April already?! Wow. That went fast. And for being April, the strawberries are looking quite delicious — and surprisingly are so! I guess they’re technically in season somewhere. I do try to eat local, but shortcakes really call for strawberries and these looked especially delicious, so I’m not complaining…
I had a request for chocolate, so of course I was going to work that in — I’ve never made chocolate shortcakes before now but I highly recommend them.
Let’s see, life things lately…
Happy 16th birthday to this little nugget! She just gets more adorable every day.
Further progress on the SF series! This one is located at 2020 California Street.
More flowers! In this case, March showers seem to have brought April flowers…
But back to this hot mess. Dessert! It doesn’t photograph especially well but I promise it’s delicious.
I prefer my shortcakes on the not-so-sweet side, so that a) I can eat them with ice cream and not send myself into a sugar coma (even if it is unrefined sugar!) and b) they really highlight the berries. As such, these shortcakes are really more biscuit-y than cake-y, but that’s only if you eat them plain! Load them up with all of the other goodies and they have a perfect sweet-not too sweet balance. Especially the caramel two ways. Don’t skip that!
Highly recommended for dessert AND for breakfast: whole grains, no refined sugar & healthy fats, what’s not to like? Excellent with eggs & salad, of course I speak from experience. Happy shortcake-ing!
Chocolate Shortcakes with Strawberries, Coconut Cream, Maple Almond Caramel and Chocolate Caramel
Whole wheat, refined sugar free, dairy free/vegan option (replace butter with coconut oil & buttermilk w/ coconut buttermilk – see note). Lightly sweet shortcakes with fresh berries and coconut cream… plus caramel two ways because, why not? Shortcakes adapted from the cakes I made previously with peach filling, here. If you choose to go the coconut cream route, make sure you refrigerate the can overnight. A Wait are those Cookies original! Yield: 6 shortcakes + extra caramel (or maybe not, depending on how liberally it gets poured… no judgement here)
For the shortcakes:
- 1 c + 1 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 4 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into smallish pieces (or coconut oil for dairy free – make sure it’s chilled & solid)*
- 3/4 c buttermilk*
- 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips
*if you’re not concerned about being dairy free/vegan, go ahead and use regular buttermilk & butter. I used 1 c (canned) coconut milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice as I was out of buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 450, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cacao powder, baking powder and soda, salt, and coconut sugar. Cut in the butter using your fingertips (my preferred method) or a pastry cutter, until things start looking like coarse cornmeal and the butter is distributed evenlyish. Make a well in the center (look! You get to play with your food!), pour in the buttermilk, then use a spoon or spatula to stir it all together, until just combined (do try not to over mix). Stir in chocolate chips. Divide the dough into six little balls, flatten slightly and place on the baking sheet. Bake for just about 13-15 minutes, until the tops are firm and lightly browned. Let cool slightly on a rack before serving.
While the cakes are baking, make the caramel sauce:
For the caramel sauce (two ways!)
- 1/3 c coconut oil
- 1/2 c unsalted, creamy almond butter
- 1/3 c pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 runneth-over tsp vanilla extract
- scant 1/4 c dark chocolate chips
In a small saucepan over medium, heat coconut oil, almond butter, maple, and sea salt over medium until all are melted and incorporated. This shouldn’t take more than a minute or two, which is excellent for instant gratification. Turn off the heat and stir in vanilla. Pour half the warm caramel into a heat-safe jar, and stir the chocolate chips into the remaining half still in the saucepan. They should melt as you stir, but you can turn the heat back on if necessary to melt them completely. Store the chocolate caramel in a separate jar. Serve warm or cold.
For assembly! The best part.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 1 tsp vanilla
- copious amounts of strawberries
Open the refrigerated can of coconut milk, and scrape out the solid cream into a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat until smooth, then beat in vanilla.
Serve shortcakes sliced in half (to maximize cake square footage), topped with coconut cream, strawberries, caramel drizzle, and extra ice cream. Because, ice cream! Obviously. Also makes excellent breakfast, sans ice cream (or not, you do you!) Store any leftover shortcakes covered on the counter overnight or in the fridge.