Champagne Summer Shortcake

Champagne Summer Shortcake Recipe


This summer shortcake recipe came to my attention when my friend Ross had us over to dinner a couple nights back and his girlfriend Karen breezily whipped up an impromptu feast for six of us in not much more than an hour, including dessert. And what a dessert it was. A fantastic shortcake crowned with perfect little gems of summer fruit glistening with a honey-and-champagne syrupy glaze.

There were a couple things that made this shortcake special though. The shortcake biscuits were on the salty side, a perfect foil for the sweet ice-cream and honey tossed fruit. She also took care to cut the fruit into tiny wedges allowing you to taste a medley of stone fruits and figs all in one reasonably sized bite. Each piece was perhaps an inch in length with the backbone of the wedge no wider than 1/2 an inch.

Me, Ross, and a mug of beer at a wedding in Mexico last year.

This is my remake of a terrific summer shortcake, but before you get started be sure to read the recipe headnotes.

 
 
 
 

Champagne Summer Shortcake Recipe

You can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, or a blend - 2 cups total. Karen's were all-purpose based and they were lighter in color and had a less dense crumb. I wanted to try the white whole wheat flour and they turned out tasty as well, just not as signature looking. She did a drop biscuit, I rolled and stamped. You can do either.

Use the best, most flavorful fruit you can find. The ice cream and shortcakes are really just a stage to show of the wonderful plums, figs, nectarines, and peaches of the season. Feel free to mix and match your favorites. No frozen fruit.

Shortcakes:
2 cups flour (all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or white whole wheat)
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 stick of organic, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a scant 1 cup organic milk
1 egg white
A bit of coarse sea salt

Honey-champagne syrup:
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup champagne (alternately, sparkling water or just water)

Summer fruit:
- I used a mix of tiny black mission figs, black pluots, and yellow nectarines. Sliced into tiny wedges. Figure on about 1/2 cup of fruit per shortcake.

a pint of top notch vanilla ice cream (I used Laloo's goat milk ice cream)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Make the shortcakes: Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar into a large bowl or food processor. Using a pastry cutter or 25 quick pulses of the food processor, blend until the mixture resembles tiny, sandy pebbles. If you are using a food processor transfer the mixture to a big bowl and using a fork stir in the milk until just combined.

Either drop directly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (like drop biscuits), or turn the dough out onto a floured countertop, knead just once or twice to bring the dough together, roll out 3/4-inch thick and stamp with 1 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Brush each shortcake with egg white and sprinkle with just a bit of coarse sea salt (and a bit more sugar if you like). Bake on the middle rack for about 12 minutes.

Make the syrup:Put the honey and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the honey loosens up and the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and whisk in the champagne. Toss the fruit wedges in the syrup.

To serve: Split each shortcake open and top with a scoop of fruit and a dollop of ice cream.

Makes about 12 medium-sized shortcakes.

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Your Comments


Jess
August 18, 2006

Wow, these look wonderful Heidi (so does that picture of Mexico...oh how I could use some beach time!) I've been thinking about shortcakes lately, and this is the perfect inspiration to stop thinking, and start cooking.

I love the idea of using a variety of fruits instead of featuring just one in the filling - each bite is whole new experience!

Jessica

 

cynthia
August 18, 2006

The shortcakes are gorgeous, Heidi! very clever, the mix of fruits and yummy sauce.
beautiful presentation.

 

beverly collet
August 18, 2006

Heidi,

How divine! I will make this for Sunday's Brunch. It will be use something other than Berries, as I allergic to Strawberries.

I am very excited!!!!
beverly

 

Anita
August 18, 2006

Heidi,
I am sighing at the perfection of your first photo! The essence of summer simplicity. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

 

Helen
August 18, 2006

That champagne syrup sounds great. Can't wait to try it with some raspberries.
Gorgeous picture too!

 

Whitney
August 18, 2006

You go, Ross and Karen! Come cook for us sometime and I'll put you on my blog.

 

coffeepot
August 18, 2006

I will try the shortcakes.

Your photo reminded me of the wonderful food I had in Mexico.

 

St├ęphane
August 19, 2006

Great use for Champagne ;-) I love the idea of a dessert mixing fresh fruits, shortcakes, syrup... Different textures and temperatures, but sweet, sweet, sweet...

 

Steele
August 19, 2006

The recipe sounds divine! Off to the market I go...

 

iamchanelle
August 19, 2006

a feast for six AND such a beautiful dessert in under an hour? wow, can you post THAT menu as well? i am amazed.
your little shortcakes look so pretty!

 

cooking recipes
August 20, 2006

Very nice site!
www.101cookbooks.com
Thanks for nice and actual info' Be the Best!

 

Nic
August 20, 2006

The shortcakes look wonderful - as usual. And that is a great photo of you, Heidi. You and Ross look like you're having fun, and you certainly can't beat the setting!

 

aquiverfull
August 20, 2006

Ooh,la-la! I think I will BBQ my fruit though.....Mmmm smokey and sweet! Thanx Heidi!!

 

Homebrewer
August 21, 2006

Both your foto and your recipe are great! Thanx a lot Heidi!

 

Andreea
August 21, 2006

beautiful recipe. i like the combination of champagne in this recipe.

 

chika
August 21, 2006

Hi Heidi,

I've a soft spot for anything with champagne, and your shortcakes, I can't possibly miss these out! Looking to try them out when it's cool enough for me to turn the oven on... in fact, I might just try the fruits in the champagne syrup for now. Thanks for sharing!

 

Jinga Nova
August 21, 2006

Hey,

What else did she serve that night???? Dessert sounds great but I want to know what else she had on the menu!

 

Stuart
August 21, 2006

Yes, menu please!

 

Karen
August 21, 2006

Hi all-

Heidi asked me to give you the full menu so here it is! If you want more details let me know and I'll post the "recipes"- although I must admit it was pretty much thrown together on the fly!

- Manouri cheese with honey drizzle and fresh mint
- Greek feta with olive oil and fresh oregano
- Toasted flatbread
- Salad of mache and lolla rossa with yellow watermelon, feta, olive oil, & honey
- Crispy chickpeas, onions and cauliflower sauteed in olive oil, garam masala, & curry powder
- Couscous with Moroccan spices, dried apricots, golden raisins, and herbs
- Roasted asparagus with lemon and sea salt

 

Karen
August 21, 2006

Sorry- forgot something.

There was also a yogurt sauce (like a raita) with cucumber, garlic, spices, salt, and lemon- to cut the spice.

 

ilva
August 23, 2006

When I get back to Italy it will be time for the September figs that are so much better than the summer ones and this will be a perfect way to serve them. Thanks!

 

Kate
August 23, 2006

This is a really cute idea - and what a great mutli-course vegetarian feast to whip up on the fly. I'm already dreaming about the return of summer fruits to Sydney.

 

Esther
August 23, 2006

Blueberry or peach juice being summer fruits could have well replaced sugar in the syrup, providing an excellent base to the fruit-mix.

But the idea of incorporating local fresh fruits in the shortcakes is a good one.

 

keiko
August 23, 2006

Heidi - those are such lovely summery shortcakes. I love the photo of you and Ross, you look so sweet :)

 

cooking recipes
August 25, 2006

Very nice site!
www.101cookbooks.com
Thanks for nice and actual info' Be the Best!