I'm a pretty advanced home cook. I often make things that require straining through cheesecloth on a regular weekday so you would think that I would know everything there is to know about making shortcakes. Oh, no I don't! Mindy Merrell and R.B Quinn of Cheater Chef were about to show me just how little I knew. Mindy has a degree in home ec and has worked in test kitchens and has written cookbooks. She can whip up a batch of biscuits faster than you can say, "Pass the gravy."
R.B. was an Eagle Scout so he can do pretty much anything as long as he has a piece of rope and some flint.
The Cheaters assembled the Lab attendees in the Downtown Nashville Farmers Market and gave us in-depth info on self-rising flour and different fats and liquids.
I'm not kidding about the in-depth part. The Shortcake Lab Manual they gave us was 12 pages long!
There was no way I was going to leave without learning something. Like out of all the self-rising flours they had, only King Arthur didn't have aluminum.
One of the great things Mindy demonstrated was the use of a pastry cloth.
I've already ordered mine!
People in the Lab got to participate and the Middle Child decided (with a little prodding) to try her hand at it.
I have to say I was quite proud.
Her chocolate chip shortcakes turned out great!
They ended up being the most decadent version.
They did a brunchy take on the shortcake, topping it with apples and sausage. I added ricotta with orange zest.
This one with bananas and a caramel sauce Mindy whipped up in about 2 minutes. I was impressed because caramel sauce makes me panic. That girl can flat cook!
These were made with a super wet dough that was formed into balls and rolled in flour before baking. I've never seen a recipe like it. Oh, and they poured like a stick of melted butter over them so they came close to being my favorite.
They even made little muffin versions.
After a while, my plate was looking a bit like a dog's breakfast with all the shortcake carnage.
Our brains and bellies were full up!
To learn more about the Cheater Chef and to get more recipes, visit their site.