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Bake Together-Chocolate Shortcake With Cognac Infused Apricots

Chocolate Shortcake With Apricots

Every month I look forward to Bake Together with Abby Dodge, I was especially excited about this months challenge. I adore strawberry shortcake and Abby decided to give this American classic a twist by making a chocolate shortcake, our challenge was to make it our own, keeping the basic premise of the challenge of course,but we are able to make changes, adding our own creative spin. I made the shortcake as directed by Abby but baked it as one sheet, slightly thinner than Abby’s. After it cooled I cut rounds with my biscuit cutter. It’s the same basic idea but slightly different execution. Instead of Strawberries I used some beautiful apricots which I macerated in sugar and cognac. The whipped cream is lightly sweetened and flavored with cognac also. Chocolate and apricots are delicious together and the cognac rounds it all out beautifully. Thanks Abby for another great month of baking with you!

Apricots:

1 lb apricots cleaned and sliced (don’t peel)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbs good cognac

Place the sliced apricots in a bowl add the sugar and cognac and gently stir to combine. Cover and let sit for an hour or more.

Whipped Cream:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tbs super fine sugar

1 tsp cognac

Whip in a cold bowl with cold beaters until it’s thick and the desired consistency,

Double Chocolate- Strawberry Shortcakes
Makes 8 servings

For the Shortcakes
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup buttermilk, chilled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (7 7/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chopped chocolate or chips
2 tablespoons sanding sugar (turbando, demerara), optional

To make the shortcakes:
1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a nonstick liner.

2. Cut the butter in half lengthwise, cut each half lengthwise again, and then cut each strip into 8 pieces. Pile the butter onto a plate and slide it into the freezer until ready to use. Measure the buttermilk in a 1-cup Pyrex measure and add the vanilla. Using a fork, whisk until blended and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Put the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Add the cold butter pieces and, using short pulses, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal with small pieces of butter (about pea-sized) still visible, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and add chopped chocolate.

4. Pour the buttermilk and vanilla over the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir and fold until it forms a shaggy, moist dough with some floury bits remaining. Scrape the dough and any remaining floury bits onto the counter and knead a few times until the dough is evenly moist and holds together well.

5. Gently press the dough into a thick 8 x 4 -inch rectangle. Using a large sharp knife, trim the edges to make a neat rectangle and cut into 8 equal squares.  Arrange the biscuits on the prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops with the sanding sugar, if using. Bake until puffed and spring back when the tops are gently pressed, 16 to 18 minutes. Move the sheet to a cooling rack and let the biscuits sit until they’re cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature

Place bottom half of shortcake on serving dish, spoon on apricots. Put top half on top of fruit. Spoon on the whipped cream, drizzle with some of the syrup from the apricots and enjoy.

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17 Comments Post a comment
  1. pat #

    Love the chocolate apricot combo! One of my favorites!

    July 28, 2012
    • Thanks Pat, mine too. Wanted to add cherries also but they went bad. The apricots are really perfect with the choclate

      July 28, 2012
  2. What a delicious twist on shortcake my friend, it looks incredible :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    July 28, 2012
  3. I still haven’t gotten around to making Abby’s challenge this month – thanks for the reminder. These look wonderful. I love the addition of the apricots and cognac! Apricots are way underused in cooking in my opinion!

    July 29, 2012
    • Thanks Suzanne, I wasn’t sure I would make it, since my back is a bit better I just had to do it, it really is nice, love the chocolate shortbread. I totally agree about the apricots. Love them and they are almost a forgotten fruit. I look forward to your entry.

      July 29, 2012
      • It probably won’t happen this month unfortunately as it turns out. I have a chronic inflammation of the small intestine acting up right now, so I’m not doing sugar, and can’t do any high fiber like fruit for a few days. Wah!! So glad your back is doing better!!

        July 30, 2012
      • I am sorry to hear about the inflammation, I hope you feel better soon. Thank you. The turning point for my back was your advice to take the muscle relaxer and anti inflammatory I think sleeping as much as I did really helped. Please thank your husband also.

        July 30, 2012
  4. Stunning, Suzanne, just stunning! Your apricots sound divine and perfect for a summer treat.

    July 30, 2012
    • Thanks so much Hannah, I love apricots and Abby’s shortcake is fabulous!

      July 30, 2012
  5. That looks fabulous! Your presentation is always so pretty and your pictures so nice a clear.

    July 30, 2012
    • Thank you so much, it’s funny I take pics with my iphone, they turn out better than my camera. It’s always a work in progress.

      July 30, 2012
  6. This looks wonderful and delicious! And I love boozy bakes, so this is definitely a must-try for me. :) I’ve nominated you an award at http://foodismylife.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/re-bake-jamie-olivers-easy-chocolate-cake-and-an-award/ hope you like it!

    July 31, 2012
    • Thank you so much Jasline, I also love a boozy dessert. Thank you also for the award. Will pay it forward and post on my blog. Thank you again,

      July 31, 2012
  7. azita #

    the ingredients of this recipe read like a love-letter to taste buds and the finished product: true love! YUM!!!!

    August 1, 2012
    • Thanks Azita, it was really delicious and I highly recommend Abby’s chocolate shortcake recipe. So tender and delicious.

      August 1, 2012

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