Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortcake with Cherries and Almond Whipped Cream

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That’s right, another shortcake recipe! You guys have been loving my Strawberry-Peach Shortcake, and I’ve taught it on more Zoom cooking classes than I can count, so I figured., time for another!

But this time, with chocolate chunks. And flaky sea salt. And juicy cherries. Oh, and some almond whipped cream on top. Yeahhhh baby. It’s shortcake like you’ve never had it, and it freaking rules. Any excuse to combine CHOCOLATE and perfect summer fruit into one dessert, amiright?!

Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortcake with Cherries

Servings 4 to 6 people

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • 2 large bowls
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer or a blender will work! °If you don’t own one of these, just buy whipped cream or ice cream (scroll to the bottom for a pic of my version with pistachio ice cream) at the store! That’s the only thing we need it for. 

Ingredients

For the cherries:

  • 1 pound cherries, pitted (any kind of cherry!)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar

For the shortcake:

  • 1 cup 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips, plus a few more for the tops
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt 

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract 

Substitutions:

  • Cherries—> any berry or stonefruit would be delicious here! Blackberries or blueberries would be particularly delish with the chocolate!
  • Sugar in the fruit—> you can use honey instead! Different vibe but I’ll take it. Agave nectar or coconut sugar would also work. Maple syrup might be a little weird with summer fruit. Brown sugar also a little weird but will do the trick in a pinch.
  • Flour—> I really like making this shortcake recipe with whole wheat flour, but it’s a bit more crumbly. You can sub in 1/4 cup almond flour but no more than that.
  • Sugar in the shortcake—> coconut sugar, brown sugar. We need a granulated sugar here (not a sticky sweetener like honey or maple syrup).
  • Baking powder—> you really need baking powder for these guys to properly puff up.
  • Unsalted butter—> salted butter would be delish, especially a fancier one like Kerry Gold. I think coconut oil or another cooking oil would work here, but I haven’t tested it!
  • Heavy cream in the shortcakes—> whole milk works! Almond milk/alternative milks would work, the shortcakes just won’t be as rich.
  • Heavy cream in the whipped cream—> you can use light cream, but that’s the only sub that will work! I also love shortcake with very soft vanilla ice cream. Let it sit out for at least 5 minutes (but probably closer to 10!) before scooping. It should be melty.
  • Sugar in whipped cream—> you can use pretty much any sweetener here. Honey, maple syrup, etc. Start with 2 tablespoons since they all have such different sweetness levels, though.
  • Almond extract—> 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, 1 tablespoon bourbon, or just omit it.  

Instructions

To make the macerated fruit:

  • Pit and halve 1 pound cherries and add to a large bowl along with 2 tablespoons sugar. Toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to eat, up to 12 hours. *Rainier (the lighter pink color cherries) will brown quickly, so don’t pit and slice them until you’re ready to eat.

To make the shortcakes: 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In a large bowl, use a fork to whisk together 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of kosher salt, and 1/3 cup chocolate chunks. Add 4 tablespoons cubed butter and use your fingers to pinch the butter into the flour until the butter crumbles are the size of small peas. Use the fork to stir in ⅓ cup heavy cream.
  • Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet, wet your hands (so that they won’t stick to the wet dough) and pat the dough into a 1-inch thick, 5×5-inch wide square. Cut into 4 or 6 shortcakes, depending on how many people you’re serving, but do not pull them apart. We want to bake them while touching each other. 
  • Press a few chocolate chunks into the tops of each shortcake, then brush with heavy cream and sprinkle generously with sugar and 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom edges. They shouldn’t look brown on top. Cut shortcakes apart down the cut lines you already created, spread them apart, and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.

To make the whipped cream:

  • While the shortcakes are cooling, make your whipped cream by adding 1 2/3 cups whipping cream (if you bought a pint, this is the remainder of the pint), 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon almond extract to a large bowl or stand mixer and using a hand mixer or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer to beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 ½ to 3 minutes. 
  • Alternatively, if you have a high-powered blender, add all ingredients and blend on medium-high for 12 seconds for soft peaks. It’s not perfect, but it’ll get the job done! 
  • You can either pile the cherries and whipped cream right on top of the shortcakes, or cut the shortcakes in half like a biscuit, and layer with whipped cream and fruit. Enjoy immediately!

For the cherries:

  • 1 pound cherries, pitted (any kind of cherry!)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar

For the shortcake:

  • 1 cup 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips, plus a few more for the tops
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt 

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract 

Substitutions:

  • Cherries—> any berry or stonefruit would be delicious here! Blackberries or blueberries would be particularly delish with the chocolate!
  • Sugar in the fruit—> you can use honey instead! Different vibe but I’ll take it. Agave nectar or coconut sugar would also work. Maple syrup might be a little weird with summer fruit. Brown sugar also a little weird but will do the trick in a pinch.
  • Flour—> I really like making this shortcake recipe with whole wheat flour, but it’s a bit more crumbly. You can sub in 1/4 cup almond flour but no more than that.
  • Sugar in the shortcake—> coconut sugar, brown sugar. We need a granulated sugar here (not a sticky sweetener like honey or maple syrup).
  • Baking powder—> you really need baking powder for these guys to properly puff up.
  • Unsalted butter—> salted butter would be delish, especially a fancier one like Kerry Gold. I think coconut oil or another cooking oil would work here, but I haven’t tested it!
  • Heavy cream in the shortcakes—> whole milk works! Almond milk/alternative milks would work, the shortcakes just won’t be as rich.
  • Heavy cream in the whipped cream—> you can use light cream, but that’s the only sub that will work! I also love shortcake with very soft vanilla ice cream. Let it sit out for at least 5 minutes (but probably closer to 10!) before scooping. It should be melty.
  • Sugar in whipped cream—> you can use pretty much any sweetener here. Honey, maple syrup, etc. Start with 2 tablespoons since they all have such different sweetness levels, though.
  • Almond extract—> 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, 1 tablespoon bourbon, or just omit it.  

Notes

  • Yes, the shortcakes can be baked ahead! They do not need to be eaten warm, they’re great at room temp as long as they’re fresh (baked within 24 hours). The macerated fruit will be good for up to 48 hours.
Author: Caroline Chambers
salted chocolate chunk and cherry shortcake (1 of 22).jpg

Hot tip: get your favorite ice cream (I love PISTACHIO for fahncy desserts) really soft by leaving it out for 10 to 15 minutes. Use it instead of whipped cream! DELISH!

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