Roasted Blood Orange + Dark Chocolate Scones
I think you will be pleasantly surprised to know that scones are actually easy to make. Free from gluten, dairy and eggs these scones are not only full of healthy ingredients but they also are great for several dietary needs (and, they are super tasty). Breakfast scones for everyone :)
I went to one of my favourite places in Niagara a couple weekends ago for high tea with my grandmother. She and I both love to entertain, decorate, and be surrounded by beautiful things and the tea room was just so gorgeous, it felt like the perfect place for us to spend an afternoon together. I couldn't get over the deep green velvet sofa (my secret wish thought I know Zach won't go for it). I chose an herbal rooibos tea with local lavender, dried roses and dried blueberries but I already want to return for the blend of jaipur rose, cardamom, and golden assam. At our tea, we each received a silver, two-tiered tray filled with savoury and sweet items - hers the classic high tea fare of quiche, small sandwiches, pretty tarts and cookies, and a gorgeous scone with local jam and clotted cream and mine a variety of lettuce wraps, some dried fruits, and veggie rolls. Honestly? It was food that I enjoy and like to eat often, but wasn't really what I had expected for what is such a traditional sort of occasion. The particular hotel actually has fantastic gluten free bread, but it got me thinking about how gluten free/dairy free baking feels uncomfortable for many classic bakers. Alternative baking is definitely a skill that takes some time to develop, but I don't think that it should be intimidating. It's pretty fun to experiment and those first few successes make you feel like a total rockstar!
This recipe involves a couple easy steps, but you've totally got this ;) Blood oranges are segmented, then roasted briefly to caramelize and concentrate their sweet floral flavour. Work some frozen coconut oil into your flour mix, stir in your favourite milk or plant milk, and then stir in the oranges and chopped dark chocolate. The dough is then ready to shape into a circle, cut into scones, and bake! I'm a big fan of adding oats to my scones, to make them just a little more hearty. Dark chocolate makes things feel a little decadent. You could very easily make some swaps with this recipe - go with between a 1/2 cup for sturdier fruit and up to 3/4 cup for more delicate fruit and try roasted apples or pears, berries (don't roast them if you go that route), or switch out the chocolate and instead add cardamom or cinnamon. They'd be wonderful for afternoon tea, or a special breakfast in bed. Enjoy these, friends!
Roasted Blood Orange & Dark Chocolate Scones
Notes: Makes 8 or 9 scones if using a 2 inch cutter like I do here, depending on the thickness of your scones. The orange zest really adds great flavour to the scones, but you should only zest oranges that aren't waxed. You can also substitute a bit of yogurt for the milk (this actually works perfectly here) - 1 tbsp plain/unsweetened yogurt of your choice mixed with 5 tbsp water and 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar can replace the milk, apple cider vinegar, and water in this recipe. One last thing: I've made these with 1/2 cup brown rice flour and 3 tbsp light buckwheat flour instead of the amounts listed below and it works perfectly! I believe that a flour swap for sorghum flour would also work great. The ground chia and psyllium husks help bind things together, without the use of gums which can irritate sensitive digestive systems. Treat this recipe as a template and experiment :)
3/4 cup segments from 2-3 blood oranges
1/2 teaspoon oil (coconut, grape seed, or olive)
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
5 tablespoons of coconut oil
1/2 cup (80 g) light or sprouted buckwheat flour
3 tablespoons (30 g) brown rice flour
3 tablespoons (30 g) sweet white rice flour or arrowroot starch
1/2 cup (50 g) oats (choose certified gluten free oats if you need them)
2 tsp orange zest
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons (30 g) coconut sugar or natural cane sugar
1/4 cup milk of your choice (I use homemade cashew milk)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup dark chocolate (70-80%), roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut away the peel from the oranges, removing as much of the white pith as possible. Segment the oranges (it's fine to leave the membrane that separates the segments if you like, but be careful to remove any seeds) and toss with 1/2 teaspoon oil and 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup (to your taste). Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment from the baking sheet to help the oranges cool more quickly, but leave the oven on.
Spread 5 tablespoons of coconut oil in a 1/2 inch layer over a small piece of parchment and place in the freezer to harden for 10-15 minutes.
In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk with the apple cider vinegar and set aside. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl - the flours, starch, oats, zest, psyllium husk powder, ground chia seeds, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Remove the coconut oil from the freezer and chop into small pieces. Add the coconut oil pieces to the dry flour mix, and use your fingers to work them together until you have a sandy mixture. It's okay if a few larger (pea-sized) bits of coconut oil remain. Add the vanilla and extra 2 tablespoons of water to the milk and vinegar, stir, and pour over the flour and coconut oil mix. Use your hands or a spoon and combine gently - just a few stirs until it just begins to come together. Add the cooled orange pieces and stir briefly. Add the chopped chocolate and stir just quickly to distribute. Return the parchment paper you used to roast the oranges back to the baking sheet. Gather the dough on the parchment and gently shape into a circle, about 1 inch thick. Use a 2 inch cookie cutter, a glass, or a knife to cut the dough, reshaping remaining dough until it's all used up. Place the scones a couple inches apart. You can brush the scones with a little extra milk and sprinkle some extra oats and coconut sugar over them if you like but this isn't necessary.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until nicely golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before eating or transferring to a serving plate. Leftover scones freeze nicely if well-sealed, for up to a month.