Chocolate shortcake handy through summer

Posted July 03, 2009, at 6:35 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:49 a.m.

Ann Barnnett in Greenbush asked for a chocolate shortcake recipe a couple of weeks ago. She had seen a picture of one and thought it looked good. Thank goodness a handful of you came through with recipes and advice. I heard from Wendy Ross in Fort Fairfield, Mary Alyce Higgins in Dover-Foxcroft, Linda Senter in Clifton and Pat Southard in Howland.

The recipes varied some, as we might expect. It appears to me that unless the shortcakes themselves are pretty rich, accomplished by adding chocolate bits or chips, or by adding egg yolk or cream cheese or the like, then the whipped cream needs chocolate added or you need to drizzle a little chocolate syrup around on it in order for the dessert to pack a chocolaty punch. It is, of course — wouldn’t you know — all about luscious fat.

Some recipes called for two cups of flour, but a couple of them said that to make two servings I could use one cup. Since there are two of us around the house right now, I thought I would use that one. Well, I must say, two servings maybe for lumberjacks or hollow-legged 17 year olds! I ate about one-sixth of it, Jamie had seconds, and we still had nearly half leftover. If you have a crowd or very hungry types around your house, you may want to double the following recipe, just don’t double the cocoa powder. For two cups of flour, use ¤ of a cup of cocoa, not ½ cup.

Offhand I would say that you’d need at least a quart of strawberries for a shortcake this size and a pint of whipping cream. I decided to put chocolate in the whipping cream; I beat one cup of cream until it was frothy. Then I added a bit of sugar and one tablespoon of cocoa powder and continued beating until the mixture was softly spoonable.

This recipe can continue usefully on through the summer with raspberries.

Chocolate Shortcake

1 cup flour

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

¼ cup sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of cinnamon

¼ cup (one half stick) butter

1 egg yolk

½ cup milk (or cream)

¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8-inch cake pan. Sift the dry ingredients together. Cut the butter into dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse corn meal. Turn into a bowl. Beat the egg yolk and stir the milk into it, then add to the dry ingredients. Fold in chips. Put into the greased pan and bake for 20 minutes. Alternatively, pat out the dough as you would for biscuits and cut into 2-inch rounds and bake on sheets.

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