Tuesday, June 14, 2011

National Strawberry Shortcake Day

Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day everybody! Driscoll's is supposed to be announcing the winners to their contests today, and to further commemorate the occasion, they sent out some coupons so I could make the Strawberry Shortcake recipe they emailed me. Except I opted to make a gluten and dairy free version. I adapted this recipe from the one posted on the Without Adornment blog.
I had a slight panic when I initially didn't see any Driscoll's strawberries in the produce department of our local grocery store, until I made my way over to the organic section, and there they were. I was actually pleased that the only Driscoll's strawberries there were organic, because strawberries are on the "dirty dozen" list, so it's a good idea to opt for organic whenever possible. Especially when you have a coupon to get them for free!

For the shortcakes:

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch

1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-5 Tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut milk (cream removed)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (which I THOUGHT I had, but I didn't so I subbed regular vinegar)

Important: Refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight so the cream rises to the top. Scoop off the cream and keep, as it whips up like heavy cream and is a great dairy-free alternative to whipped cream. Also, a few hours before you're ready to whip the coconut cream, chill your mixer bowl and whisk in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk the together the flour, starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Mix in the coconut oil until there aren't any big chunks. 
Add liquid ingredients, and stir with a fork until dough is mixed and starts to come together. It will be like biscuit dough. Pat or roll out dough to around an inch thick on a well floured surface, and cut using a 3-inch round cutter. I actually don't have a round cutter that size, so I used a tumbler, which was a good half an inch larger in diameter. As a result, I didn't get as many shortcakes from the dough, but they were bigger.
Place the shortcakes on a cookie sheet. The recipe didn't say if they should be touching or spread out, but most biscuits bake slightly touching each other, so I tried it both ways. It didn't seem to make any difference whatsoever.
Allow the shortcakes to cool completely. While they're doing that, you can make the filling. Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries and set aside.
Remember the coconut cream reserved from the can of coconut milk? Well, place it into the chilled mixer bowl and beat until it's the consistency of whipped cream. You can gradually add some powdered sugar, or I used a little of my leftover Xylitol. I also put about a small dollop of maple syrup in there, mostly to see how the coconut cream would whip up with maple syrup added, but also to try and give it a deeper flavor.
To assemble the shortcakes, slice them in half horizontally, spread coconut cream on top (I also put some strawberry jam on two of the shortcakes first, just to see how that would taste). Then pile slices strawberries on the top and serve.
Since these were bigger than they were supposed to be, we enjoyed them as open-face strawberry shortcakes. If you use a smaller cutter, then you can make them the more traditional way, with the filling sandwiched in between the two slices of shortcake. You could even put more cream and strawberries on the top and layer it like a trifle.
Overall, I'm very pleased with how these came out. The shortcake is really best eaten the day it's made, though. I kept mine in the refrigerator, and they seem to get denser and heavier (and hard like a hockey puck) the longer they hang around. As far as texture, it comes close. Taste-wise, they're pretty adequate, but I don't think they taste good enough to eat one their own. Some sort of filling or spread really helps them. I personally liked the strawberry shortcakes I made with a thin layer of strawberry jam better than the ones without. But I have a serious sweet tooth, and really both ways these were yummy.

So, who else is celebrating National Strawberry Shortcake Day? If you have a favorite shortcake recipe, gluten-free or otherwise, please feel free to share!


SlashnoTheAwesomeDude said...

These were ok...

SlashnoTheAwesomeDude said...