In my last post on cheese scones, I should have added that I obviously wanted to bake the sweet version, which included dates, too. For some reason, the idea of adding dried figs and roasted walnuts appealed to me. I guess because it had been a while since I ate walnuts and because I had a bag of figs waiting to be used.
A rainy Sunday afternoon, reminding me that it will soon be fall, seemed like a great time to make these, so I did.
There is something comforting about dried fruit and nuts that just screams autumn, no? When I told my husband what I had in mind, he said “oh, so you are making muffins”? Those silly Germans!
Apropos, while they may say that it always rains in England, where scones are originally from, it’s a much lesser known fact that Cologne is the second rainiest city in Europe. No wonder the English Shop in downtown Cologne has been thriving for over a decade, selling popular English products such as Twinnings tea, Cadburry Chocolate and a variety of Cider.
Unfortunately, the scones did not turn out quite like what I had in mind. I mean, they were okay, but I realized that I am more of a savory scone person while eating them. I had originally intended to make a cinnamon topping, but since I didn’t have any cinnamon at home and the stores are closed on Sundays here in Germany, I had to make do with the spices I did have. I wasn’t going to post this recipe, because I think it still needs work (but then maybe, they wouldn’t be scones, but in fact muffins). My husband said he thought they were incredibly delicious, practically hogging them, and encouraged me to post the recipe anyway.
I ate mine accompanying my second pot of tea, heated by a candle and spreading that special glimmer in the darkish season that is fall.
Ingredients for twelve scones
100g gluten-free flour mix (I used Schaer Mix C, since that is what I had at home)
60g whole grain rice flour
70g buckwheat flour
60g butter (replace with margarine for a vegan option)
170 ml milk (I used low fat; use soy milk or another vegan milk for a vegan option)
1 tablespoon Bird’s custard powder (add one tbsp of corn starch for a vegan option)
2 tablespoons whipping cream (you can omit this and add a bit more milk or vegan milk)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
50g caster sugar
1 cup walnuts, in small pieces
1 handful dates and figs each cut into hazelnut-size pieces
For the topping
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon allspice
one muffin tin, baking parchment (cut into 15 x 15 cm pieces),
Place the walnut pieces in a pot, heat it and roast the walnuts while stirring every once in a while, to avoid burning. Once roasted, remove the pot from the stove and set to cool.
Heat your oven to 200 °C.
In a large bowl, mix the flours and the baking power. Add the butter, the egg, the whipping cream, the salt, the whipping cream and the sugar and mix thoroughly. Add the walnuts, the figs and the dates and stir well into the batter.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, vanilla extract and allspice.
Press the pieces of parchment paper into the muffin tins (like explained here), and add a tablespoon and a half of batter into each cup. Repeat with the remainder of batter until none is left. With your fingers, sprinkle a generous bit of sugar mix onto each scone.Place on middle oven rack and bake for about fifteen to twenty minutes, checking with a fork or chop stick whether scones are done.