Episode 27: Bonus Bakery Visit - Our take on Short Cake
Ready? Here it is. Burgers, schmurgers. Short Cake rocks!
Located a quick turn around the corner from Short Order, this cheerful market stall is exactly as it should be. There are colorful painted bundt cake pans on the walls, eye-catching beakers of coffee beans, and tattooed barristas smiling as they work.
If I drank coffee, I imagine that all of this would be blowing my mind. As is, I find it to be a lovely decorative accent for the cake.
There are piles of cookies in a basket at the counter, and glass cases full of gorgeous goodies. It made me happy just to look at the place bustling away.
The overwhelming sense is that you are about to get an after school treat from someone's mom who happens to be the best baker in the neighborhood. Partially it's the handwritten signs nestled into the case, or the visibly moist crumbs on the Brunette slices. It's also the homey mix of offerings. Crumbles and cookies, scones and muffins, bread pudding made with chocolate buns. Breakfast cereal, buttermilk and jam as ingredients, along with the unexpected savory notes of curry in a raisin scone, cardamom cream in a chocolate layer cake, feta cheese in a muffin and thyme and pine nuts topping that dense brunette. And why hasn't anyone invented cashew butter cookies before?
Full as we were on spuds, we lined up at the counter and went a little nuts.
The brownie was almost too dense and fudge-y for some of us, heavy with coffee flavor, and intensely chocolate. Others loved it.
The texture of the breakfast cereal cookie was fantastic. It was crunchy on the outside, but buttery and soft the minute you bit into it. Bits of dried wild blueberries and the light dusting of sugar and spice made this humble-looking cookie a standout.
This, though, was our favorite. The buttermilk tart. Five bucks gets you a straight shot to heaven. The crust is simply awesome, first of all. Buttery and sweet and a tiny bit salty, it should be pictured in the dictionary next to "shortbread crust". The custard is bright and tangy and sweet and creamy all at once. Cool to the tongue, smooth and silky, the luscious texture makes it taste that much better. The top was clearly sprinkled with just a hint of cinnamon before baking. This tart, my friends, is what great baking is all about. Nothing fancy...there are probably five or six ingredients in the whole thing... just simple, pure magic.
We were also big fans of the genevieve, a dark, crumbly shortbread made with walnuts and sea salt, I took home snickerdoodles and gingersnaps to my family, and let's just say that people were quite happy with me when I arrived. FG6 does advise avoiding the twice-baked brioche with the almond topping. It looked lovely, but was super dry. Just goes to show you, nobody's perfect!
FG Final Verdict: Go. NOW!
You can also bake up a treat at home for yourself...
Recipe for their cashew butter cookies is here.
Recipe for their orange chiffon cake is here.
Curry Raisin Scones
Inspired by the one I ate at Short Cake, I adapted my go-to scone recipe. The results were so positive that I went and made Curry Oatmeal Raisin Cookies*, too.
For the scones:
2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
zest of one orange (optional)
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cold and diced
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. plus 3 Tbs. buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp curry powder
2 Tbs. raw sugar
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, curry powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest, if using. Scatter the cold butter dice on top, then cut into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins. Add the buttermilk, and combine carefully, using your hands or a wooden spoon, just until dough comes together loosely. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently a few time until smooth. Roll or pat out into a rough rectangle, about 3/4 of an inch high. Cut scones out using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, and place onto a cookie sheet. Gather dough scraps, pat out again, and continue cutting scones. You should get about 12-15 scones all together, depending on the size of your cutter.
Brush the tops of the scones lightly with beaten egg. Using a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder, crush the curry powder and raw sugar together to combine, and sprinkle the tops of the scones with a little of the curry sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature, with clotted cream and apricot jam, or all by themselves with a smidge of butter.
Click to print this recipe!
* Make the dough for Barnaby Day Cookies. Add 1 1/4 c. quick cooking oats and 2 tsp. curry powder along with the dry ingredients, then stir in 1 c. of golden raisins. Bake for 12 minutes at 350.