I've made several versions of this recipe. First, the biscuits were pretty but didn't have much chocolate flavor. Then, they were yummy but not very pretty. After a few more tries and experimenting, I think I've got the recipe pinned down. Yummy flavor and pretty to look at too. You eat with your eyes first, right?
Summer cherries really shine in the adaption of the southern strawberry shortcake. Although the addition of the amaretto is optional to the whipped cream and cherry filling it really brings out the cherry flavor.
CHOCOLATE CHEERY SHORTCAKE
Chocolate Buttermilk Biscuits
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons dark dutch processed cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
- 1 ounce dark chocolate coarsely chopped chips
- course sanding sugar and sliced almonds for topping
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the first five ingredients. Break up any lumps and then add the cubed butter. Using your hands work the butter into the flour mixture. Gently press the butter between your thumbs and forefingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Don't go overboard on this however, incorporating the butter too much can result in a crumbly biscuit. Then, gradually add the buttermilk while mixing. I like to continue to use my hands but feel free to use a spatula. Just as the dough begins to come together mix in chocolate pieces. All of the flour mixture my still not be incorporated at this point and that is okay.
Once the chocolate is incorporated into the dough turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Turn the dough on itself 5-6 times until until it fully comes together. Gently pat the dough into a round about one inch thick. Using a 3 inch round cutter, cut out biscuits. Bring the scraps together and cut out the remaining biscuits.
Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator until firm about 20 minutes (5 minutes in the freezer if you're in a hurry). Since we incorporated sugar into our dough, it can cause the biscuits to spread like a cookie inside of rise like a biscuits. So, like preventing cookies from spreading we need to chill the dough before baking. DO NOT skip this step. Unless you would like chocolate blobs instead of biscuits. ;)
Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. With about 5 minute left in the oven, remove the dough from the refrigerator and brush the tops with a little more buttermilk. Then, sprinkle them genourously with sanding sugar and almond slices. It is harder to check for doneness with a chocolate dough. Since well, they are already brown! Look for the exterior of the biscuit to dry and that the color has actually lightened slightly. You can also use a toothpick and check that it comes out almost clean.
Allow the biscuits to cool completely before assembly.
Sweet Cherry Filling
- 1 1/2 cups whole pitted sweet cherries
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon amaretto (optional)
- pinch of salt
In a small sauce pan over medium heat add the cherries and water. Cover the mixture and let cook until the cherries release their juices and become soft about 8-10 minutes.
Then, mix together the sugar and corn starch. Remove the cherries from the heat and stir in the sugar and corn starch mixture.
Return the pan to the heat and cook on low. Heat the mixture until thicken and all of the corn starch has been cooked off, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and amaretto. Make sure to do this on low heat so that the filling will not thicken too much before all of the corn starch has cooked off.
If your sauce does thicken before the cornstarch taste is removed. Add a little water and continue to cook until thick and no cornstarch taste is left.
Amaretto Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon amaretto
With a whisk by hand or using a stand mixer, whisk the cream until it starts to thicken. Then, add the sugar and continue to beat until you reach the desired consistency. Once your cream and sugar has been whipped add the amaretto and fold in until incorporated.