©2018 by Laurie Richardone

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Almond Cake with Strawberry Coulis & Chantilly Vanilla Creme

Season: Spring/Early Summer

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Strawberry's are the first to ripen after Rhubarb in spring and early summer. It's time for a strawberry shortcake. When you see those red ripe strawberries at the farmers market, grab them, they won't be there long. The combination of gently cooked and raw strawberries in this not-too-sweet version of the classic dessert …


¼ cup coconut or pure cane sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

½ tsp. kosher salt

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface (cup4cup Gluten Free flour)

6 tbsp. (¾ stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup organic whipping cream

1 large egg, beaten to blend

1½ lb. (about 3 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered, divided

1 tbsp. confectioners sugar

3 tbs. coconut or pure cane sugar

1/2 cup basil leaves

2 cups whipping cream

2 tbsp. crème fraîche


Shortcakes can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.


Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk sugar, baking powder, salt, and 2 cups flour in a large bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work in butter until the texture of coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Add cream and mix until dough just comes together (it will be sticky).

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 12x4” rectangle about ¾” thick.

Cut out rounds with a 2½” biscuit cutter, re-rolling scraps as needed to make 8 rounds.

Whisk egg with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl.

Transfer rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash.

Bake until tops are golden brown and shortcakes are cooked through, 15–20 minutes.

Coarsely chop 2 cups strawberries (you can use any bruised or less perfect ones) and cook with 2 Tbsp. sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are softened and mixture is slightly thickened. (about 5 minutes)

Let berry compote cool.

Meanwhile, toss half the basil, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and remaining 1 cup strawberries in a medium bowl and let sit until fruit begins to release juices, 10–15 minutes. Discard basil.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream, crème fraîche, and 1 Tbsp. confectioners sugar to soft peaks, about 4 minutes.

Split shortcakes and fill with berry compote, whipped cream mixture, and macerated strawberries.

Garnish with ribboned basil.