Nothing Shy About These Shortcakes ~ #Baketogether

Post image for Nothing Shy About These Shortcakes ~ #Baketogether

by Abby Dodge on July 3, 2012

Those of you who know me know that I am not shy – not in life, not with people and certainly not in my desserts. I love desserts with big, bold flavors – vanilla, coffee, chocolate, mint, berry, citrus or what have you – I want that primary flavor to be a stand-out, you know, a really show-stopper that leaves no doubt on the palette.

That said, desserts, like main courses, are best when the flavors are complex. So, while the main flavor is bold, there should be subtleties layered into the dessert to create intrigue and keep the palette guessing. The iconic Mexican  Mole is an excellent example of layering flavors to create a multifaceted, and captivating composition. Think about it..  this sauce is no one-note number instead it is memorable and unique because of the careful balance of spices, chocolate and subtle sweetness with only a few stronger, stand-out flavors.

So, what does Mexican Mole have to do with July’s BakeTogether? Everything. While, no, it’s not a savory (Sorry #TeamSavory), it is a recipe that, at its core, carries a big flavor profile ~chocolate~ but it’s also one that is easily adaptable to different complimentary flavors ~ sea salt, ginger, cayenne, peanut, lime ~ creating complexity, depth and, ultimately, a dessert that will be distinctly your own.

“Nothing-Shy-About-These Double Chocolate Shortcakes” come with an additional bonus for you creative bakers out there. It’s not just ONE recipe for you to tinker with, it’s THREE: shortcakes, whipped cream & macerated strawberries. Here are a few ideas for switching things up but feel free to streeeetch your limits here with one or all three elements. We are, after all, baking together so show us what you’ve got.

Add texture and/or flavor to the shortcakes: We discussed this a bit up top but pretty much any flavor and/or ingredient can add complexity to these shortcakes. I’ve added chopped chocolate to double up on the choco goodness but you can add nuts, nibs, herbs, spices, chili peppers. Bring it.

Change the shape: I bake my shortcakes in squares for several reasons. First off, I find this shape the easiest and fastest to shape and cut. The dough get less wear and tear without the re-rolling and, frankly, I like being a bit contrary. That said, make ‘em any shape you like. Large ones, small ones, star-shaped ones and minis, heck, we like ‘em all.

Change the berries: I used strawberries but any combo of berries will work and you can also easily add a stone fruit (hello cherries!) to the mix, if you wish. And don’t forget the seasonings in the compote. Sure, berries are stand-alone flavorful but sometimes they get lonely and what some company. Along with natural pairings like citrus, ginger and lemongrass, you might consider herbs, hot peppers, spices, or pink peppercorns. One last thought: what about cooking some or all of the compote to concentrate all of those wonderful flavors? Hummm….

Add more or different flavors to the Whipped Cream: Adding booze, citrus zest, lemon grass, ginger or herbs (you know how I love herbs in my sweets) are easy additions. You can also switch in brown sugar or honey or agave for the sweetener as well as just using straight up heavy cream. Or, maybe you are in the mood to whip up a quart or two of ice cream. To this, I’ll simply say “yes, please”!

Add a drizzle or a glaze: Caramel? Chocolate? Vanilla bean? Yes. Yes you can.

If you are new to #baketogether – Welcome! Read this short bit about how we roll:  “rules”. And please upload the BakeTogether badge to your site – it’s up there on the right side of the site.

It’s all about balance.. it’s all about flavor and it’s all right here in this month’s #baketogether. So, go ahead and stretch your limits,  find your balance and share your brilliance.

ps. This recipe originally appear on www.chefjamie.com as part of my monthly column and radio appearance “Baking With Abby”. Check out Jamie’s comprehensive site as well her fun, informative radio program “Food & Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen” {I’m on at the beginning of every month} on Sunday Mornings 8 to 10 PT live in your radio and computer!



{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara | Creative Culinary July 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I’m in the mood for some shortcake; this couldn’t have come at a better time. Well, unless I had some sitting here with my coffee right now.

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Abby Dodge July 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Wondering if you’ll be first poster again this month – #inquiringminds

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Abby Dodge July 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Great intentions; uncooperative schedule – you already know the answer to this one!

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JNerissa July 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Chocolate!!!

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Abby Dodge July 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Somehow I knew you’d like this one ;)

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Sue July 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Looking forward to trying this- was just wondering what to play with this long holiday weekend.

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Abby Dodge July 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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JNerissa July 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Am I first? I just couldn’t wait. Perhaps it was the double chocolate.
I can’t find the place to upload my link though, so I’m putting it here.

http://abbymademedoit.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/double-chocolate-mango-raspberry-shortcakes-with-espresso-cream/#

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Abby Dodge July 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

you over-achiever you!! I’ll link your gorg post once the linky thingy is live

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Lisa | Dust with Flour July 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

Shortcakes — fun, fun, fun! Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

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Abby Dodge July 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Hi lisa.. glad this sounds appealing! two fun versions already!

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wendy@chezchloe July 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I can definitely work with this… and for sure before the last day…last hour of the month! So happy to have found you through Lifes A Feast :-)

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Abby Dodge July 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

HI Wendy and Welcome! Don’t you just Love Jamie and her blog? I sure do!

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Susans July 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Just fabulous! The combination of chocolate and strawberries can’t be beat!

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Abby Dodge July 5, 2012 at 11:04 am

Agreed! and.. honestly, I think chocolate and anything is a great combo ;)

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Baker Street July 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

Chocolate shortcakes?! Yes, please! This is such an excellent recipe to try. :)

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Abby Dodge July 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Hoping you like it An!

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Renee - Kudos Kitchen July 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

That is one stunner of a shortcake Abby :) I hope to participate this month. I’m printing the recipe now!

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Abby Dodge July 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Thanks Renee! So many options to switch it up with this recipe.. hoping everyone has a chance to play!

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Jamie July 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

This must be the perfect summer treat and I know what I want to bake. These are also great because everyone can have their favorite fruit!

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Abby Dodge July 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Jamie, I hope you can carve out time to bake with us this month.. what with all the reno stuff going on, you will be one busy busy lady!

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Holly July 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I had fun with this one. My husband was making little nom-nom-nom noises and trying to lick the dish. ;-) Thanks, Abby!

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Abby Dodge July 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

LOVE the tart cherry compote (lucky you!) and your scooping idea is fabulous!! I’ll post link once the linky thingy is live

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Cooks_Books July 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Oh my, you just upped the strawberry shortcake ante for me, with that “double chocolate” part. Now craving…

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Dea July 16, 2012 at 1:18 am

Hi Abby,
This is my first participation in your Baketogether!
I made Chai-spiced Shortcakes with banana and cinnamon yoghurt.

This is the link:
http://grainddiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/baketogether-chai-spiced-shortcakes-with-banana-and-cinnamon-yoghurt-bonus-its-low-fat/

I hope you like it, Abby!

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Abby Dodge July 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

welcome Dea – I’m so excited that you joined in!

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Sunchowder - Wendy Read July 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Oooo Ooooo….I am looking forward to baking with you again! Love Shortcakes…this might mean I need to purchase a special pan :) X

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Abby Dodge July 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

Special Pan??? Do tell!

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Sheri July 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm

It’s July. So I have a two-track mind, cherries and lavender!

http://bit.ly/NMyD4s

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Michelle Jaffee July 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

Strawberry Shortcake is summer in dessert form. Cannot wait to try this. Love!

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