Quick Homemade Sweet Scones


Last week I had a new oven instaled in my kitchen, so I have been busy testing it over the weekend. My first successful test was when I cooked my Fruit Scones.  If you have cooked scones before you will know that they do not always rise straight upwards, but often can “fall” sideways. Of course this does not change the flavour but when baking for guests, it is nice to have them straight (ish).  My new oven certainly has achieved this.

I have used the same scone recipe for years, and rarely do I have a disaster; whether they lean over or not. I never replace butter for a vegetable fat. If you do, maybe drop me a note to let me know how it goes.

Quick Homemade Sweet Scones

Traditional English Scone recipe

Course Cakes
Cuisine British
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 scones

Ingredients

  • 100 gm Unsalted butter softened slightly
  • 450 gm Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 50 gm Caster or granulated sugar
  • 2 medium Eggs
  • 200 ml Milk
  • 50 gm Sultanas Optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 200 C or Gas 6. Grease or line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or silicone.

  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the bowl. Soften before adding the flour.

  3. Add the flour, baking powder and sugar and rub the butter into the dry ingredients. You do this by rubbing the butter through the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Do not rush or leave big lumps of fat.

  4. Break the eggs into a measuring jug and beat lightly with a fork and then add the milk to make the amount of liquid 300 ml.

  5. Add some of the egg mixture into the dry mix and stir throughthe mixture. Gradually add the liquid and mix together until you have a slightly sticky dough. You will probably not need all the liquid for this stage.

  6. Lightly flour your work surface and turn the scone dough onto it and knead very slightly, adding in the sultanas as you lightly turn the dough. Do not overwork.

  7. Roll dough to about 2 cm think, cut using a pastry cutter and place on the baking tray. Brush with a little of the left over egg/milk mix. If you have none left then a little milk will suffice.

  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until well risen and a pale golden brown colour. To check they are cooked, tap the bottom and they should sound hollow.

  9. Serve with butter and jam or for a treat, clotted cream and jam.

Recipe Notes

Scones freeze very easily and can then be defrosted at room temperature and refreshed in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Basic Quick Victoria Sponge

Okay so first of all, I will not be winning any baking awards with my Victoria Sponge; however I am sharing this very basic of basic recipes as it is quick and easy to make. The taste is as a Victoria sponge should be.  The sponge may not be quite so light and fluffy as when you introduce the ingredients individually, but it is still homemade and yummy!

This is of course the most basic of sponge mixes and you probably even made them at school. Sometimes it is good to get back to the basics. I am old enough to have used imperial weights and measures. A sponge mix was easy to remember as all the ingredients were double the egg amount.  eg. 3 eggs, 6 oz sugar, flour and margerine (or butter).  It was only very recently I found out that 1 egg = around 50 gm; therefore for every egg, you use 50gm of all the other ingredients and 50 gms is roughly 2 oz. There, a useless fact for you!

I have used strawberry jam in my “sandwich”; however choose whichever jam you prefer.

Basic Quick Victoria Sponge

The most basic vanilla sponge mix.

Course Cakes, Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Sponge
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 portions
Calories 408 kcal

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 3 medium Eggs
  • 150 gm Soft Margarine
  • 150 gm Self raising flour
  • 150 gm Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence

Icing

  • 50 gm Soft Margarine
  • 100 gm Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence

Other

  • 2 - 3 tbsp Jam of choice

Instructions

Sponge

  1. Pre-heat oven on 150 fan, 4 Gas

  2. Line the cake tin with greasproof paper (if not using silicon trays).

  3. Place all the sponge ingredients in a large bowl and whisk for several minutes until all the ingredients are combined and lighten in colour and appear smooth.

  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes.

  5. Check they are cooked by inserting a skewer or knife into the sponge and if cooked it should come out clean.

  6. Cool on a cooling rack.

Butter Icing

  1. Place all the icing ingredients in a bowl and whisky until light and smooth.

Construction

  1. Once the sponge is completely cool, spread jam on the bottom side of one sponge.

  2. Then on the bottom of the other sponge spread the butter icing.

  3. Sandwich them together. Voila!

Christmas Gluten Free Mince Pies

Last minute decision to make more mince pies on Christmas Eve. I am making them for my daughter who is celiac. My biggest issue is always the gluten free pastry; I’ve just never found a recipe that works and tastes great.

