The minute that I learned that this week's recipe assignment for the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group was Tender Shortcakes, I was transported back to my childhood and the countless hours I spent with my friends skipping rope. Here is one of the jump rope songs we sang:
To match the jump rope rhyme - and because I had fabulous berries in my farm box - I knew I had to make classic strawberry, although in my opinion almost any fruit and/or berry makes a fabulous pairing with shortcakes and "cream on top."
Strawberry shortcake, cream on top.
Tell me the name of your sweetheart?
Is it .......
[.....continue listing random names until the person jumping misses, and that is deemed to be the sweetheart's name]
Friends, Part 2
Speaking of friends, until I began blogging two summers ago, I thought the concept of "online friends" was a little odd. But I found that my online baking groups are communities, and discovered some kindred spirits who have become actual buddies, partners in flour and sugar. Cathy, of the blog The Tortefeasor, is one of my favorite baker/bloggers. Despite a few (ahem) years difference in our ages, we discovered that we shared a lot in common in our backgrounds and interests. Cathy's posts never fail to make me laugh, even as I identify with her baking ups and downs (mostly ups these days - two years of weekly baking breeds a reassuring level of ability) The Tender Shortcakes are Cathy's pick and I am honored to bake them along with her!
Friends, Part 3
I enjoyed this dessert with the members of my book group. We started as acquaintances, and over nearly 5 years of twice-monthly meetings, we have become close friends who have shared in each other's lives as we share discussions of the books we read together. The group members have graciously served as recipe tasters for many of the Tuesdays With Dorie sweets that I bake, and they provide valuable feedback.
- To get the recipe for Tender Shortcakes, check out Cathy's post.
- I made 2/3 recipe and the math was simple!
- The recipe was easy to put together, and I followed it exactly as written, although Dorie gives great playing around options for the shortcakes and the filling, This time I wanted the classic. Well, truth be told, I did add a tiny pinch of cardamom to the dry ingredients.
- I was low on unsalted butter, so I used salted butter and cut the salt in the dry ingredients a bit.
- My shortcakes were much smaller than specified in the recipe, but they were still an average shortcake size. I think I ended up with a dozen or more.
- I'm pretty sure I did something not quite right because mine were lumpy and didn't rise very much as they baked. The directions said to split them before topping with berries and whipped cream, but mine were so flat - and crumbly - that there was no feasible way that I could have split them. I was a little distressed that I couldn't serve them as specified, but we just piled the berries and the cream on the plate with the shortcake and that was it.
C takes her first taste of the Tender Shortcake!
My book group assured me that there was no reason to fret about un-split crumbly shortcakes - these were delicious! More than one group member ate more than one shortcake. JT had both of his shortcakes topped only with whipped cream, explaining that they were perfect so there was no need for berries! His wife, AT, loved the shortcakes, especially since they reminded her of shortcakes that she'd enjoyed as a child. Our host couple's daughter C agreed to demonstrate her reaction for the camera (see pictures, above and below).
We split up the leftover shortcakes, and my husband enjoyed them for dessert. It was a sad day indeed when he asked "do we have any more of those shortcakes?" and my answer was "no"...
Many thanks to my friend Cathy for choosing a classic recipe - and a delicious version at that - that is perfect for sharing with friends.
C delivers the verdict!