Friday, June 25, 2010

Blackberry-Mint Shortcakes with Almond Cream

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Yesterday was GORGEOUS day. The storm the night before cooled down the day instead of making it hot and humid, which was a nice change. Despite that fact, Ryan went out and bought a box fan because, since we do not have A/C in our house, the outside somehow does not ciculate inside our house that often. We have friends that lent us their window unit which cools our bedroom but our little fan does not help circulate that cool air around the house. Ryan set up the box fan and our house started cooling down faster! The things we do for comfort, eh?


My herbs looked happy though after a crazy thunderstorm so I was happy for that!


See how my herbs looked like a month ago?? They have grown SUPER fast and I am having fun using them.


I looked over at my pineapple mint and decided I needed to do something with it beside make a mojito. :) Since I did not have any pineapple to combine the pineapple mint I decided to use a berry and make a fresh dessert. Did you know that the raspberries and blackberries have been a $1 a pint at the store? A cobbler was calling out to me but I felt inspired to do something different.


I combined mashed blackberries with the pineapple mint and agave for a fresh fruit filling.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

I then proceeded making vegan shortcakes, which yet again I have never made before. I found a great recipe that was crunchy and flavorful and smelled fantastic as it cooked. Ryan came out of his office wondering what SMELLED so good.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen
Yep. They came out golden,  sugar-crusted and ready to eat! Now, what to do about the Whipped Cream?


Since I was out of cashews, I decided to make a cream out of almonds, I soaked them 6 hours, but folks, if you can, soak them 24 hours in the fridge. I get these ideas for recipes at the last minute and I usually do not get time to soak the almonds.


I process the almonds in the processor and added vanilla and agave. Please feel free to substitute with a cashew cream and refrigerate before serving. SO delicious.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Blackberry-Mint Shortcakes with Almond Cream


serves 6


3 pints blackberries, washed
6 tablespoons fresh pineapple mint, chopped (use reg. mint)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon


In a large bowl, add berries and mash with a potato masher. Do not liquefy but keep some fruit semi-whole. Add chopped mint and agave and mix well.


Refrigerate while making the almond cream and shortcakes.


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Almond Cream


3 cups raw almonds (if using cashews, soak 6-8 hours), almonds require more than 8 hours.
3 Tbsp almond water (water used to soak nuts)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp agave nectar


After the nuts have been soaked, blend the nuts and water in a food processor until creamy. Add the vanilla and agave and blend well. Refrigerate while making shortcakes.
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Vegan Shortcakes


adapted from Vegan Cooking


1/3 cup + 3 Tbsp almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups cup whole wheat-white flour
3 Tbsp vegan sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on dough
1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup Earth Balance non-dairy butter
1 tsp vanilla extract


Set rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.


Combine milk and lemon juice or vinegar in measuring cup. Set aside for at least 5 minutes to curdle.


Combine flour, 3 Tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in large bowl. Stir well with wire whisk to aerate and combine.


Use small spoon to drop tiny bits of butter evenly over flour mixture. With pastry blender or fork, work in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.


Add vanilla to milk mixture and drizzle over dry ingredients. Stir with fork just until mixture forms soft dough. (Do not overwork dough.)


Divide dough into 6 equal portions and place on prepared baking sheet. Shape into round blobs approximately 1" thick. Sprinkle the tops with 1 teaspoon sugar.


Bake until tops have hint of color and bottoms are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Transfer shortcakes to wire rack to cool.
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 Assemble


Cut each shortcake in half and place bottom half of shortcake on a plate. Add a 1/2 cup of berry mixture and cover with top half of shortcake.


Top with cold almond or cashew cream and drizzle with berry juice. Enjoy!!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

3 comments:

Karen C.

I love anything almondy so I am definitely giving this a try.
I'm not super sure about the mint mostly because it's really overpowering a lot of the times (so I'll be careful). Looks delicious!

Cynthia

It is so wonderful to go outside your door and just pick whatever herb you need isn't it?

Gosh that blackberry looks so fantastic and juicy.

Noelle

Thanks ladies! Yes, it is wonderful having your own herbs! :)

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