I will preface this post by saying that I am not a baker. And in particular I don’t care for cakes and pastries so making a dessert is really out of my comfort zone. That said the next book line happens to be the only dessert book I own, and I am not really sure why I own it: Baking & Desserts by Home Cooking, published by Parragon Publishing.[hr] [row_fluid][span4]
[/span4][span8] The recipe was for Raspberry Shortcake and since it was the week of my friend Jamie’s birthday I though why not turn it into a birthday raspberry shortcake!
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] Two start off with I put some butter in the freezer, the recipe didn’t tell me to do this but the butter needed to be diced so I figured making it cold would be the best way to dice the butter. Then I mixed the diced butter with self-rising flour with my fingers to form crumbs. I had never used self-rising flour before so I picked that up at the store and I think the packaging is so cool and retro I had to share a pic.
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] To that I added sugar, an egg yoke and vanilla extract. The recipe actually called for rose water but I was unable to track rose water down so I looked online for rose water substitutions and found vanilla extract is a good rose water substitution. The consistency was still pretty crummy but the recipe instructed me to separate the “dough”, which mine clearly wasn’t, in half and roll it out to form an 8 inch circle. On my first attempt I was able to get an 8 inch circle-ish shape but when I went to move to a greased cookie sheet it crumbled apart. So instead I determined the only way to get the “dough” on the cookie sheets was to actually roll it out on the cookie sheet.
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] I baked for 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven until it started to brown and then removed from the oven and placed on wire rack to cool.
By this point I pretty much determined that my shortcake was not going to be the most pretty dessert but hoped it would still be edible. Once cooled I kept the “shortcake” in a airtight container. When I was time to have dessert I removed the “shortcake” from the airtight container and mixed whipped cream with some raspberries. In my search for whipped cream I came across non dairy coconut whipped cream – which means that I, being lactose intolerant was not able to eat the dessert![hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] On a side note if you can see that bottle in the background of the whipped cream picture – that’s a really tasty juice Matt and I tried out a panel discussion for new entrepreneurs in Detroit lead by Sir Richard Branson – who is really cool. The one we tried was watermelon ginger and can’t wait to try some of Drought’s other juices.
Back to the recipe at hand – I then spread the whipped cream/raspberry mixture over one piece of “shortcake” and then covered it with the other piece of “shortcake”. The recipe said you could garnish with raspberries, mint or powdered sugar. Since this was a birthday shortcake for Jamie I decorated it with a whipped cream “J”.
We then sang Happy Birthday to Jamie and I cut it to serve.
The verdict: The taste wasn’t awful, in fact I kind of liked it. Matt said it reminded him of Christmas cookies he use to make as a kid. It was a bit awkward to eat due to the “shortcake” being super hard. And of course it really wasn’t that pretty at all but Jamie did point out that in the cookbook the picture had the shortcake covered in powdered sugar which could have been a disguise for not a so pretty dessert as well. Would I make it again? No, but at least my friend’s and I had a good laugh over the disastrous looking dessert I served them.