Strawberry shortcake is definitely one of my favorite desserts. Is there anything better than a crumbly biscuit, sweet strawberries, and whipped cream? Apparently, the only way to top it is to add chai to the mix. It’s an incredible combination I never, ever in a million years would’ve thought of if it wasn’t for tea being this month’s Recipe Redux theme + smelling these delicious strawberries the second I walked into the grocery store, from a solid 50 yards away.
So, chai is like the best tea, right? I buy an extra, fiery spicy kind and would drink it a million times stronger, even. Do you call it chai tea? It’s a big of a pet peeve of mine. Actually, I wish it had an entirely different name. This last winter when I was making a cup, one of my coworkers asked what kind of tea I was making, so I said “chai”. She gave me the funniest look and just laughed as she explained that where she’s from (China), I pretty much just told her the kind of tea I’m drinking is tea. I knew that chai meant tea, but apparently it’s either less common than I thought or has another name to — either way, it’s delicious and everyone should drink it by the gallon.
Or eat it by the shortcake-ful(?). The strawberry soaked shortcake-ful, because despite all the tea that goes into it, the biscuit is a touch dry and soaks up all that strawberry goodness perfectly. Cover it in whipped cream (or even ice cream, mmm) and it’s the perfect summertime dessert. If you’re more of a traditional strawberry shortcake fan, I have you covered there, too, or you can even make it as a donut.
⅓ c fat free Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, or vegan yogurt
½ c soda water, plus extra
½ c hot water
1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced (See note)
2 – 4 turbinado or preferred sugar, based on ripeness of strawberries and personal tastes
Whipped cream (regular, light, coconut or other vegan variety)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and spritz a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Steep 2 tea bags in the hot ½ c of water, until you’ve brewed a very strong cup of tea. Discard tea bags.
Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt by whisking in a bowl. Add the yogurt, stirring until the flour looks crumbly. Add the tea and the soda water, stirring until the dough comes together. You may need to add a splash or two of extra soda water, but you do not want the dough sticky.
Turn out onto a floured surface. Cut the remaining tea bag and sprinkle a portion of the tea onto the dough; fold in half and sprinkle additional tea. Repeat 2 times, until tea is gone. Add more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
Roll the dough out one last time, to about ⅛ inch thickness. Loosely fold. Using a biscuit cutter or a round glass dipped in flour, cut out biscuits. Roll and fold again, if necessary, until you have 8 – 9 biscuits.
Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Spritz the tops with nonstick spray and bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the strawberries and sugar. Microwave for one minute, until the strawberries are warm. Let set aside to allow the strawberries to release their juices (I prefer at least 1 hour).
Once the biscuits are cool, remove from the baking sheet and cut in half. Assemble the shortcakes as follows: biscuit half, 1 tbsp. whipped cream, strawberries, top biscuit half, strawberries, 1 tbsp. more whipped cream. Personally, I like to assemble in a bowl and get extra strawberry liquid.
If you like your shortcakes extra strawberry-y (like me) then double the strawberry mixture. The calorie estimate increases to roughly 195 when you use ⅛th of the double batch. Rolling the dough out and loosely folding will help achieve more rise in the biscuit. Store left over biscuits at room temp and the strawberries in the fridge.
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