Featured, Kitchen

Flowery, Salty Mango-Strawberry Shortcake

July 4, 2018

A dessert for those who lean to the savory side

I make it known often that I do not have a sweet tooth and people usually assume that means I do not like dessert. That’s absolute crap. I love dessert, I just enjoy it more savory than sweet.

What does that mean?

It means I don’t like  a lot of sugar in it. I like more earthy elements to shine through and prefer naturally sweet items to take center stage. I like a little salty nature to my dessert and a perfumy aspect really gets me excited. Flavorful ingredients like fresh herbs in desserts give dessert more character and depth than sugar does.  I also enjoy a tad of acid, balanced by  some fat; butter, cheese or cream.

This recipe is all of these things and more. Super sweet strawberries, that I grew myself (bet you didn’t know I was a hobby strawberry farmer) take center stage and are further deepened in flavor by being macerated in a tiny bit of sugar,  some white balsamic vinegar and a few  herbaceous lavender petals.

Vanilla infused whipping cream is blanketed over salty, buttery biscuits and some perfumy mangoes and edible herbs and flower petals strewn atop.

Did I mention that its also quick and easy?

You can find flower petals and flowering herbs all over the farmers markets this time of year if you dont have a garden, but if you need to skip it, don’t worry, it will still be amazing.

Flowery, Salty Mango-Strawberry Shortcake
Serves 6

I never buy buttermilk anymore since long ago discovering how easy it is to make by adding a little lemon juice or vinegar to milk and letting it sit for about 5 minutes.

Ingredients

For the biscuits

½ cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons ) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces

For the shortcake filling

2 cups sliced thick, strawberries
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lavender flower petals (optional)
12 -16 ounces heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped small, fresh mango (not super ripe)
Flowering herbs or edible flower petals

 

Directions

For the biscuits

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine the milk and lemon juice in a measuring cup and let stand for 4-5 minutes.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add the small cold butter bits to the dry ingredients and using your finger tips rub it all together until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add the buttermilk and mix until its fully combined.

Drop about 1/4 cup onto a lined baking sheet, making sure there is about 2 inches between each of the 6 biscuits. Bake the biscuits until they are golden brown, around 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the shortcake filling

Gently mix together the strawberries, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and let macerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours at room temperature.

In the mean time using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, remaining ½ tablespoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla, until the cream is whipped and thick.

Assembly

Cut the biscuits in half. Spoon a little strawberry juice from the maceration on to each cut side of the biscuit. Place the bottom biscuit cut side up on a plate and dollop some whipped cream over the top. Place a few spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture on top and then a few more dollops of whipped cream. Cover the top whipped cream layer with the top of the biscuit and drizzle a little more strawberry juice over the top. Garnish with a few flower petals or flowering herbs.

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