This Christmas I decided not to bother even trying and so bought pre-made, pre-rolled pastry; however it was so tough I couldn’t eat it. Such a waste of ingredients. I’d used my  Home-made Christmas Mincemeat to fill them but they  just had to go in the bin, the pastry was just aweful.

So this morning I searched the Internet for ideas to make GF pastry and came across “My Gluten Free Guide” by Laura Strange .

Well I made the pastry just as explained by Laura and it is actually amazing! The best GF pastry I’ve ever made.

You can find the original recipe here https://www.mygfguide.com/easy-gluten-free-shortcrust-pastry-recipe/ . You should look her website up, she has some fabulous ideas and I cannot wait to try some of them.

Gluten Free Mince Pies

Shortcrust pastry pies with homemade mince meat

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Sweet Mince Pies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 20 Small pies
Calories 177 kcal

Ingredients

  • 140 gm plain gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 70 gm unsalted butter very cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 jar mincemeat shop bought or homemade

Instructions

Make the pastry

  1. Place flour, xanthan gum and sugar into a bowl.

  2. Grate the butter into your flour using the large side of the grater.

  3. Gently coat the butter in flour by mixing around using a fork.

  4. Using your hands, gently rub the butter fully into the dry mIxture so it resembles breadcrumbs.

  5. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg and add about half of it to the mixture and stir through, using a fork trying to distribute throughout the mixture.

  6. Add a tablespoon of water and using your hands, bring the mixture together to create a smooth dough. If it is still crumbly then add a little more water, no more than a tablespoon.

  7. Place the dough on a large rectangle of grease proof paper and press down slightly. Fold the grease proof paper over the top so your pastry is enveloped inside. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make the pies

  1. Pre-heat oven on 180 degrees or gas 4.

  2. Roll out the now chilled pastry on a floured board to about 4 to 5 mm thick.

  3. Cut out 10 x 8cm rounds and 10 x 6cm rounds. Place the larger ones in the patty pan, being careful not to break them.

  4. Into each pie, place about a dessert spoonful of mincemeat mixture.

  5. Pop the smaller round on top.

  6. Use the remainder of the egg to brush over the pies and sprinkle a pinch of caster sugar on top.

  7. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are golden.

Nutrients per pie

Calories 177, Fat 7.5 g, Carbohydrates 25 g, Protein 1 g

Gluten Free Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding will keep in a cool dry cupboard for at least 6 months, so you can prepare well in advance. The traditional day for making a Christmas Pudding is the Sunday before Advent begins. This day is affectionatly known as “Stir Up Sunday”. Every member of the household should give the pudding a stir and make a wish. My Mum used to put an old sixpence in the pudding. It is believed that whoever found the sixpence on Christmas Day would enjoy wealth and good luck in the following year.

You can vary the fruit amounts between the different fruits, so if you haven’t got enough of one thing then top it up with another. For the sake of guidance however I will list my exact ingredients.

Also the recipe does not have to be gluten free and you could replace the gluten free flour with self raising flour and omit the xanthan gum.

You need to start this the day before you want to complete and cook as you will need to soak the fruit overnight or over a couple of days.

Serve with Brandy Butter

Gluten Free Christmas Pudding

A moist traditional pudding for you Christmas Day

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Christmas Pudding
Prep Time 1 day 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 8 portions
Calories 385 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

Flavour development

  • 150 gm Raisins
  • 75 gm Currants
  • 75 gm Sultanas
  • 75 gm Chopped dates
  • 50 gm Mixed peel
  • 80 gm Dried cranberries
  • 1 Large Orange zest and juice grate the orange zest finely
  • 75 ml Cold black tea
  • 100 ml Brandy
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon

Combine the ingredients

  • 50 gm Flaked almonds Toasted and then chopped
  • 2 Eating apples such as coxes grated
  • 100 gm Soft brown sugar
  • 70 gm Dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Treacle
  • 50 gm Gluten free self-raising flour
  • 50 gm Gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 100 gm Gluten free suet Tesco Vegetable Suet is gluten free
  • 2 Large Eggs

Instructions

Flavour development

  1. In a large bowl place and mix well all the ingredients listed under flavour development; dried fruit, spices, orange, tea and brandy. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight - no need to refridgerate. If you are short of time, leave at least 1 hour.

