We’re continuing to share our collection of strawberry recipes on The Recipe, our new online recipe collection.
Today, it is a recipe for Fresh Strawberries with Shortcake Cream Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy from North Carolina native Sheri Castle. Castle used to live in Chapel Hill and was a regular instructor at Triangle cooking schools. She’s now an editor at Southern Living magazine.
While some people scoff at the idea of chocolate gravy, they don’t know what they are missing. It is a milk and cocoa-based chocolate sauce that is absolutely delicious with sweet biscuits and fresh berries.
Strawberries and Shortcake Cream Biscuits With Chocolate Gravy
From “The New Southern Garden Cookbook,” by Sheri Castle (UNC Press, 2011).
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, divided
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
4 teaspoons turbinado, Demerara or raw sugar
4 cups capped and sliced strawberries
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.
Whisk together all-purpose flour, cake flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to work in 6 tablespoons of cold butter until the pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in the cream until shaggy dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Roll or pat the dough into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Stamp out 5 biscuits with a 3-inch cutter. Press straight down without twisting the cutter so that the biscuits can rise evenly to their full height. Gently gather and roll the scraps of dough and cut out the sixth biscuit.
Transfer biscuits to a baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with cream and sprinkle with turbinado, Demerara or raw sugar. Bake 25 minutes until golden. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
Toss berries with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sift cocoa, 1 cup granulated sugar and instant flour into a skillet (preferably cast-iron). Slowly add milk, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the gravy thickens to the consistency of thin pudding, about 8 minutes. The gravy will thicken around the edge first, so keep it stirred up from the bottom and sides. Remove pan from heat and add remaining 4 tablespoons butter, one piece at a time, stirring until it melts before adding the next.
Split biscuits in half. Top with berries and their juice. Ladle a generous amount of warm gravy over the top and serve hot.
Yield: 6 servings