Friday, August 22, 2014

Mad About Minis: Single-serve Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcake


Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcake
I also did not want summer to end without making a strawberry shortcake. Summer brings the bestest berries. Since we went down to Monterey a few years ago and bought super sweet strawberries, these have become one of my summer favorites.

Also while researching a dish that I was working on, I found this on Pizza Antica’s list of Sweet Finishes (a.k.a desserts). Although I did not have the opportunity to enjoy the shortcake at Pizza Antica (yet), I thought that it was a great idea. If you see some of my photos in Instagram, you’d see I have been in a cornmeal phase lately.

Fortunately, I have a single-serve shortcake recipe from iVillage.com, but I did not know how to make cornmeal strawberry shortcake. So I researched and found a Martha Stewart recipe that sounds delicious. Cornmeal, plus a hint of lemon… Ooh, with strawberries, I am in.

My biggest challenge in converting a full-blown version to a mini-version. Believe me, I have had many, um.. fails in this. Thank goodness, I had the iVillage version to use as a base and tweak.

After a couple of attempts, here’s what I came up with. Let me know what you think.


Mad Gourmet’s Single-serve Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients
  • 2.5 T cornmeal (I used course ground)
  • 2.5 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T sugar + 1/2 t sugar (for strawberries)
  • 2 T cold milk
  • 1/4 t lemon extract
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • about 1/2 cup strawberries
  • whipped cream

Directions

Making the shortcake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the butter and work the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. You can use your fingers (my preferred method) or a fork.
  4. Add just enough milk until the mixture comes together to form a stiff dough.
  5. Put it into a circle about 1 inch thick on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and puffed.

Filling:
  1. While the shortcake bakes, slice the strawberries.
  2. Toss the sliced strawberries in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes to let the juices run.

Putting it together:
  1. When the shortcake is baked, allow it to rest briefly until it’s cool enough to handle.
  2. Split it horizontally on a serving plate and spoon most of the strawberries onto the bottom half.
  3. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, then put the top half of the shortcake on top, spoon on the remaining strawberries.


Verdict

I love this shortcake. The cornmeal really gives it a beautiful texture. The lemon also gives an extra hint of summer and an extra layer of flavor. Baking a single-serve version also fills the house with that yummy baking scent without firing up the big oven.

My husband did say that I should have made two. Hmm… am I detecting a trend?

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