First off I wanted to say thank you to Marie for selecting me as last weeks featured baker.  This was not my first time as featured baker but it certainly is an honor to be chosen and I thank you all for sticking with me and reading along each week, even when I am in my most foul humor.  That being said… 

I was all prepared to rant and rave to high heaven this week about these individual little cakes because you all know I absolutely hate these tedious little single serving, make a whole bunch of them, desserts.  I was going to rant and rave until I started to read through the recipe and I saw those magic words.  Beurre noisette and vanilla.  I was stopped dead in my tracks, mid scream, the whisk just about to be thrown across the room kind of dead in my tracks.  Anyone who has read my blog before knows that I absolutely can not resist anything with beurre noisette in it.  Combine that magical elixir with vanilla and I am totally and completely gone.  There simply are no words to describe the pure erotic ecstasy you feel when sweet rich fragrant vanilla hits the warm and toasty nutty beurre noisette.  There is no way to be prepared for it.  It just hits you and totally takes over and you are powerless to resist it.  Ah, sweet ecstasy.  So, into the kitchen shall we….. 

These are really very simple.  The hardest thing is finding marionberries, which I am sorry to say, I could not.  Not fresh or frozen, but I did find beautiful blackberries which always remind me of my childhood when we had whole fields of them in our neighborhood and we children would spend all day in what we called “Blackberry Land” picking and eating them.  YUM.  One small rant here, I do wish that when Rose wants us to make another recipe that she would state that as the first step in the recipe instead of under her recipe introdution.  I can not tell you how many times I have almost missed these instructions simply because they seem like part of the recipe introductions.  I wouldn’t even mind if she just made them part of the ingredients list.  There is my rant for this week. 

To make the shortcake batter, make the beurre noisette and then add the vanilla and once you can function again after that heaven, set it aside and keep it warm. 

The ambrosial beurre noisette and vanilla

In the bowl of a stand mixer add the eggs and egg yolk and the sugar and place it over a pan of simmering water and whisk it until it is lukewarm to the touch.  Then place the bowl on the stand mixer and whip it for at least 5 minutes until it has tripled in volume. 

Heating the eggs and sugar

The whipped egg and sugar mixture

Remove about 1/2 cup of the whipped egg mixture and whisk it into the warm beurre noisette and set it aside.  Sift half of the flour over the remaining whipped eggs and fold it in quickly.  Sift on the rest of the flour and fold it in.  Then add the beurre noisette mixture and fold it in.  Spoon the batter into prepared molds and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Finished batter

Ready to be baked

The baked shortcakes

The rest of the dessert is really just a matter of assembly. 

Put the berries in a bowl and sprinkle sugar over them and give them a toss.  Allow them to sit and exude their juices.  When ready, strain the juices and since I was using fresh berries I just added the Chambord to the berry juices and used that as my syrup with no further reducing.  I also opted for the creme fraiche so I whipped the creme fraiche with a bit of sugar and I was ready to assemble. 

I took some license here with my assembly as well.  I brushed the syrup onto one shortcake.  Then I added some whipped creme fraiche and then some berries.  I then added a second shortcake brushed with syrup, added more creme fraiche and more berries and then spooned a bit of the syrup over the top.  I have to admit that these were absolutely delicious.  I will definitely be making them again.  But then again, they contain that most magical of ingredients don’t they? 




Next Up:  Chocolate Layer Cake with Caramel Ganache