chocolate shortcakes with bananas and caramel

I appear to be on something of a dessert kick. Cupcakes last weekend, shortcake this. Yes, shortcake in the middle of winter, maybe because today's gorgeous weather didn't feel like winter at all. I don't think I've ever had chocolate shortcake before, and the cocoa and butter made these guys super-rich and yummy. I did my best not to overwork the dough, and they did come out pretty tender. From the Jan/Feb 2007 Cooking Light.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To prepare the shortcakes, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces) into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces, with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1/2 cup fat-free buttermilk; stir just until moist. Knead lightly in bowl 5 or 6 times. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut dough into 8 wedges, cutting into, but not through, dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes or until just firm to the touch. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack. Place shortcake on a cutting board or work surface; cut along score lines with a serrated knife to form 8 wedges.

To prepare filling, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; stir gently just until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until pale golden (about 4 minutes), gently swirling pan if needed to cook sugar evenly. Remove from heat; add 2 tablespoons whipping cream and 1 teaspoon butter, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Cool 5 minutes.

Place 1 cup frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed, and 1/8 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa in a medium bowl; fold until just combined. Split shortcakes in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Arrange about 1/4 cup bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, over bottom half of each shortcake; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon caramel sauce, about 2 tablespoons whipped topping mixture, and top of shortcake. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon caramel sauce over top of each shortcake. Yield: 8 servings.

Posted by astraea on February 18, 2007 | TrackBack
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