Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Strawberry Shortcake and Belgian Waffles

Start off with your adaptable sliced strawberries. You will need:
Strawberries (go figure)
Small, sharp knife
Lemon juice or orange juice
Granulated sugar
Plastic lidded container

Wash your strawberries and hull them (remove the stem area.) Very fresh strawberries will, of course, need little removed.

Add your juice.

Sprinkle sugar on top; this not only draws the juice to make the strawberries syrupy but enables the mix to last a few days longer in the fridge.

Put the lid on your container and shake and then pop in the fridge.

So first, you've got your strawberry shortcake to make. Sure, you can use premade angel food cake or pound cake (I prefer the latter), but where's the fun in that? For a biscuity shortcake, try the following recipe.

You will need:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tblsp sugar
1 tblsp baking powder
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
3 tblsp unsalted butter cut into pieces
3/4 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 450ยบ and grease a baking sheet. Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl, then mix in the orange peel. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Stir in the milk until a soft dough forms. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out biscuits with a cutter or the rim of a glass. Re-roll the trimmings to cut out more biscuits. Bake on the prepared sheet for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool slightly, then split horizontally and fill with strawberry mix and whipped cream.

One note about that whipped cream:
Do not use Cool Whip.
Do not use Cool Whip.
Do not use Cool Whip.
Okay, I used pound cake. But it's still good.

There is no earthly reason why a person who owns a hand mixer or a blender or even a food processor should be buying Cool Whip. Freshly whipped cream is so far superior and not even really expensive when you realize that 1/3 cup of whipping cream gives a generous amount of whipped cream for two people. Besides, then you not only leave out the preservatives, but there's other benefits, as I will point out in a moment when we do the Belgian Waffles with Strawberries.

You will need:
Belgian Waffle Mix (because, honestly, do you really need to make that from scratch?)
Whatever the mix requires
A waffle iron
Whipping cream

Prep your waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions and make up some waffle mix. If you have a toaster or toaster oven, I'd suggest making extras to stick in the fridge. They're better (and cheaper) than Eggos but they won't reheat well in a microwave. Start making them up.

Now, for the whipping cream. If you're using a hand mixer or hand blender, make sure you have a bowl with tall sides. Whip the cream until it is well and truly whipped, then keep going. You'll start getting some yellow undertones. The idea here is to whip this cream halfway to butter or maybe a little further. Every so often, clean your beaters with a spoon and stir the cream, since there will be less whipped areas around the rim.

Yes, you too can make butter. Isn't that cool?

Anyway, serve your fresh hot waffles with a generous serving of strawberry mix and very whipped cream on top. I would suggest a tall glass of juice on the side and maybe some bacon as well.

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