Friday, February 17, 2012

Carrot, Cinnamon and Coconut Scones – a vanishing act!

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For years, I thought children’s writer Enid Blyton was actually called ‘Gnid’ because of the swirly font used for her name. I blame ‘Gnid’ for my obsession with food. I wasn’t half as interested in the shenanigans of her adventure-prone child heroes and heroines as I was in the food they ate. There always seemed to be a farmhouse table somewhere in the story, groaning under the weight of glazed ham, cold chicken, thick wedges of fruitcake, bowls of cherries, warm scones with clotted cream, and of course lashings of ginger beer cooling somewhere nearby in an icy stream.

I had planned two separate recipes today – one a carrot soup with the fragrant bouquet of carrots I found in the market, and the other, scones for tomorrow’s breakfast, when I started musing on the topic of ‘Gnid’. While I daydreamed, the boundaries between the two recipes became blurred and I found myself mixing grated carrot into my scone mixture, then coconut and cinnamon joined the party.

These are so quick and easy to magic up and they have a habit of vanishing just as quickly so I’ve nicknamed them the sorcerer’s scone – groan!

For 8 scones you will need...
... to pre-heat the oven to 180°C
250g plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine table salt
60g butter, cut into small pieces
125g carrots, finely grated
50g dark brown sugar
25g desiccated coconut
1 medium egg, beaten
110mls fresh milk

You’ll also need a little extra flour for sprinkling on your work surface and an extra tablespoon of dark brown sugar to sprinkle over the scone before baking.

Carrots, Cinnamon, Coconut... magic!
1.                  Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and butter in a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour, lifting and crumbling the mixture between your index and middle fingers and your thumbs, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2.                  Add the grated carrots, dark brown sugar and desiccated coconut, mixing until well distributed throughout the mixture.
3.                  Add the beaten egg and just enough of the milk to bring the mixture together in a soft dough, with no dry flour remaining. (Some days, the flour is thirsty and you’ll need a drop more milk; other days, you’ll have a little milk left over).
4.                  Turn the mixture out onto a lightly-floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Transfer to a non-stick baking sheet and using your hands, pat the ball of dough into a disc about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick.  Using a sharp knife, mark the disc into 8 wedges, sinking the knife about a third of the way into the dough. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of dark brown sugar.
5.                  Transfer to the pre-heated oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. A cocktail stick inserted in the centre should come out clean. If there is still dough clinging to it, pop the scone back into the oven for a further 5 minutes then test again. Transfer to a cooling rack. These scones are best eaten slightly warm, but will keep for a few days in sealed in an airtight container.


It's called the fastest bread in the West because one moment it's there and next it's scone ...

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