Coconut Blackberry Shortcake - 1

I’m a bit obsessed with coconut cream. I’d even go as far to say that coconut whipped cream is better than regular whipped cream (as long as what you’re making goes well with coconut). I began using it when I started cooking for some vegan clients, but now I like using it in my non-vegan cooking, too.

Coconut Blackberry Shortcake - 3

What’s coconut cream? If you take a can of coconut milk, refrigerate it overnight, and then open it, on top you’ll be able to skim off some thick, white stuff. That’s coconut cream. On the bottom will be a cloudy looking liquid. Essentially, a now lower fat coconut milk or coconut water. To get technical, coconut water is the juice in the middle when you crack open a coconut and coconut milk is derived from the flesh or meat of the coconut and then mixed with some juice. Call it what you like. The point is you can drink it. I sweeten it with some honey or agave syrup. Some stores carry canned coconut cream, in which case, no skimming is necessary, but still refrigerate it for the recipe.

If you like making scones, you’ll notice the recipes for scones and shortcake are very similar. That’s because they’re essentially the same thing. There’s just one egg of separation.

Coconut Blackberry Shortcake - 2

makes 8-12

2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 c sliced almonds
1 egg
1/4 tsp almond extract
3/4 c heavy cream (plus an additional 1/4 c to brush on top)
turbinado (raw) sugar

coconut cream (from 1 can refrigerated coconut milk)
1/2-1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1 pint blackberries
1/4 c sugar

Coconut Blackberry Shortcake - 4

1. Macerate the blackberries. Don’t worry, it’s not as violent as it sounds. It simply means toss them with some sugar to draw out their juices.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°.
3. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
4. Drop in the butter pieces. With a pastry blender, or two knives, cut up the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
5. Add in the sliced almonds.
6. Pour the cream, egg, and almond extract over the mixture and bring together with a fork, just until it forms a mass. Don’t over mix the dough.
7. Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface. Roll out with a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to cut out circles, about 8-12 pieces.
8. Using a spatula, transfer the shortcake to a parchment lined baking sheet.
9. Quickly brush with some cream. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and place in the oven.
10. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
11. Transfer to a rack to cool.
12. Whip the chilled coconut cream with powdered sugar and vanilla. Adjust the sweetness to your own taste.
13. Slice a shortcake in half and fill with whipped coconut cream and blackberries. Finish with sliced almonds, powdered sugar, and coconut chips (optional).