Culinary School: Strawberry Shortcake

strawberryshortcake

[infobox bg="bluelight" color="black" opacity="on" subtitle="Strawberry Shortcake"]Adventures in Culinary School[/infobox]

Last week I had some time to kill in the pastry kitchen at The International Culinary Center so I decided to whip up a quick special under the watchful eye of the pastry chef, Chef Mimi.  We decided on a Strawberry Shortcake - easy to pull off in a matter of minutes, perfect for the summery season that's upon us all of a sudden, and truly delicious.

I found a recipe on the internetz for shortcakes that require no butter at all.  Needless to say, Chef Mimi and I were both intrigued by this.  The recipe said that whipped cream folded into the dry ingredients would create fluffy, light biscuits, crumbly biscuits rather than the traditional butter fat.  Being an adventurous individual, I decided to give it a go.

The result?  Absolutely fantastic shortbread biscuits!  I used an adorable cookie cutter to shape them...

biscuits1

...and they turned out a beautiful honey gold color....

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My recipe additions are technique focused: after cutting the biscuits into shape, throw them into the freezer and get them very cold before popping them into the oven.  Chef Mimi taught me that shortbread doesn't hold it's shape very well when baking unless they go from super cold to the oven right away!

Additionally, instead of creating a rhubarb and strawberry compote I went with what we had in the fridge - strawberries and raspberries.  I simply mixed them together, added a handful of sugar, 1/8 cup of orange juice and 1/8 cup of water then let them go in a pan over medium heat until mushy.  I then drained some of the juice off and added some fresh fruit back into the mix.  Served with fresh whipped cream and topped with a mint leaf, my Strawberry Shortcake special as a hit at L'Ecole!