Combine ingredients,

  1. Into the fruit mixture add the grated apple, chopped almonds, treacle and sugar.

  2. In another bowl mix together the flour, xanthan gum, breadcrumbs and suet.

  3. Mix in the eggs until the mixture is smooth and then add to the fruit mixture.

  4. Grease the pudding bowl well with butter and pour in mixture.

  5. Turn slow cooker onto high.

  6. Cover the bowl with baking paper with a pleat in it; then place foil, also with a pleat, over the baking paper. Secure in place with string, make a type of lifting handle with the string which will make it easier to lift the pudding when it has finished cooking. Cut off excess paper and foil.

  7. Using either a slow cooker or a large saucepan, place a trivet in the bottom. This could be an upturned old saucer; a tin jam jar lid, or a small metal pan lid.

  8. Place the pudding into the pan or crock pot onto the trivet. Fill half way up the bowl with boiling water.

  9. Simmer for 8 hours; this would be be same for either cooking pot. Make sure you keep the water level topped up.

  10. Once cooked, remove from the pan / pot and leave to cool.

  11. Turn upside down to turn out, remove all paper and foil and wrap in fresh and store in a cool place.

Serving on Christmas Day

  1. Steam or boil the pudding for 2 hours.

  2. Turn onto a serving plate. Warm some brandy. Pour over the pudding and taking care, set light to it.

  3. Serve with Brandy Butter

Nutrients per portion

Cals 385, Fat 16 g, Carbs 53 g, Protien 4 g

Upside Down Peach Pudding

Having made a Peachy Sweet and Sour Chicken I found myself with tinned peaches left over. What to do? I decided that as I had already broken the rule of putting pineapple in the sweet and sour sauce, why not do the same with an upside down cake?

A nice cake to serve hot for pudding with custard. The sponge should be nice and moist for you to also serve cold as a slice of cake.

Upside Down Peach Pudding

A twist on the traditional pineapple upside down pudding

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine British
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 portions
Calories 396 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 5 halves Tinned peaches sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 150 gm Self raising flour
  • 150 gm Caster sugar
  • 150 gm Margerine or butter softened
  • 3 medium Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla essence

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C or gas 4

  2. Grease cake tin and line with sliced peaches.

  3. Sprinkle brown sugar over peaches.

  4. In a large mixing bowl place all the other ingredients and whisk until a light cream colour and the mixture is light and fluffy.

  5. Spoon over the top of the peaches and cook for half an hour in the center of the oven.

  6. Check sponge is cooked by inserting a knife or skewer and it should come out clean if the sponge is cooked through fully.

Nutritional information

Cals 396, Fat 22g, Carbs 45g, Protein 5g

Home-made Christmas Mincemeat

In preparation for Christmas, this year I am making my own home-made Christmas mincemeat. You can store mincemeat in a dark and cool place for up to 6 months. I am using vegetable suet from Tesco so I can use with gluten free pastry to make mince pies; however you can use beef suet or chopped up butter.

I have used half butter and half vegetable suet as I needed gluten free only. I do find with just suet it can be a little dry. The butter caramelises with the sugar giving the texture a much stickier mixture.

Mincemeat pies originated in the middle ages. Originally it is thought they were filled with chopped up meat, fruit and a preserving liquid or confitied in salt and fat. Just like many recipes, these big pies have evolved into the delicate little pies we know and love today.

Mince Pie recipe Christmas Gluten Free Mince Pies

Homemade Mincemeat

Easy fruity mincemeat

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword mincemeat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 60
Calories 70 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 100 gm Dried apricots chopped
  • 200 gm Sultanas
  • 200 gm Raisins
  • 125 gm Currants
  • 100 gm Dried cranberries
  • 50 gm Flaked almonds, blanch and roughly chop Dry until slightly brown, then lighlty chop
  • 60 gm Suet I used Tesco vegetable suet as it is gluten free, but you could use beef suet or butter
  • 60 gm unsalted butter You can use all butter or all suet, or half and half.
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 200 gm Light brown or muscadova sugar
  • 1 Lemon Rind and Juice
  • 200 ml Brandy

Instructions

  1. Weigh out and place all the ingredients apart from the brandy into a large saucepan.

  2. Heat very slowly and stir regularly. The suet will melt and coat the fruit. Continue to simmer on a very low heat for another 20 minutes and keep stirring regularly.

  3. Cool completely then stir in the brandy.

  4. Store in sterilised jars. You can sterilise the jars (old jam jars; coffee jars will be fine) by popping in the oven for 20 minutes on 140 degrees, Gas 1. Place the lids in boiling water.

