Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Maple Syrup & Pecan Scones

One of the great things about my never dwindling enthusiasm for cooking and baking is that the more I do, the more confident I become in adapting recipes to use the ingredients that I have immediately to hand. When I first started cooking, I always had to have the exact ingredients specified and I would slavishly follow recipes. As I have become more confident in the kitchen and my understanding of the basic principles of cooking has grown, I regularly change recipes around and experiment. Sometimes it doesn’t work out as planned, but quite often it does.
 
I had some pecan nuts left over after another dish which I was keen to use up, so decided that I would roughly chop them up and add them to my basic soda bread recipe. As I was weighing everything out, it suddenly occurred to me that the classic combination of pecan nuts and maple syrup would work beautifully as a flavour accent in come brown scones so they are what I made.
 
I didn’t want a densely brown scone so I also changed the ratio of white to brown flour that I normally use to include a greater proportion of white flour.

I was delighted with how the scones turned out. They were slightly sweet courtesy of the maple syrup used and the nutty crunch of the pecans worked wonderfully with the stoneground wholemeal flour.

The finished scones were delicious made even more so that I ate them with a generous wedge of perfectly ripe Cashel Blue cheese. The blue cheese tasted absolutely fabulous with the slightly sweet and nutty scones… Absolute heaven!

 

Ingredients:

200g plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
275g stoneground wholemeal flour
60g pecan nuts chopped
300-325ml buttermilk
50ml maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
To finish:
9-12 whole pecan nuts
 


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan Oven 180C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly flour a baking sheet and set aside.
2. Sift the plain flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped nuts and mix through.
3. Add the egg and maple syrup and then pour in most of the buttermilk (do not add it all at once as you may not need it all). Mix everything together to create a soft, but not sticky dough.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead very briefly. Pat the dough with your hands until it is approximately 4cms thick and then stamp out circles of the dough a round cookie cutter (approximately 6cms in diameter). Place these on the floured baking tray. Just before baking press a whole pecan nut onto the top of each scone. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
5. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

 
Makes 9-12 scones depending on size of cutter used.