Indulge me… Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake with Chocolate Brandy Sauce

Indulge; to give free rein, to take unrestrained pleasure in, to yield to the desire….

I like to eat healthy.  I like to work out.  I like to feel good about myself, take care of myself and enjoy moments of pleasure and romance in life.

And, I really don’t think there should be just one special day to devote to romance and love.

But then again, to indulge in food every single day would not do my figure good!  So I do take advantage of this upcoming Valentine’s Day to splurge a bit more in chocolate sweets and creamy dreamy desserts.  The hardest part is deciding which one to choose!!

Florida grown strawberries are hitting the market lately totally pleasing my love for chocolate and strawberries.  I’ve made this chocolate strawberry shortcake for many, many years first baking it for a summer dinner in 1996!  (I really do jot down dates and notes on my recipes!!)

The shortcake is not as light as a traditional shortcake having chunks of chocolate throughout.  I’ve made it as one large shortcake split in half for an awesome presentation and smaller sizes for individual treats.  Of course, Valentine’s Day deserves the heart.

This dessert can be made in steps ahead; the chocolate sauce with brandy can be prepared up to two days ahead although I’ve had it in my frig up to a week dipping strawberries in it.  Oh, and don’t leave out the brandy, it definitely makes the sauce!!   The whipped cream and shortcake can be made earlier in the day or even the day before and the strawberries a few hours ahead as well.  Assembly is quick and easy right before serving.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake with Chocolate Brandy Sauce

Adapted by Epicurious, 1996

For the Sauce:

2/3 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons brown sugar

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon brandy

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Shortcake:

2 cups white/wheat flour or unbleached all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons raw sugar  – divided (3 tb in the batter and 2 tb for sprinkling on top)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

For the Filling:

2 pounds strawberries

1 tablespoon of agave or 2-3  tablespoons sugar  (depending on the sweetness of  the strawberries)

1 tablespoon Chambord liquor

1 1/3 cups whipping cream, chilled

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Sauce:
Combine cream and sugar in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until chocolate melts and sauce is smooth. Mix in brandy and vanilla. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

For the Shortcake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.    Spray or butter individual heart molds or a 9-inch cake pan, dust with flour.   Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl; whisk to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add chopped chocolate. Gradually add 2/3 cup buttermilk, stirring with fork until dough forms.

Transfer dough to pan; press gently to level top. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons buttermilk and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake shortcakes until cooked through and golden on top, about 20-25 minutes. Cool shortcakes in pan on rack.

For the Filling:
Slice berries into large bowl, save a few whole for garnish.   Add agave or sugar and Chambord.  Toss to coat; let stand until berries begin to release juices, at least 30 minutes. Combine whipping cream, vanilla and sugar in medium bowl. Whip to soft peaks. Cover and chill cream until ready to serve.

If necessary, rewarm sauce over low heat, stirring often.  Remove shortcakes from pans and slice in half horizontally.  Plate the bottom half and spoon sliced berries with their juices over. Drizzle with some chocolate sauce. Spoon on whipped cream; cover with top shortcake and drop on more whipped cream, drizzle with more chocolate and garnish with a few strawberries.  Serve at once.

February is #chocolatelove month! Please join in on the #chocolatelove fun by linking up any chocolate recipe from the month of Februrary 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #chocolatelove event! The twitter hashtag is #chocolatelove :).

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58 thoughts on “Indulge me… Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake with Chocolate Brandy Sauce

  1. Ahh, finally something about Florida that I miss – February strawberries that taste good! The ones they ship are picked so early that, though they look good, they’re always disappointing…
    Love the shortcakes, but I may wait til June, when our local berries are ready.
    We’re making Grandad a batch of BROWNIES for V-day. 🙂

  2. I too love strawberries and chocolate. For my daughter, it is strawberries and whipped cream–so much so, she doesn’t buy one without the other. Noticing 3 whipped cream containers in the fridge, I asked her (sarcastically) if she had enough…her response was you never want to be caught with strawberries and no whipped cream. Yes, heaven forbid! So as I looked over the ingredient list, I was sure we would at least have that part on hand. 😉

  3. Wow! That is some opening shot, Lynda. Really spectacular and oh, so very enticing! One question, though: is there a holiday for which you don’t have special dishes & pans? Your attention to such details is quite remarkable, making your presentations, literally, amazing! Presidents Day is coming. up. If you have a Mount Rushmore cake pan I’m going to close down the Bartolini kitchens. 🙂

    1. Oh John, if I did purchase a Mount Rushmore Cake Pan my kids would close down MY kitchen!! As much as I enjoy cooking and baking, I love to set a pretty table, so I guess I do have a variety of dishes and pans. I see you noticed though so you do pay attention to the details too!! 🙂

  4. If this is not valentines day love I am not sure what is – a decadent and divine recipe I am hyperventilating here
    Yum 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: No Bake Fudgy Fridge Biscuits

  5. Yes, Linda we are both posting about decadence on Valentine’s DAY and posting an Epicurious recipe. Mine is probably from the same year too. We are just two peas in a pod some days. Your shortcake looks magnificent! I would gladly indulge in a chocolate chunk filled shortcake. BTW…LOVE the heart dishes. Too cute!

  6. My love affair with strawberry shortcake begain when I was about 10 and my sister brought some home that she’d made in home economics class – I was hooked on the stuff. I didn’t have it in a while – I love your “upgrade” – seriously awesome dessert!

  7. As far as I’m concerned, any excuse or occasion to spread more love in this world, is fine by me and what a nice way to mark the special February date Linda… the strawberry shortcake is wonderful but it’s the chocolate brandy sauce that’s got my toes curling 😉 Love it! What a pretty presentation too Linda – happy hearts.

  8. Oh.. wow. I want to be indulged. And I definitely want to be indulged with this chocolate strawberry shortcake Linda. So I am just going to print this recipe out, place it in my boyfriends car with a hint that says “MAKE ME” LOL

  9. I agree with you Linda. We can’t eat like we’re celebrating love every day of the year or we’d all end up being the size of a house. What a beautiful dessert and I love the way you have plated it. Perfect for the upcoming occasion.

  10. Your heart molds are so cute and your plating of the dessert even cuter. I just adore strawberry shortcake and would eat more of it if we could our hands on some yummy Florida strawberries. No luck here with living in HK.

  11. I’m with you on the fact that we don’t need just the one day for LOVE, which is why I’ve always had mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day! These shortcakes look marvellous – love the heart molds! Not usually a fan of choc and fruit but these might just persuade me yet!
    Thanks for coming by my site, back soon! Lin xx

  12. Linda, the heart-shaped shortcakes are so cute! And you are so lucky with Florida strawberries… I still have to wait for edible ones here. Lovely St Valentine’s Day idea.

  13. How decadent! I love strawberry shortcake, I used to always request it on my birthday, as I’ve never really liked classic-style cakes. And mmm, strawberries are coming in to season? I can’t wait for good fresh berries!

  14. I’m pretty shocked at how easy it would be to vegan-ize this! It look absolutely incredible and that brandy sauce seems really intriguing. I’d love to try this recipe out! Great job on the post, sending some #chocolatelove your way! 🙂

  15. I’m pretty sure this is ILLEGAL, Linda!! Holy cow. You know I don’t like chocolate, but I think I could become a fan if I were served this dessert. Absolutely love the little pink heart dishes. Adorable!

  16. Wow, that sounds just awesome… Leave it to you to come up with something like that. I can always rely on you for some really creative dishes. Too bad the creativity didn’t get passed over the bloodline. 🙂

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