19 June 2011

Lemon shortcake & Strawberry Stacks - or "how to impress your 12 yr old son"

To give credit where credit is undoubtedly due, I found this undeniably gorgeous recipe on the Sweet Hart's Cakes & Bakes blog.  It caught my eye as strawberries unfailingly do and looked simple enough that even a dunderhead like me could achieve it.

Having made the lovely Almond & Elderflower Cookies last week with resounding success, I was filled with confidence as to the biscuit making and the rest just appeared to be a matter of assemblage as opposed to cooking.

The cookie dough came together without any difficulty, however I have to say that I much prefer last week's approach to cutting out cookies (roll into a sausage, wrap in cling film, refrigerate and slice rounds from it) than this week's.  This one was the fairly classic way of rolling out the dough and cutting out rounds, then re-rolling to cut out the remainder, until you've no dough left.  I think this way runs the risk of over-handling the dough through repeated rollings, however having said that, my biscuits seemed none the worse for their repeated rollings!  I'll definitely go for the sausage approach in future though, as it is by far and away the easiest - and I'm all for easy!

I had no difficulty making the dough stretch to 9 biscuits and even had a little bit left over!

The biscuits took a cup of tea and a daydream to cook (or 15-20 minutes) and let go of the parchment with no argument.   In fact, they were very well behaved - especially considering how thin I had made them.

Assembly in progress!

I left the assembly of the stacks until after we'd had our main course, just in case the cream decided to make the biscuits soggy.  It was a relatively simple job to build the stacks.  I took Paula's advice in her blog about not piping the cream and have to say that it made the stacks appear to be ready to burst with cream peeping out from in between the strawberries, in luscious promise.

Four halves per layer - and a biccie

After a bit of a debate as to whether to bother with the coulis, I'm so glad I did.  I went with the strawberry coulis, instead of raspberry, as Paula had.  For all that I had made a sugar-free coulis (with half an eye to hubby's diabetes) it provided the delicious moisture that balanced the cream and brought the whole thing together.

Nearly there!

I was really chuffed with how they looked.  In fact, so pleased was I that I demanded to be there when Son & heir had his delivered, just so that I could see his face.  *chuckle*

Doesn't that coulis look mouthwatering?

So there we are - it's strawberry time, so if you don't make these stacks, you're seriously missing out on a fabulous dessert!

The recipe can be had from SweetHart's Cakes and Bakes if you go here and the original recipe is on the BBC's website here.
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