As summer peaks and the hot days continue, the berries are absolutely gorgeous and incredibly sweet. I couldn’t resist making a new shortcake recipe to share with you. Enjoy these Berries and Chocolate Shortcakes while the weather is still warm and the fruit plentiful!
Do you guys know who Abby Dodge is? One of this country’s finest chefs, her recipes are always a notch above everyone else’s. Plus, she is the nicest person! Check out her website and cookbooks – I know you will love her!
These shortcakes are delightful, not too sweet which allows the berries to shine. I think they are perfectly balanced and the touch of booze in the whipped cream is a nice addition but optional.
You can use any berry you like in this recipe, whatever is in season and available to you. This week the strawberries were gorgeous so I went the traditional route, but blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc. would all be wonderful in this recipe. I had a few blueberries that I scattered around the outside and love the way they look and taste!
While the recipe seems long, each component is easy to make and can be made a bit in advance. You can make the whipped cream and berries before dinner, and mix up the shortcake dough right before baking for the freshest dessert!
These chocolate shortcakes remind me of my brownie strawberry shortcakes – so good! I love the combo of chocolate and fruit, especially fresh berries. Every bite is better than the last!
I hope you enjoy these Berries and Chocolate Shortcakes while the berries are in season. It is the best way I know to showcase their beautiful flavors!
Key Ingredients for Berries and Chocolate Shortcakes:
- Fresh berries
- Heavy cream and vanilla
- Unsalted butter, buttermilk
- Flour or gluten-free flour blend
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking powder, baking soda, salt, and coarse sugar
Can I use other berries in this recipe?
Yes, any fresh berry that you like and that is ripe will work beautifully in this recipe. I like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc. Just rinse and sugar them to draw out some of their juices before assembling the shortcakes.
Whenever you are baking chocolate sweets, always watch carefully because they can be hard to tell when they are done. You don’t want to burn them! Follow your nose – it will usually tell you when baked goods are nearly done and ready to come out of the oven!
Gluten-Free PRO Tip:
Gluten-free dough is much stickier than regular dough made with wheat flour. I floured my hands and divided the dough into equal pieces, then gently patted them into rounds on the prepared baking sheets. Bake as directed.
How to make Berries and Chocolate Shortcakes:
- Chop and sugar the berries, cover and refrigerate
- Whip the cream with bourbon, sugar and vanilla; cover and refrigerate
- Freeze cubed butter; combine the buttermilk and vanilla and refrigerate
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, leaveners, and salt, pulsing until blended; add the butter cubes and pulse until butter is the size of small peas; scrape into a large bowl
- Add the buttermilk/vanilla to the dry ingredients, stirring and folding until a dough forms; knead on floured surface a few times to smooth out the dough
- Pat into a rectangle and cut into squares; bake until puffed and cooked through, about 17 minutes; leave on the baking sheet a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack
- With a serrated knife, cut the tops off the shortcakes; create stacks using the bottom halves, macerated berries, whipped cream, tops, more whipped cream, berry
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe (affiliate links):
- Chef’s knife
- Serrated knife
- Cutting board
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Food processor
- Baking sheet pan
- Parchment sheets or rel=”nofollow”a Silpat
Use an all-purpose or cup-for-cup type of gluten-free flour blend, either homemade or store-bought. Some of my favorite blends are Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 and King Arthur. While distilled liquors are gluten-free, some people may have an aversion to them. Feel free to leave the bourbon out of the whipped cream.
- 1-1/2 quarts fresh berries, rinsed, dried and stems removed if needed
- 1/3 cup (2-3/8 oz) granulated sugar plus more to taste
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp bourbon, optional
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
- 8 tbsp (4 oz) unsalted butter, chilled
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, chilled
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-3/4 cups (210 g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 2/3 cup (4-5/8 oz) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (1 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 2 tbsp coarse sugar (such as Turbinado or raw sugar), optional
- Macerate the Strawberries: Select 4 pretty large berries (cut them in half lengthwise if strawberries), place in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut the remaining large berries into bite-sized pieces if needed. In a medium bowl, combine the berries, sugar, and salt. Toss until blended. Taste one and add more sugar if needed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the berries have released some of their juices about 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Whip the Cream: In a medium bowl, beat the cream until frothy, then add the bourbon (if using), sugar, and vanilla. Beat until medium firm peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or up to 3 hours in advance.
- Make the Shortcakes: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
- Cut the butter into small cubes. Place the butter on a plate and freeze until ready to use. Measure the buttermilk and whisk in the vanilla. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Put the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Add the cold butter pieces and, using short pulses, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal with small pieces of butter (about pea-sized) still visible, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.
- Pour the buttermilk and vanilla over the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir and fold until it forms a shaggy, moist dough with some floury bits remaining. Scrape the dough and any remaining floury bits onto the counter and knead a few times until the dough is evenly moist and holds together well.
- Gently press the dough into a thick 8 x 4-inch rectangle. Using a large sharp knife, trim the edges to make a neat rectangle and cut into 8 equal squares. (See *Note below if working with gluten-free dough.)
- Arrange the biscuits on the prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops with the sanding sugar, if using. Bake until puffed and they spring back when the tops are gently pressed, 16 to 18 minutes. Move the sheet to a cooling rack and let the biscuits sit about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- To Serve: Using a serrated knife, cut the tops off the shortcakes and place the bottom halves on serving plates. Spoon some of the strawberries, including the juices, over the shortcake and top with a big dollop of the whipped cream, cover with the remaining biscuit lids. Top with a dollop of the whipped cream and the reserved pretty strawberry halves. Serve immediately. Rewarm the biscuits in a low oven if made ahead.
- *NOTE: Gluten-free dough is much stickier than regular dough made with wheat flour. I floured my hands (with gluten-free flour) and divided the dough into equal pieces, then gently patted them into rounds on the prepared baking sheets. Bake as directed.
Original recipe from Abby Dodge
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 706Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 650mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 8gSugar: 20gProtein: 12g
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