  5. Mincemeat should keep well in a cool dark place for 6 months. Or you can use straight away for Mince Pies.

Nurients per portion

Calories 70,    Fat 1.7g,     Carbs 12g,     Protein .5g

Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I had two over ripe bananas in my fruit bowl this morning to use up. I have promised my niece I’d make some cakes for tomorrow, so why not throw the bananas in too. What better to add to bananas than chocolate.

When I was in the Girl Guides, I remember fondly one of our camp puddings (I think it was a treat on our last night); we would slice a banana still in its skin length ways, stuff in the slit as much chocolate as we could using a small Animal chocolate bar; then they were wrapped in tin foil and placed in the embers of the camp fire. Once cooked the bananas were all soft and gooey and of course the chocolate had melted into them. What a treat!

As I have used gluten free flour I have added xanthan gum to help the ingredients combine. If you use flour which is not gluten free then just leave out the xanthan gum too.

Banana and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Made with gluten free ingredients

Course Snack
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 247 kcal

Ingredients

Cupcake Batter

  • 2 over ripe Bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp Baking powder, gluten free sieved with the xanthan gum and flour
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 225 gm Gluten free self raising flour
  • 100 gm Butter or Margerine make sure it's softened
  • 2 medium Eggs
  • 175 gm Caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp Milk or milk alternative
  • 50 gm Chocolate chips, gluten free

Toppings

  • 50 gm Dark Chocolate, enough for 6 cakes
  • 50 gm Butter or margarine, softened butter cream for the other 6 cakes
  • 150 gm Icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Pre-heat oven on Gas 4 or 180 electric (160 fan).

  2. Place 12 muffin/cupcake cases in a muffin tin.

  3. Measure out all ingredients APART from chocolate chips, into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your food mixer.

  4. Whisk ingredients together until all ingredients incorporated and mixture resembles a thick batter.

  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  6. Divide mixture between 12 cupcake/muffin cases. Mixture should be about 2/3 rds of case.

    Level of batter in case
  7. Place in the centre of oven for 25 minutes. You may need to turn the tray around after 20 minutes to ensure an even bake. Leave to cool on wire rack.

Decorate

  1. You can simply melt the chocolate either in the microwave or over hot water; then using a teaspoon, drizzle the melted chocolate backwards and forwards across the cake.

  2. Or you can top with butter icing. For the butter icing, simply whisk or hand beat the sugar, margarine and milk until smooth. Pipe or simply spread and fluff with a fork. If they’re a bit uneven, as mine are, then slice the top off.

  3. This is what I have left over from the ingredients listed above.

 

English Trifle

An English Trifle is the quintessential British dessert. It is the go to dessert that every family at some occasion or other will serve when they have a large family dinner. Traditionally a proper trifle will be layered with sponge soaked in fruit, sherry and jelly, followed by a traditional egg custard and topped with whipped cream.

For this low carb version I am going to make sponge using almond flour; sugar free jelly; sweetener to replace sugar and strawberries as my fruit as they are not too high in natural sugars so lower in carbs than some fruits. Oh and no sherry. The sponge is quite dense but this is perfect for the jelly will soak into it and make it nice and moist.

Although this is a low carb version of this dessert, please be aware of the nutrient value as it has very few proteins and is high I need calories so it should still be considered a treat item and not something you should eat as part of your low carb life style daily.

There is quite a bit of making and cooling and setting so make sure you plan to make ahead of time. I have individualised the preparation time next to each component so you can plan. I normally make the day before, minus the cream layer so the trifle is completely set.

Continue reading “English Trifle”

Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

These delicious Peanut Butter Cookies provide a sweet tasting snack.  Whilst I find eating low carb does not actually leave me needing to snack often, it is still nice now and again to be able to have a “biscuit” with your cuppa. I tried a range of different ingredients but often found cookies or biscuits dry, that was until I found these little beauties. Net carbs 1g per cookie (appx.5cm diameter).

I am not sure which website I found them on so apologies for not citing but I have been making these for a couple of years now so I do not need to refer to a recipe, they are that simple.

Continue reading “Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies”

Panna Cotta with Red Berry Sauce

This Italian dessert lends itself to a low-carb option. Replacing the sugar with sweetener and then you have a delicious authentic low-carb dessert. 8 net carbs per portion.

I have used a fresh vanilla pod in the past which is the traditional ingredient; today I experimented by using vanilla extract and although I would happily serve this to guests as it is still yummy, I would suggest that you cannot beat using the real thing.

Continue reading “Panna Cotta with Red Berry Sauce”