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Hazelnut Shortcake with Caramel Berries

In Blueberry, Cake, Cookbooks, Cream, Dessert, Fruit, Hazelnuts, Nuts, Recipe, Sauces / Condiments, Strawberry
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Distant- Blog 921
Last year for my birthday, Boris bought me a gorgeous little cookbook by Lori Longbotham entitled Luscious Berry Desserts .  I've flipped through it frequently, but until now had not pulled the trigger on a recipe.  When sitting down to plan out Boris' welcome home dinner the other day (he'd been rocking a month long National Outdoor Leadership School "NOLS" course), I pulled his gift from the shelf and decided to make him the recipe that made the cover of the book, this delicious hazelnut berry cake.  We liked it so much that we made it the following weekend for my father-in-law George's 80th birthday cake!

I know the recipe title says shortcake, but think scone and you'll get a better sense for what this dish offers.  Warm, nutty "scone" topped with fresh berries bathed in a fruit scented caramel, and all topped with a lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Are you drooling yet?  No......well, what's taking you so long?

Macro- Blog 927
I can hardly think of a better way to use the season's fresh berries, but this dish would be great using stone fruit as well.  As written, the sauce recipe will make about three times what you need, which in my professional opinion, is very good news.  Toss the extra with other berries and serve over a slice of pound cake, a wedge of lemon bread, or on top of your favorite greek yogurt.  Out of fresh berries?  Spoon some warmed caramel sauce over your favorite ice cream for another special treat.  Oohh...so many options, so little time.

Cheers - Steve

 

Hazelnut Shortcake with Caramel Berries

by: Lori Longbotham, and from her book "Luscious Berry Desserts"

(Print Friendly Recipe)

 

Ingredients:

for the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground, toasted hazelnuts or hazelnut meal (or flour)
  • 1/4 cup plus one teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups mixed ripe berries
  • 1/2 cup berry caramel sauce (recipe below)
  • slightly sweetened whipped cream for serving

for the berry caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup seedless berry puree (take 2 cups assorted berries, blitz them in a processor till pureed, then pass through a fine meshed strainer)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • pinch of salt

 Method:

for the berry caramel sauce:

  1. Heat the cream and berry puree in a medium saucepan over medium heat just until hot.  Set aside, partially covered to keep warm.
  2. Heat the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat , stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush if you see any sugar crystals.  Boil, without stirring until the caramel turns a dark golden brown, washing down the sides of the pan again with the damp pastry brush if necessary.
  3. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat, and being careful to avoid splatters, whisk in the cream mixture.  Return the pan to low heat and cook, whisking, until the sauce is smooth.  remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt.
  4. Use immediately or let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to a glass jar, and refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to serve, or for up to a month.

for the cake:

  1. Heat the oven to 400℉.  generously butter a 9-by-2 inch round cake pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, hazelnuts, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt in a medium bowl.  Pour in the cream, stirring with a fork until the dough comes together.  (The dough will be very lumpy; do not overwork it, or the shortcake will be tough.)  Transfer the dough to the pan and gently pat it out evenly with floured fingers (the top will be rough and lumpy).  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges are crisp.  Cool slightly on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and transfer to a serving platter.
  4. Just before serving, gently stir together the berries with 1/2 cup of the sauce in a medium bowl.
  5. Top the shortcake with the berries and serve, cut into wedges, with the whipped cream, if using.

Serves 8

 

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"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...
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