It’s fair to say, I’m not a traditionalist. I like to keep things interesting. I reckon the ‘good old days’ can always be bettered, especially when baking.
This is another fusion/experiment from the Beach House Kitchen. Which worked quite nicely. You need to try these things, the first guy to make carrot cake probably raised a few stuffy eyebrows.
The scones is a British classic, my favourite Mum recipe was Walnut and Date, but I’ve decided to take it to India. The inspiration to have a mess with the humble scone came after a day of scone making at work, I found it all quite therapeutic. Combining the butter with the flour is a very earthy activity.
White flour, sugar and butter is not my kind of nutritional mix, so I’ve changed it to be gentler and better to the body and I think it adds flavour also. I have added ghee instead of butter, mainly because I have some delicious Pukka ghee at the minute, that graces all it touches. Ghee also has many health attributes. There are also soaked flax seeds here, that are super for our digestive system. Then the spices, conjuring up an Indian chai stall, star anise and cinnamon….. All in all, not your average scone experience.
Scones are super easy to make and as with most cakes, gentle handling is a must. The less hands, the lighter the cake. I made one large scone, then cut it up into slightly abstract shapes. This saves on waste dough and a bit of messing around. It also keeps the scones lighter (although with brown flour, they are heavier than their white cousins).
The weights don’t have to be exact, but do your best. This recipe will make one large scones, approx. 8 when cut up.
Because we have used ghee here, this recipe is suitable for lactose intolerant munchers also.
These are a robust scone, with lovely spiced fruit and the rich flavour of ghee.
250g Wholemeal flour, 75g good Ghee, 2 big tbs of honey (more if you are a sweet heart), 2 teas baking powder, 3 teas flax seeds (soaked overnight in water and well-drained), 2 pears chopped into small cubes, 2 tbs of water, 1 star anise, 1/2 teas cinnamon, 1/2 teas all spice, 1 clove, 1 teas finely chopped ginger, 1 teas good vanilla extract (worth spending here!), 2 organic beaten eggs, heavy pinch of salt.
Preheat oven to 200oC
Heat a pan, medium heat, add a little ghee, fry your pears gently for a few minutes, then add all spices to the pan and the splash of water, stir in. Cover and cook pears on low until tender, letting the spices infuse. The cooking time will depend of the ripeness and type of pear. They should nicely soft when ready. Turn off heat and stir in your honey, it should melt and form a sticky sauce. Remove the star anise and clove. Leave to cool.
In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and drop small lumps of ghee in, coat the lumps in the flour and work in rubbing ghee between thumb and finger tips. This will take a few minutes to combine and form a breadcrumb-like texture.
Add vanilla extract to the flour, mix your flax seeds into the pears and add, then your eggs, fold into mix (gently). Using a table knife to mix is advised here. It should be soft and sticky, if it’s too dry add a touch of milk (we used soya). Form the mix into a large ball and turn out onto a floured, cool surface. Dust your hands with flour and get involved, with tenderness. Gently massage the mix into a large flat round, approx 1 inch tall. This should rise a little. Dust the top with a little flour and transfer (easiest to move with two flat spatulas) onto a grease baking tray (greased with Ghee that is).
(I have tried brushing on melted honey and ghee with a pinch of cinnamon at this stage, which worked a treat.)
Bake, without opening the door, for around 15 minutes, until the top is nice and golden. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.
We had ours hot (hot is best) with Greek yoghurt, some homemade rhubarb compote and hazelnuts. Rather nice. They will compliment a nice Indian chai or like any good scone, your cuppa of choice.
We Love It!
This is another, almost guilt free desert. It is healthier and I think tastes better for it! What you lose in lightness of the scone, you gain in a sense of well-being in the belly.
Honey is quite incredible. Especially when you think of the process involved in acquiring it from our friends, the bees. Honey is my preferred sweetener, not only due to its wonderful flavour, but there are many health benefits to honey. Caster sugar is a little limp in comparison.
Honey is full of good sugars, mainly fructose. It’s fat-free and cholesterol free. It also contains many amino acids and minerals. The higher the mineral content, the better quality honey. This can be measured through conductivity. Manuka Honey is the best (yet another reasons to go to New Zealand) with the best conductivity.
Honey also has antiseptic qualities, meaning that in many ancient civilizations, honey was used on wounds and to treat many ailments. This makes a mockery of the ‘consume by’ dates on jars bought from supermarkets. As we know, most of these dates are ridiculous and lead to a large amount of needless food wastage.
If you have a little spare cash, try to buy good quality honey. Gales and other large honey producers actually feed their bees processed sugars and burn them when they have produced! It is quite a startling image, the bee equivalent of battery farm hens.
Here are 11 interesting facts about Honey: