Mini Summer Fruit Chiffon Shortcake

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Ice cream reigns as the warm-weather treat of choice for most, but we think that this concoction might be able to oust it. Fresh, simple, and sweet, this Chiffon Shortcake combines fresh fruit, homemade whipped cream, and a light and airy chiffon base for the perfect summer dessert.

 

My first attempt at a chiffon cake. Not pretty.

Chiffon cake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chiffon Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine or regular sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 8 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

 

Whipped Cream

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

 

Fruit

  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced thinly
  • ½ lb. blueberries, halved
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar

 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • Combine fruit and sugar in a bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  • Sift flour, 1 ¼ cups sugar, baking powder, and salt into bowl. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form when you lift the whisk out of the mixture. Add remainder of sugar (¼ cup) and beat until stiff. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat egg yolks, water, oil, zest, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until smooth.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold ¼ of egg whites into batter, then fold in remainder. Fold in until fully combined, but be careful not to over-mix, as you will lose the airiness provided by the egg whites.
  • Pour batter into greased muffin pan or use a silicone muffin pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Let cupcakes cool in muffin pan (on a cooling rack) for 45 minutes to an hour. While cooling, make the whipped cream.
  • Beat heavy cream until thick peaks form. When cream starts to come together, add sugar, zest, and vanilla. Beat until stiff.
  • Carefully split each cupcake in half horizontally and place on plate. Spread whipped cream on bottom half of cupcake, layer strawberries and blueberries on top of whipped cream, and place top half of cupcake on top of fruit. If desired, spread a dollop of whipped cream onto very top. Eat with a fork or with fingers, for a messy picnic treat

 

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