December 2016 Recipe Redux Challenge:
Grab and Cook:
We’re playing a little party game at the end of 2016: Grab your nearest cookbook and Redux the recipe on page 201,16,216 – or any combination of the number “2016”. (Of course, please don’t forget to credit the original recipe and change enough of the recipe to make it your ver own.)
I took a deep breathe and stepped forward to ring the door bell. Behind the heavy wood door, I could hear commotion and high pitch excited shriek. I nervously stood there clutching my luggage as I heard the door knob turn. It had been several months and now I was finally home.
Christmas at home was always something I looked forward to. It was always special. I almost couldn’t contain the excitement on the cab ride home from the airport as we drove by the familiar scenes of bridges, ships, buildings, shopping malls. I watched as the early Sunday morning rays illuminated the dark skies, slowly creeping across the city, waking the silent city from its deep sleep. From the window, I could see the majestic evergreen trees that stood proudly in downtown Central, right next to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. As the lights reflected off the glass exterior of the skyscrapers, the intricate details of the colorful ornaments, fairy lights, tinsels on the tree became evident. I simply couldn’t wait until everything turned dark because that was when the magic happens: the city comes to life in its full christmas spirit with lights that filled the night sky.
The moment I walked into the door I caught sight of our humble decorations of ribbons, scattered presents, glass balls. There was nothing grand, nothing fancy – nothing like that beautiful christmas tree I saw in Central, but somehow beyond the presents, the fancy decorations; it was home that made it feel like Christmas. I ran over to our earthy dark dining table, surprised to see it covered with a spread of Artisan bread, boxes of Japanese cookies, shortbread, chocolate truffles, crunchy nuts! Some were gifts, others were souvenirs…I had forgotten there was always so much food, so much to eat at home. My fingers ached to bake something sweet to add onto this outrageous stock of food, but my body said otherwise. I was exhausted from the jet lag and long flight. It would be hard but I guess I would have to wait just a little longer.
Christmas for me is the season of inspiration. For the past few weeks, I found myself filled with new ideas and creations for this special festive time of year. Somehow I couldn’t quite push off the longing I had for the warm flavor of gingerbread or snickerdoodles. Coming from a Chinese family there had never been a tradition of Christmas baking, but the gorgeous displays of decorated gingerbread homes made the idea of baking some homemade gingerbread romantic and enticing. So in the midst of our busy finals week, Zoe and I squeezed in time to develop this gorgeous ginger scone recipe. This idea of gingerbread scones was inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s Raspberry Scone Recipe (pg. 16). I ADORE that cookbook and we finally settled on gingerbread scones for our December challenge.
FYI: Zoe and me absolutely LOVE English scones. We usually had them doused in fresh clotted cream and slathered with homemade berry jam. For the record, I don’t usually like raspberry or blueberry jam but this was the one exception I would have it and actually enjoy it. Let me just say this – the combination is to die for. Our family first discovered this scrumptious treat during our trip to London and we fell in love with it instantly. Maybe it was my soft spot for all sweet things but you also to have understand how addicting this dense, crumbly cake/bread is.
You could say it was a pretty ambitious move considering the fact that I don’t personally know of anyone else who makes homemade scones. So this Christmas is the perfect opportunity to dig out that old recipe again! Except this time our’s is paleo, vegan, gluten free and oil-free! Whats to say we can’t reintroduce an old family favorite with a Christmas twist?
With Michael Buble Christmas music softly playing in the background and my laptop balanced on my knee as I write this post, I can’t help but lick my lips at the thought of this yummy and decadent dessert. Although the first time wasn’t quite successful, but our second trial really hit the spot after we tweaked the proportions of spices and molasses to make it perfectly moist and dense. It isn’t the traditional crumbly scones you will find in bakeries across London, but this is a delicious rendition for those who want something healthier and lighter. For Zoe and I, these scones were just as good as the ones we enjoyed that summer afternoon in that cafe at Hyde Park. And here we have it: a guilt-less, Christmas treat complimented with flecks of ginger and cinnamon as well as a rich nuttiness from the almond flour.
This recipes combines 2 of the most traditional English treats- gingerbread and scones. Unlike its similar counterpart – the American Biscuit, it contains much less butter and sugar. However, it is thick, fluffy, cake-like and looks almost identical to the American scone. Interestingly, it often lacks any sort of add-ins like chocolate or salted caramel (and if there is any they are often quite simple because it is served with extra toppings of your choice: jam, clotted cream, butter). Our version however contains hints of cinnamon, ginger and molasses which warms you head to toe. Top this off with our creamy coconut maple glaze and there you have it: a sweet, dense dessert for breakfast, tea or snack. A delightful indulgence for this beautiful season that comes together without having to take out your blender, KitchenAid or food processor!
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s Cookbook (pg. 16)
Ingredients – makes 8
- 2.5 cups Almond Flour
- 3 tbsp Coconut Flour
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt (1/8 tsp regular salt)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp Molasses
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Flax Egg (1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
Creamy Maple “Coconut” Glaze :
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (from the top of the can)
How to Make:
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine together 1 tbsp flaxseeds and 3 tbsp water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl combine together all the wet ingredients.
- Prepare a baking tray and line with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the baking tray and using your hands shape a 7″ diameter circle dough (about 0.5″ thick).
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- In a blender, add all the ingredients for your maple glaze. Blend till smooth. Pour into a container and freeze for 1 hour until thickened.
- Once the scones are cooled COMPLETELY, transfer your frosting into a small ziplock bag. Snip one corner with scissors and start piping!.
Coconut cream: For those of you who don’t have coconut cream my next best substitute would be to try coconut yogurt or even 3/4 cup soaked cashews.
Non-Vegan Substitute: You can just use 1 egg instead of the flax egg