Crumbly whole wheat biscuits, filled with a voluptuous Chantilly cream and juicy roasted strawberries. Just when you think summer is almost over, life can still surprise you with beautiful organically grown strawberries like the ones we used in this scrumptious dessert.
Song of the day: Miracles (Someone Special) - Coldplay & Big Sean
The question people ask us more often is How did you guys meet. Good question, indeed. One that, when we answer with the story, bring smiles and fuzzy feelings, and exclamations like That is so romantic!
I came here to Canada, I tell them, but not to meet him, I didn't even know he existed. I came here to meet Stefanie, who had been my pen pal since high school. It was the summer of 2007, with Stefanie we were "virtual" friends" writing back and forth real letters and cards to each other for the last 23 years. What triggered my decision to finally come and meet her in Canada was a time in my life where everything that I was, and that I thought I had, was suddenly starting to shatter. I needed a timeout, an escape. When she offered me to take a break from everything and finally come to Canada to meet her, it seemed like the best thing to do. She attracted me with pictures of mountains, bright skies and warm days, walks, good eats, big laughs and meaningful conversations.
A luggage full of hope
I arrived with a luggage full of hope, an eagerness to experience, and a shy smile on my face. In the end, what my friend Stefanie had offered, became real. A week spent at a cottage in the mountains, a helicopter ride over jade lakes. Morning walks, lounging on the deck with my first Caesar cocktail, veggies and dip, cold beers, and profound conversations. Eventually, Rome and my worries started to fade away. And just when I thought summer couldn't get any better, a day before leaving this Country, she introduced me to her cousin, Loreto. He will tell you that I played hard to get, that I didn't even acknowledge him. Sure, my heart was bleeding a little and my sight was a bit blurred. However, I can tell you that the hug he gave me to wish me goodbye gave me the butterflies and I felt safe, in those arms, if just for mere seconds.
What I felt was so strong, that not long after I was back home, I sent my friend a card to give him, and that card became the beginning of another story and one that would bring me a year later back to Canada to start 'Our love story'.
Roasted organic strawberries
The beautiful organic strawberries I used in these Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes appeared, almost at the end of summer, in the booth of Sparrow's Nest Organics at our local Farmers Market. They arrived, unexpected, and for that all the more appreciated, like Loreto arrived in my life back then. To remind me to always keep my eyes and heart open for the beautiful gifts life can give you.
On the food side of things, these Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes are a gift, and a reminder to take expectation out of the equation and be pleasantly surprised at what can transpire. "A dessert that brings a smile to your face and excitement in your heart, with all that satisfaction in your stomach!" We shared our gift with friends amongst great conversation and lots of laughter in the serene setting of our backyard. That's life!
For the strawberries:
- 3 cups strawberries, washed, hulled, halved
- 2 Tbsp vanilla sugar
For the biscuits:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 3 Tbsp raw cane sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp (85 g) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ cup 2% milk
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
For the Chantilly cream:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp icing sugar
- half vanilla bean, or ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I used a Cookina reusable baking sheet).
- In a small bowl, toss strawberries with the vanilla sugar, then add to the baking sheet.
- Roast until tender but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Gently place strawberries and juices into a bowl. Set aside.
For the biscuits:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or the Cookina reusable baking sheet).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cubed cold butter (or grate it in) and work quickly to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk, cream, and egg yolk. Drizzle all but 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a fork to combine into a ragged dough.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead it until it just comes together (2-3 times, do not overwork). Gently roll out to about 1-inch thickness.
- With a 2 and ½-inch/6.5 cm round cutter, cut out rounds pressing the cutter straight down into the rolled-out dough, rerolling scraps as needed.
- Arrange 1 and ½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon of the egg/milk mixture. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until nicely puffed and golden.
- Transfer on a rack and let cool.
For the Chantilly cream:
- In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, add the whipping cream, vanilla, and icing sugar. Beat on med-high speed until medium peaks form. (I like mine more on the softer side).
- Halve biscuits horizontally. Spoon the Chantilly cream onto bottom halves. Using a slotted spoon, top with the roasted strawberries. Pour the strawberry juices in a creamer. Sandwich with top halves of biscuits. Dust with icing sugar.
- Serve immediately with the juices on the side and any whipping cream left.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
I love baking and kneading dough because it takes me to a happy place in my soul.