When you work in the food biz a lot of experimenting goes around. Boy, how I can testify to that. Most of it is fun and exciting, but some of it real tedious and challenging. Some new recipes just do what you expect them to do in a flash. They taste great, look great and come together at the first try. But others…..
So was the case when I set out to make a vegan scone. One of the reasons why I really love scones is because of their crumbly texture. Now I must admit that even without the added challenge of making your scone completely plant based, making a good scone is quite difficult. I know, you say how can that be? The thing looks so harmless, so charming and easy breezy. Don’t let the looks deceive you my friends. A perfectly baked scone sets one mother in law apart from the other, turns a rainy day into a gift spend on the couch with a blanket and a book or a disaster with lumps of too wet dough splattered all over your kitchen wall. Ahem.
What usually gives a scone that perfect crumbly texture is the really cold butter that goes in it and mixes with the flour to look like the sand on a beach. Milk, or to add insult to injury when wanting to take the vegan route, full fat cream brings the whole thing together making a great scone crumbly but definitely not dry. Of course nor butter nor cream were an option this time around. So I googled here and there a bit. Tried many different recipes that made me so frustrated my kitchen wall began looking like a paint ball arena. Until I came across the kind of recipe I like on www. artofdessert.com. Clean and simple. Elegant yet not stiff. A real Coco Chanel type of recipe this was. Using cold coconut milk instead of cows milk and leaving out the butter all together. Of course just copy pasting any recipe has never been my thing so I still had to give it the soulfoodie make over.
First I wanted a different texture and taste than plain old wheat flour so I dumped some rolled oats in my kitchen aid and used that flour together with some spelt flour. Also I am slowly turning into thé spokesperson for coconut blossom sugar and am currently using it in any and everything baked. I love the natural caramel like scent it brings to the table. Plus the fact that it is one of the hardest to harvest but healthiest natural sugars around. Remember the salt craze we had a couple of years ago with all manners of cool coloured salts exploding on the market? In my opinion the same is about to happen with natural sugars. And coconut blossom sugar is one of the finest types of natural sugars you can get your hands on. In my minds eye I keep seeing a tiny but super strong Indonesian man climbing up all the way to the top of a coconut palm tree where he has to expertly cut the coconut blossom so as to catch even the last sip of the precious sap that oozes out of it. He has to do this at least 40 to 100 times in one day! To produce only 1 kilo of the sugar we end up using he needs to harvest at least 8 liters of sap. I know, OMG. This is why the real deal is so so expensive. Yet delicious…
So everytime I take a bite of my lovely scone I say thank you coconut man, thank you coconut man, thank you coconut man. You have to say it three times, otherwise it doesn’t count.
Anyway back to my recipe. I still felt my scone could use a little bit more oomphs and opted for some very cold coconut butter to try and get that so desired crumbly texture. Finally I threw in mulberries for an added energy boost and fresh blueberries for colour and that sticky jammy bit that sticks to the bottom of the scone when baking, which I love so much. I must say, I may not have climbed a coconut tree forty times a day to create this heavenly morsel. But I did clean my kitchen walls at least five times to get it right, which should count for something too, right?
This recipe suits Vata and pitta types best because the sweet taste is balancing to both of them. The slightly sticky texture of oats also works well with both constitutions. Have it either as a morning treat or, especially for a Vata feeling really ungrounded, even as a midday snack.
Mulberry and oats scones
- 260 grams spelt flour
- 160 grams oat flour (from ground up rolled oats)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 75 grams coconut blossom sugar
- 50 grams very cold coconut butter
- 240 ml thick cold coconut milk
- small handful of mulberries
- small handful of fresh blueberrries
- bit of extra coconut for brushing the tops
- bit of extra coconut blossom sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put all dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Now add the cold coconut butter and pulse another few times until the texture looks sandy (dry sand not wet sand). Slowly mix the coconut milk in three to four batches until the mixture just comes together. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and mix in the two types of berries gently as to not break them. Form the dough into a disc about 2 to 3 cm in height. With a very sharp knife cut in 8 wedges. Arrange wedges on baking sheet, brush tops with coconut milka and sprinkle with the sugar. Now bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with soy yoghurt and unsweetened jam.