Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scones fit for a Queen

Hope you all enjoyed your long weekend, courtesy of the Queen. I’m sure there were a few people out there nursing a hangover, thankfully I wasn’t one of them.

Having an extra day off work and with the weather being all rainy and miserable, it was a perfect opportunity for me to bake. Any excuse really! In light of the Queen’s birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to bring a touch of English flair to the weekend and what could be more English than scones?

There is nothing better than enjoying a cup of freshly brewed tea with a nice warm scone served with jam and whipped cream. And with this cold weather, who could resist indulging in such a treat! 

You can make so many different variations of scones from date & lemon, cheese & bacon, to pumpkin, just to name a few, but I’ve gone for a variation of my own, fig scones (after finding dried figs in the fridge that needed to be used up!).

The following recipe has been adapted from “Allergy-friendly cookbook” by Alice Sherwood

Fig Scones

125g gluten free self raising flour (plus extra for dusting)
100g potato flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
30g castor sugar
45g butter
1 egg lightly beaten
60ml black tea (English breakfast or earl grey)
30g dried figs, cut into small pieces
50ml milk
2-3 tbsp cream or milk to glaze

1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees. Grease a baking sheet or line it with baking paper.

2. Soak the figs in the black tea for at least 30 minutes.

3. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl: flours, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Stir in the sugar.

4. Cut up the butter and rub it into the dry mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the drained figs and egg to the mixture.

5. Add three quarters of the milk and mix it in quickly with a knife. Add the remaining milk to mix to a soft dough.  Don’t overmix as this will make the scones tough.

6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll out to 2cm thick.

7. Cut out the scones with a floured cutter. Gather any trimmings, roll into a ball and cut more scones.

8. Place the scones on a baking sheet and brush the tops with cream or milk.

9. Bake near top of oven for 10-12 minutes or until the scones have risen, are lightly browned on top and the bases sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy scones with nice jam and freshly whipped cream, yum!

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Warm Spiced Quince Crumble

With the cooler days setting in and Romie away on a beach in Miami sipping a coconut cocktail (sometimes life’s not fair!), I’m finding warmth and comfort in my cooking. Is it just me or is it colder than last year? Needing something to warm me up, I thought I would make a classic homemade crumble for dessert.

I decided on using quinces. I have never cooked with quinces before and the only time I have eaten one was in the form of a paste on my crackers with cheese. I have never made a crumble before either, but surely it couldn’t be that hard right? Oh well I love a challenge and as you all know, gluten free cooking is just that.

It was easier than I thought and it tasted delicious. Here is recipe I put together, give it a go!


For the poached quinces
2 quinces, peeled, cored and quartered
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 fresh orange peel

For the crumble
60g gluten free flour
30g brown sugar
45g butter
4 tablespoons gluten free muesli (I used Carman’s)

1. To prepare the quinces, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover the quinces. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the quinces are soft.

2. Remove the fruit from the liquid and let cool to room temperature. Thinly slice the quince and reserve.

3. Butter the inside of four 1 cup capacity ramekins and set them on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

4. To prepare the crumble, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

5. Divide the quince slices evenly among your dishes and sprinkle a generous amount of the crumble on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Serve warm from the oven topped with ice cream or gluten free custard.

Makes 4 ramekins.

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