For those of you who aren’t familiar with our monthly Chocolate Party, hosted by my dear friend, Roxana, it’s a blogger event where we all have a month to pair a selected ingredient with chocolate. This month’s Chocolate Party ingredient is buttermilk...which provides tenderness to so many baked goods…like in my favorite biscuits. I decided to make some sweet, flaky, buttermilk shortcakes with Grand Marnier spiked strawberries for our Easter dessert. And instead of spoonfuls of ordinary whipped cream, dollops of white chocolate mousse would contribute a heavenly, indulgent topping. This Strawberry Shortcake with White Chocolate Whipped Cream was exquisite.
Using a technique I picked up via Cook’s Illustrated, I used my fingers to flatten pieces of cold butter in the biscuit dough. Then after rolling out the dough on a flour dusted silpat, I folded it over twice, like a letter, then rolled again. Sort of a modified lamination…as when making puff pastry or croissant dough, which helps build layers in the finished backed goods. The whipped mousse topping is simply made by melting white chocolate with some heavy cream, then allowing this ganache to cool and folding it into stiffly whipped cream. Orange liqueur added to sliced berries gives them a touch of elegance…perfect for a holiday dessert. So as we enter fresh berry season in the northern hemisphere, I hope you will try this out of the ordinary strawberry shortcake for any special occasion.
If you’d like to join the Chocolate Party this month, follow these simple rules:
1.) Blog about your chocolate treat. Your recipe must include the two ingredients we choose. It can be a simple no bake treat or a sophisticated layer cake, the complexity level of the recipe is totally up to you.
2.) Include a link back to this post or the Chocolate party page. Optional, add the Chocolate Party logo in your blog post or on your sidebar.
3.) Your recipe must be published during the current month. Please do not link old recipes, they will be deleted.
- For biscuits/shortcakes:
- 2½ cups flour plus more for rolling dough
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 stick cold butter
- 1¼ cup cold buttermilk
- For mousse:
- 8 ounces good quality chocolate, I used Guittard
- 1⅔ cup heavy cream
- For strawberry topping:
- 3-4 cups of strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, optional
- Make Biscuits. Preheat oven to 450º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening in with pastry blender till resembles corn meal. Cut butter into 8 pieces and, one at a time, rub them into the flour with your fingers till they are flattened into thin sheets.
- Put the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Add all the buttermilk except the last two tablespoons. Carefully toss with a spatula till well moistened. If the dough is too dry, add the remaining buttermilk. Lightly flour a silpat or your countertop and roll the dough out to approximately 11 x 16. Fold the dough into thirds, then roll to about an inch thick.
- Cut into biscuits using round biscuit or cookie cutter. Dip the cutter into flour if it sticks to the dough. Gather scraps to make last couple biscuits. Bake about 15 minutes or till lightly browned.
- Make mousse while biscuits are cooking: Melt white chocolate with ⅔ cup cream in a microwave, stopping and stirring at short intervals till chocolate is melted, and ganache is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Beat remaining 1 cup of cream to stiff peaks. Fold about ⅓ of cream into cooled (should be thickened, but not firm) chocolate. Then fold in the rest of the cream. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
- For berries: slice strawberries and sweeten with sugar. Mix in Grand Marnier. Chill till ready to serve.
- To serve, break shortcakes in half, top bottom with a large dollop of mousse followed by spoonfuls of berries. Top with rest of shortcake.
- Yield: 6-9 depending on size of your cutter.
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total time: 2½ hours
- Biscuit Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated and Mousse Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Don’t forget to enter my 3rd anniversary of blogging giveaway which ends today! Just let me know what Penzey’s prize package you’d prefer to win and what you would make with it via the Rafflecopter to be entered. Visit the blog post here to enter. I also have TWO more giveaways starting today…one delightful baking package from King Arthur Flour and a second $100 giveaway sponsored by Sub-Zero Wolf! Please check them out…and GOOD LUCK!!!