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The 1785 Inn's Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

For the shortcakes:
2 C. flour
2 t. baking powder
4 T. cocoa
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
5 T. cold, unsalted butter, cut into five portions
4 oz. chocolate chips
3/4 C. milk

For the strawberry sauce:
4 qts. strawberries
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. orange juice

For the whipped cream:
2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. confectioners' sugar
2 t. vanilla

To make the shortcakes: Combine the flour, baking powder, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and chocolate chips, and process until crumbly.

While processing, add the milk until the mixture is crumbly but will hold together when pinched with the fingers. Turn the moistened dough out onto the counter, form into ball and flatten into a circle approximately 1 inch thick. With a 2-inch round cutter, make 12 to 15 shortcakes.

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 13 minutes. When slightly cooled, place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap to keep them moist.

To make the strawberry sauce: Puree 2 quarts of the strawberries in a food processor. Remove from the processor, pour into bowl, and add the sugar and orange juice. Slice the remaining 2 quarts of berries and add to the pureed mixture.

To make the whipped cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream on high speed. When the mixture begins to thicken, add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Continue whipping until thick.

To assemble the shortcakes: Cut each shortcake in half horizontally. Place 1 T. sauce in the bottom of a dish. Place the bottom half of the shortcake on the sauce. Continue with 2 T. sauce, 1 T. whipped cream, the top half of the shortcake, 3-4 T. sauce, and finally 1 T. whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint leaves or a fresh strawberry.

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