past the door mat. He then continued to make "joke" after "joke" about how my mother looks like my sister... and it just never recovered from there. After we talked about I.A.M and his virtues through the rest of dinner I chimed my glass with my fork and ceremoniously re-dubbed him I.A.S.R.M. or rather, Incredibly Annoying and Self-Righteous Man. If there is anything that makes a dinner party go south real quick its a phony. And babies.... but thats a whole different story. But, I managed... because I got to make dessert. And there wasn't anything fake about it. Introduce le strawberry shortcake. And I wouldn't have minded throwing it in this guy's face. And I don't care what that manner book says...that would have been fun.

Recette: le Shortcake aux Fraises
Adapted from Mlle. Martha Stewart

serves 6

3 pints of strawberries
juice of one lemon, preferably picked off/stolen from your neighbor's tree
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 heaping TB baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 TB cold unsalted butta
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 TB powdered sugar
1 1/4 cup plus 3 TB heavy cream
1/4 cup milk

Ok, so here we go. Wash off your strawberries and cut off the cute tops and slice them in half. Throw or place them in a bowl with the juice of a lemon... minus the seeds please. They no taste so good. (If unable to steal from your neighbor's tree, you may steal one from the supermarket... but please buy it from the farmer's market) Mix together with a 1/4 cup of your very natural sugar on let sit for about an hour. It should be a little saucy.

Now for ze cake. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. And yes you may bake it and eat it too. In fact, since you baked them you may have double. Anywho, whisk together the flour, baking powder, remaining sugar and salt in a medium size bowl. Cut up the chilled(very important!) butter and add it to the mix. Then take a fork or a pastry cutter and work the butter until the mix resembles a course meal. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup plus 2 TB cream. Add the wet to the dry, slowly, and mix gently with a fork until it is just combined. The goal is to handle the dough as little as possible.

Transfer the goodness to a floured, flat surface of choice and roll out the dough until it is about one inch thick. This is so much fun... flour in your hair, the air, everywhere really... Once you have it all nice and rolled then dip your circular cookie cutter (mostly any moderate size will do) in flour and cut up your lil cakes. Make sure when you press out the cakes that you press, then twist the cutter. This will give the cakes little ripples that will help it aerate and rise.

The oven should be ready by now, and if its not, its broken and you should call someone, so line your baking sheets with parchment and plop the cakes on there. Beat egg yolk and TB of cream together and brush on top of the cakes. They should bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden.

Have I ever mentioned how much I adore parchment paper? I don't know what it is... maybe the easy, the old-fashiony look, or the diffused light it encourages.... but simply put, it just rocks. I love it so much I'm thinking about wallpapering my room with it.

Right before serving place the remaining cream in a bowl with vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat on high until cream is whipped and makes soft peaks. Serve with cakes and strawberries.

Et viola... le shortcake aux fraises:

Bon Appetit!

Music Pairing: "I Tought I Saw Your Face Today" by She & Him. Even though I sometimes think I am the only person on the planet that can be slightly irked by Zooey Deschanel, there is no arguing she is the cutest thing dans le monde. And you have to have cute music when eating shortcake and drinking tea. I tink it just goes.

A la prochaine.


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