I have some of my best blog ideas in the shower.
Maybe it’s because I think better without clothes on (which would actually be a shame because then I am seriously not living up to my full mental potential).
Maybe it’s because this balsamic and black pepper syrup was so earth shatteringly delicious that I wanted to bathe in it. Maybe I did bathe in it.
And so maybe it’s that I really have my best blog ideas when smothered in balsamic and black pepper syrup.
Does this call for a randomized controlled double blinded clinical trial? I think so!
(Any excuse to make these again.
I have more excuses if you want to borrow some. It’s Monday. And cloudy. Or. It’s Monday. And I have two exams this week. Or. It’s Monday. Take your pick.)
You see. This month over at Have the Cake it was my turn to choose our theme.
So I hemmed. And hawed.
And after all that hemming and hawing. I was kind of sweaty. (Okay YES the majority of my hemming and hawing took place at the gym. That’s the only time I have for introspection.) So I took a shower.
While showering, I realized I don’t take part in as many food holidays as I would like to. And I would really like to. Because then you guys end up posting fabulous things and saying “HAPPY “insert random food here” DAY!”. And I feel kind of like that kid running after the school bus. Saying, “Hey, wait for me! I wanted to celebrate peanut butter day too!”
So for once I took matters into my own hands.
Ready? Here goes.
HAPPY STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE DAY!
Didn’t remember it was strawberry shortcake day? Have no fear. Over at Have the Cake it’s strawberry shortcake month. So you’ve still got fifteen days. Or so.
Time to get baking.
Serendipitously enough. It is also MY MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY! Happy birthday Mom!
And yes, she was the welcome recipient of these babies.
Ever the enabler, I believe her direct quote upon tasting them was, “Maybe you should have been a baker.”
If only, mom. If. Only.
Strawberry Shortcakes with Balsamic and Black Pepper Syrup
Serves 8, adapted from Bon Appetit
2 cups flour
5 tbsp sugar, divided
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer for 20 minutes
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
2 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
6 tbsp sugar, divided
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 425. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, 4 tbsp sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until until it resembles large peas. (NOTE – Bon Appetit has you do all of this mixing and cutting business in the food processor. My roommate took our food processor with her when she left for CA and so I had to do it by hand. No biggie.) Add the cream, cutting it in until moist clumps form. Using your hands, form the dough in to a ball. On a lightly floured work surface, flatten it into an 8×4 inch rectangle. Cut it in half lengthwise, then widthwise into four equal strips making 8 biscuits in total. Transfer to the baking sheet. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
2. Brush the top of the biscuits with the egg wash. Sprinkle the last tbsp sugar on top. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and a tester inserted comes out clean. Bon Appetit says this takes 15 minutes but in my oven it took around 22.
3. Mix the strawberries, 5 tbsp sugar, balsamic vinegar and black pepper in a medium bowl. Let macerate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, stirring every ten.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and 1 tbsp sugar in a chilled bowl until peaks form.
5. To assemble, cut each biscuit in half horizontally. Layer on a scoop of whipped cream and a scoop of strawberries. Cover each with top half of biscuit. Try to restrain yourself from drinking the leftover vinegar syrup. Give in and drink the leftover vinegar syrup. Or bathe in it. Your call.
I am also submitting this to Two For Tuesdays, a new blog event that celebrates REAL FOOD. Seeing as how every part of this was homemade, I think it qualifies!