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Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Towers

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Towers

(Serves 8)


1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced

2/3 cups sugar, divided

2 cups flour

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided

3/4 cup half-and-half cream

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon coarse sugar

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

3/4 cup hot fudge sauce (I used caramel sauce)

Chocolate curls or shavings, optional

 

Combine strawberries and 1/3 cup of sugar; refrigerate. 

 

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and remaining 1/3 cup sugar.  Using a pastry cutter or two forks, "cut" in the butter into the flour mixture until mixture becomes course crumbs.  Then add the 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips and mix.  Pour in the half-and-half and stir until just moistened (do not over-mix).

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

 

Divide the dough into 8 "patties", each about 3/4-inch thick.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place patties on baking sheet and brush each with the egg white.  Then sprinkle patties with coarse sugar and remaining chocolate chips.  

 

Bake for 13 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool.

 

In a small bowl, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.  Refrigerate until ready to assemble shortcakes. 

 

To assemble, split shortcakes in half cross-wise.  Place patty bottoms on a dessert plate.  Make an "assembly line" and top patties with about two-thirds of the strawberries,  whipped cream, and fudge topping.  Replace shortcake tops and top with remaining berries, cream, and topping.  Garnish with chocolate curls or shavings, if desired.  (A sprig of mint looks pretty on the plate, too, if you have it...)

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