Fluffy Wholewheat Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones (28 of 103)SCONE-MANIA | Wholewheat heavenly fluffy scones with a hint of orange zest

Whoever said scones couldn’t be fluffy while at the same time deliver on wholesomeness is wrong. In 20 minutes, you could have piping hot scones served with clotted cream and jam – perfect for unexpected guests.

I love scones. Whether they are homemade, from a coffee shop (ok, maybe not the ones from Asia), plain, or with fruits, I simply can’t resist a piping hot scone fresh from the oven served with clotted cream and jam. Serve this with a steaming cup of english breakfast or earl grey tea and there you have me: my way of solo therapy for a Sunday afternoon.Buttermilk Scones (14 of 103)

Don’t be deceived. Scones are not difficult to make. The ‘trick’ though (to keep the scones moist and fluffy) is to halve the flour portion equally between plain flour and wholewheat flour. Also, be careful not to over mix the dough with your hands and the butter and milk must be added whilst cold. Most importantly, when baking scones, make sure you place each one close to each other. This will yield a better ‘uplifting’ (i.e. rising) effect when the scones bake.

Buttermilk Scones (1 of 2)

The beauty of this basic wholewheat recipe is that you are free to add your own variations. I experimented with some orange peel (love the zesty citrusy touch) and sultanas, as well as playing up another variation using some chopped up dried figs from turkey.

Buttermilk Scones (43 of 103)

Fluffy Wholewheat Buttermilk Scones

TOTAL TIME: 20 min | YIELDS: 8 large scones 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 cups self raising flour
  • 1.5 cups self raising wholewheat flour (NB: if you are using plain flour, add baking powder to the mix)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 60g butter
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or full-cream milk)
  • Grated zest of half an orange and half a cup of sultanas (optional)Buttermilk Scones (102 of 103)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 230C or 210C fan. Lightly grease and flour a baking tray. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Buttermilk Scones (101 of 103)
  2. Chop butter into cubes and rub in the butter with our fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.Buttermilk Scones (100 of 103)
  3. Add nearly all the milk at once and mix in quickly with a knife. Add remaining milk if needed and pull dough together into a rough ball. Add the grated orange zest and sultanas (if using). Turn dough out on to a floured board and knead by turning and pressing with heel of hand 3 or 4 times. Buttermilk Scones (96 of 103)
  4. Pat out to a 2cm thick round and cut into 4cm rounds with a floured cutter. Gather scraps together, knead lightly and cut out.Buttermilk Scones (95 of 103)
  5. Place scones close together on a lightly greased baking tray. Brush tops with a little milk and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until well-risen and golden.Buttermilk Scones (94 of 103)
  6. Voila. Scones should turn out beautifully golden and sumptuous. Note: For soft scones, wrap in a tea towel as soon as they come from oven. For crusty scones, do not wrap, cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter or with jam and cream.Buttermilk Scones (86 of 103)

Buttermilk Scones (78 of 103)Buttermilk Scones (2 of 2)

Fluffy Ricotta Hotcakes With Honeycomb

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (1 of 50)

Light and fluffy pancakes with a creaminess one can only dream of. 

I love breakfast. And nothing beats waking up to some seriously fluffy and warm ricotta hotcakes dowsed with honeycomb.  Extra fluffy with creamy, custard-like middles, ricotta hotcakes are something pancake connoisseurs have to try making (or die trying).

Inspired by Bill Granger – who hails from my sunny hometown, Sydney – his signature ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter and banana are to die for. I’ve had my fair share of his ricotta hotcakes in Sydney (Surry Hills), and recently in London (Nottinghill) and Tokyo (Ometosando) this year. Now is the time to recreate the ‘magic’ back home (until he sets up shop here at least, but who knows when that day will come – or where I’ll be by then!).

Mind you, there is no ‘magic’ or skilful technique required in this recipe. From a methodological perspective though, what separates these ricotta hotcakes apart from regular ones is the fact that you are meant to separate the egg yolks from the whites and beat the latter until stiff peaks form before folding it into the batter.

