When I started this blog a year and a half ago, I decided a once-a-week update is just about my speed- frequent enough to hold my (and, I hope, a few readers') interest, but not so much that it becomes a chore. Lately, however, the weather is ridiculously beautiful and I've been slacking. I'm still here, and I'm still baking, but my sunny patio holds much more appeal than the computer room as of late.
That said, this season's cherry harvest has begun and this dessert is so wonderful that I just had to share!
Chocolate Cherry Shortcake from Boulevard by Nancy Oakes and Pamela Mazzola with Lisa Weiss
File this recipe under "Something a Little Different!"
2 c self-rising flour
1/2 c dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 c sugar + additional for dipping
1/4 tsp salt
1 c dried cherries, soaked in very hot water to plump, dried
1 c bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 heavy cream
6 tbl unsalted butter, melted
vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
cherries, kirsch or lemon juice or almond extract (optional), and sugar to taste, or roasted cherry compote
Biscuits: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt.
Add the dried cherries and chunks of chocolate.
Stir in the cream until the mixture comes together (dough will be stiff).
Turn out onto a cutting board and press the dough into a 6" square about 2" thick. Cut the dough into nine equally-sized squares.
Dip the tops of the biscuits into the melted butter and then into sugar, pressing lightly to adhere. Place 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until tops spring back when pressed lightly.
Cherries: Wash cherries, stem, pit, and halve. Toss with sugar and desired flavoring and allow to macerate at room temperature 15-30 minutes.
To Assemble: If biscuits have cooled, split and reheat in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes, or until warmed through. Place bottom half of biscuit on plate, top with a scoop a softened ice cream (melting a little, it will make a nice sauce), and and a generous spoonful of cherries. Place top half of biscuit alongside or atop dessert, tipped at a jaunty angle!