STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES WITH MASCARPONE CREAM

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES WITH MASCARPONE CREAM

These luscious little strawberry shortcakes are a gorgeous, informal way to end a summer party, when strawberries are ripe, plentiful and cheap. I don’t worry about how they look – if they’re a bit messy, who cares? They taste amazing.

INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 16

For the shortcakes:

300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

50g caster sugar

1tbsp baking powder

½tsp salt

225g butter, chilled and diced

1 egg, lightly beaten

150ml whole milk

 

For the strawberries:

600g ripe strawberries

3tbsp caster sugar

2tbsp chopped mint leaves

 

For the mascarpone cream:

100g mascarpone cheese

100ml double cream

35g caster sugar

¼-½tsp cracked black pepper

 

To serve:

Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

METHOD

1: To make the shortcakes, put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir. Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub everything together, lightly working the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2: In a small, separate bowl, mix the egg and milk together. Stir into the rubbed-in mixture to create a smooth dough. Knead very briefly, bringing the dough together to form a ball, working as lightly as possible. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour.

3: Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line one or two baking trays with non-stick parchment.

4: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1.5cm (¾in) thickness. Using a 5cm (2in) round pastry cutter dipped in flour, stamp out 16 shortcakes (don’t gather up and roll out the trimmings, as they will be tough).

5: Carefully place the shortbread rounds on the tray or trays and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6: Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries. Quarter or slice them and place in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over and mix gently, just to coat. Leave to macerate for at least 30 minutes – the sugar will soften the strawberries and bring out their juices, allowing them to steep in their liquid. Just before serving, toss the chopped mint through.

7: For the mascarpone cream, put the mascarpone, cream and sugar in a bowl and whip together, using an electric hand mixer with a whisk attachment, until smooth and holding peaks – be careful not to overbeat it. Fold in ¼tsp of the cracked pepper, taste and add a little more if you like.

8: Place the shortcakes on serving plates, pile the strawberries on them and then add dollops of the mascarpone cream. Finish with a trickle of the strawberry juices, and a dusting of icing sugar, if you like.

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INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 16

For the shortcakes:

300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

50g caster sugar

1tbsp baking powder

½tsp salt

225g butter, chilled and diced

1 egg, lightly beaten

150ml whole milk

 

For the strawberries:

600g ripe strawberries

3tbsp caster sugar

2tbsp chopped mint leaves

 

For the mascarpone cream:

100g mascarpone cheese

100ml double cream

35g caster sugar

¼-½tsp cracked black pepper

 

To serve:

Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

METHOD

1: To make the shortcakes, put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir. Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub everything together, lightly working the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2: In a small, separate bowl, mix the egg and milk together. Stir into the rubbed-in mixture to create a smooth dough. Knead very briefly, bringing the dough together to form a ball, working as lightly as possible. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour.

3: Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line one or two baking trays with non-stick parchment.

4: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1.5cm (¾in) thickness. Using a 5cm (2in) round pastry cutter dipped in flour, stamp out 16 shortcakes (don’t gather up and roll out the trimmings, as they will be tough).

5: Carefully place the shortbread rounds on the tray or trays and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6: Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries. Quarter or slice them and place in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over and mix gently, just to coat. Leave to macerate for at least 30 minutes – the sugar will soften the strawberries and bring out their juices, allowing them to steep in their liquid. Just before serving, toss the chopped mint through.

7: For the mascarpone cream, put the mascarpone, cream and sugar in a bowl and whip together, using an electric hand mixer with a whisk attachment, until smooth and holding peaks – be careful not to overbeat it. Fold in ¼tsp of the cracked pepper, taste and add a little more if you like.

8: Place the shortcakes on serving plates, pile the strawberries on them and then add dollops of the mascarpone cream. Finish with a trickle of the strawberry juices, and a dusting of icing sugar, if you like.

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TOM’S TABLE (2015)

The ideal companion for anyone looking for simple everyday recipes with irresistible flavour, perfect for dinner parties or wonderful family meals.

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