Chicago bakery Floriole makes most of strawberry season

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One of Chicago's shortest seasons is already drawing to an end -- strawberry season. It typically only lasts about a month, but one bakery is making the most of it.

At Floriole in Chicago's Lincoln Park, they're coming up with some delicious takes that go far beyond shortcake.

The bakery prides itself on seasonal cooking and baking. This month, it's all about the strawberries. But they don't necessarily stick to basics. Yes, there's a shortcake version, but it's a tad different than what you're used to.

"Our shortcake is a little bit more biscuit-based, and we always like to put a bit of ginger in that shortcake because I like strawberries and ginger," said Floriole's owner Sandra Holl.

"We slow roast the strawberries to bring out the flavor and just put a little bit of that at the bottom and then cover that with fresh strawberries. So you get the big flavor and the fresh flavor at the same time."

A tart is as elegant as they come, but Holl takes liberties, and gussies it up.

"Sort of a Bavarian, so we use pastry cream, we lighten it with a little bit of whipped cream, a good dose of vanilla, and then we top it with fresh strawberries," she said.

She then cuts out some fresh honey and honeycomb from her rooftop apiary, adds a knob, as well as some tiny bits of bee pollen.
"It's a little funky, it's a little mealy, it's a little grainy, it pairs well with the whole thing but it's different," said Holl.

Edible flowers complete the garnish. She's also got a pavlova of sorts, just a lovely meringue actually, filled with lemon cream that's fortified with butter. It's topped with, what else, freshly-sliced berries.

"The tartness of the strawberries and the freshness cuts through all that rich and the meringue provides some sweetness and a little more whipped cream and you got it," she said.

So best case scenario, only a couple of weeks left to get local strawberries and I'd recommend do what I do: load up.

Extra Course: Strawberry treats at Floriole Bakery
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Extra Course: Strawberry treats at Floriole Bakery

1220 W. Webster Ave., Chicago
(773) 883-1313
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