A new take on the traditional strawberry shortcake. Kombucha adds a great sour-sweetness to the strawberries which perfectly pairs with rich dairy-free vanilla whip piled high on a spelt shortcake. This recipe requires advanced planning for the vanilla whip (approx. 12 hours), or simply use your favourite brand of non-dairy whip for a faster prep time. This recipe was partially inspired by Dolly & Oatmeal’s Flourless Cake & Kombucha Macerated Strawberries.
Plants growing in the yard inspire me everyday. I debated posting this recipe…no one would believe we had this abundance of ripe strawberries in early June. It happened (and still is). The good weather of Summer graced us in Spring for several consecutive weeks and the garden exploded with growth. It is somewhat unbelievable, right? Weather variables aside, there were a few strategic steps we took earlier in the year to help the garden along, particularly the berries. The soil was amended slightly with fresh compost (a fairly routine practice), and we fertilized emerging seedlings and established perennials with Kelp emulsion. The plants have never looked better, stronger and more vibrant (I thank the Kelp).
Sometimes, I find it hard to bake/cook with freshly picked or local berries; their natural flavours don’t require enhancements…especially if you pick them right from under the suns’ nose…the warmth enhances their juices and they just melt in your mouth…beyond heavenly. Nevertheless, these beautiful berries, however early they were, needed to be put to good use. A little maceration in unflavoured Kombucha really enhanced them…it’s a great combination. Originally, it was this recipe (drool) by Lindsey of Dolly & Oatmeal that inspired me to try Kombucha maceration and I’m so pleased with the result…it’s fantastic!
If you haven’t tried Kombucha, it’s a widely available fermented tea beverage reminiscent of apple cider vinegar, but sweeter. It can be made right at home, although it does involve a time commitment; I’ll share a simple guide to brewing Kombucha at home in a later post, but for now, you can either use homemade or an unflavoured variety from your favourite brew co.
Spelt shortcakes are a perfect vessel for the macerated berries, however, like traditional shortcakes, they’re not very sweet or exciting on their own…they need the good stuff dolloped and sandwiched between ’em.
Advanced prep is necessary if you plan to make the vanilla whip; you need to refrigerate cans of coconut milk for 12-24 hours, so be sure to pop them in the fridge the day before you plan to make this, or simply use your favourite non-dairy whip brand from your local grocer. You can also sub the whip for d-f plain yogurt.
SPELT SHORTCAKES w KOMBUCHA MACERATED STRAWBERRIES & DAIRY-FREE VANILLA WHIP
- 2 tbsp flax meal + 4 tbsp water
- 1 ¾ cup spelt flour
- ¼ cup fine ground almond flour
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon cane sugar plus more for sprinkling
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Macerated Strawberries
- 4 cups strawberries stemmed and sliced 1/4-1/2"
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 2-1/2 cups unflavored Kombucha
For the Vanilla Whip
- 2 cans of full fat coconut milk refrigerated overnight (I prefer Thai Kitchen)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Prepare the Macerated Strawberries
To a large glass bowl, add the sliced strawberries, cane sugar and kombucha; stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover and place in the fridge for 30-45mins. The longer they sit, the more flavour and softness they will develop.
Preheat the oven to 450'F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and water and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the spelt flour, almond meal, cane sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.
To the flax mixture, add the almond milk, olive oil, and vanilla; stir to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until moistened and all the flour is combined. Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking tray into 6 even mounds and roughly form each into a circle about 1" thick. Sprinkle cane sugar over the mounds and bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
While the cakes cool, prepare the vanilla whip: remove the cans of coconut milk from the fridge and invert. Open the bottom (now the top) of the cans and drain off/discard the coconut water. Scoop out the thick coconut cream into a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and whip for about 2-3 minutes. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove and whip again. Repeat this process until the coconut fat holds a stiff peak.
Using a sharp serrated knife, slice each shortcake in half and spoon macerated strawberries and vanilla whip on the bottom half. Add the top and serve right away.
Wholewheat flour can be substituted for spelt flour in equal measure. If there is any leftover kombucha marinade, feel free to guzzle...it's delicious! Diary-free vanilla yogurt or ice cream works well instead of the coconut whip.