Spring in Melbourne is just around the corner, and with it comes the perfect time to enjoy a lovely outdoor afternoon of delectable treats with a pot of tea. For me, the perfect afternoon tea isn’t complete without some warm scones smeared with jam and dolloped with cream. So, I present to you a healthy twist on the classic scones, jam and cream that we all love dearly. I promise that these won’t disappoint!
I used nutritious ingredients that have been a staple in certain regions for centuries, but some of which have only recently resurfaced and gained popularity:
Spelt is an ancient grain that is native to Iran and southeastern Europe. While spelt contains gluten, it is claimed that the gluten in spelt is more fragile which makes it easier to digest. Spelt also features a host of nutrients including vitamin B2,manganese, thiamin and copper.
Chia seeds are said to have been in the Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. These tiny seeds are loaded with fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cashews are originally native to northeastern Brazil, but are now widely grown in many other tropical regions. They have a lower fat content than other nuts, and are a great source of magnesium.
These scones have a soft crumbly texture with a subtle hint of nutty flavour from the spelt flour. For variety, I mixed in some sultanas into half of the dough, which also turned out delicious. While I love pairing the scones with chia-raspberry jam and sweet cashew cream, I have a couple of tips for you if you ever find yourself short for time. If you haven’t the time to prepare the jam, simply add a cup of frozen mixed berries to the scones batter and this will add some jammy fruity flavour to your scones. As for the cream, for a non-vegan alternative you could substitute it with plain greek yogurt, sweetened with honey or pure maple syrup.
- - 1 cup spelt flour
- - 1 cup light buckwheat flour
- - 2 teaspoons baking powder
- - a tiny pinch of salt
- - ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- - ¼ cup coconut oil
- - ½ cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk
- - 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Chia Raspberry Jam
- - 1 cup raspberries, mashed
- - 2 tablespoons water
- - ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
- - 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- - ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- Sweet Cashew Cream
- - 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 5 hours)
- - 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- - ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- - ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- - ½ cup water
- - sprinkle of salt
- To make the chia-raspberry jam, mix all the jam ingredients in a jar and stir with a spoon until well combined (if you are using frozen raspberries, you can also blend all the ingredients in a blender). Set aside for the chia seeds to expand and soften into a jam paste.
- Move on to the scones. Sieve flours, baking powder, salt, and coconut sugar (dry ingredients) into a bowl and mix well.
- Pour coconut oil onto the dry ingredients and use a pastry cutter (or two knives like a pair of scissors) to mix in the oil into the flour (known as "cutting in" - this helps create the crumbly texture of the scones) until the flour mixture resembles crumbs. Place the bowl with the crumbly dough in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan forced). Prepare a baking sheet on a flat surface for your dough, sprinkle with flour.
- While waiting for the scones dough to cool in the freezer, move on to the sweet cashew cream. Place all cream ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until you attain a smooth creamy consistency (depending on the speed of your blender, you might have to stop the blender and scrape the sides a couple of times before you reach this consistency). Set aside.
- After 15 minutes, take out the dough from the freezer (if you are adding frozen berries, you should add them now and use a spatula to fold into the dough).
- Create a well in the middle of the dough. Add the almond milk and vanilla bean paste into the middle of the well. Fold with a spatula until just combined. The dough will stick together because of the wet ingredients but may still be moderately crumbly. Remember not to over mix.
- Firmly pat the dough on the baking sheet you've prepared and form a circle that is about 2 cm thick. Cut into 8 triangular slices and place separately on the baking sheet. Brush the top and sides with almond milk.
- Transfer the baking sheet from your surface onto a baking pan. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the sides are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.