Note: The ricotta isn’t something you necessarily taste — the pancakes definitely don’t taste “cheesy” — but rather, the ricotta adds a magical milky richness and creaminess to each bite.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (24 of 50)

INGREDIENTS (makes 6 medium sized pancakes, serves 2):

  • 70 grams of fresh milk
  • 70 gram of plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 110 gram of ricotta
  • 2 eggs, white and yolks separated
  • pinch of salt
  • butter for pan-frying
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honeycomb, to serve
  • icing sugar, to dust

METHOD:

1) Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix to combine.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (50 of 50)

2) Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until combined. Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (7 of 50) Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (10 of 50)

3) Place the egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until still peaks form. Fold egg whites through batter in two batches, with a large metal spoon.

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4) Lightly grease a large non-stick frying pan with a small portion of the butter and drop 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake into the pan (don’t cook more than 3 per batch). Cook over low to medium heat for 2 minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (17 of 50) Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (18 of 50)

5) Transfer hotcakes to a plate and quickly assemble with other ingredients (e.g. banana, honeycomb, etc). Dust with icing sugar.


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Chargrilled Miso Corn

Char-grilled Miso Corn (7 of 12)

Chargrill the classic corn cob to perfection by dowsing it with some Japanese flavours. Miso replaces the need for salt, and provides a great balance to the sweetness of the caramelised corn kernels.

This is not a time to be stingy with the butter. Generosity will go the extra mile when it comes to grilling corn. That’s right, lather it up. Coating sweet grilled corn with miso butter brings out a nutty flavour to the classic corn cob.

The earthy miso helps accentuate the sweetness of the corn, while butter will provide a gentle creaminess to the ‘crunch’ of the corn whilst taking a bit of the salty edge off. To get a smoky flavour? Grill the corn in a very hot grill or broiler until it starts to char. Then glaze it with more miso butter before sticking it back onto the grill or broiler.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ear of corn, husked
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon of white miso
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

METHOD:

  1. Remove husks from corn and wipe clean.Char-grilled Miso Corn (12 of 12)
  2. Make miso butter glaze by combining the honey, miso, and butter together. Mash the mixture together either with a whisky or back of a fork.Char-grilled Miso Corn (11 of 12)Char-grilled Miso Corn (9 of 12)
  3. Brush the miso glaze onto the corn and stick in the broiler (or grill pan).Char-grilled Miso Corn (8 of 12)
  4. When the corn is done, take it out and glaze it again with the miso butter. Return to grill or broiler, rotating regularly until the miso has caramelised onto the outside of the corn. For those who want to use the miso corn kernels in a salad, you can remove the corn kernels quickly with the aid of a sharp knife by slashing it in a vertical downwards direction.   Char-grilled Miso Corn (6 of 12) Char-grilled Miso Corn (5 of 12)Char-grilled Miso Corn (2 of 12)

Baked Eggplant with Tahini Buttermilk Dressing

Baked Aubergines with Tahini Buttermilk Dressing (1 of 24)

Going through my eggplant (and middle eastern inspired) phase. In my opinion, nothing pairs more harmoniously with eggplant than the creaminess of rich tahini. Seeing I still had a carton of buttermilk sitting in my fridge waiting to expire, I decided to put it to good use to create a tahini-buttermilk sauce to dress some baked eggplants rounds. For those who want a more substantial dinner (i.e. some meat) for dinner as well, the best way to complement this tahini dressed eggplant side dish quickly is by grilling some rosemary lamb chop(s).  Mmm…just writing this at midnight is making me hungry! 

Baked Aubergines with Tahini Buttermilk Dressing (2 of 24)

NB: You can adjust the thickness of this tahini-buttermilk dressing by tinkering with the wet ingredients (and can even transform it into a creamy spread that pairs beautifully with sourdough/rye toast).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large long eggplant, cut into rounds
  • A few fresh mint leaves, diced or shredded
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Pepper and salt, to taste
  • Olive oil

SAUCE:

  • 3 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

2) Cut eggplant into rounds, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Layer eggplants on a roasting tray lined with parchment paper or foil. Spray or brush olive oil on the rounds. Sprinkle dried thyme, crushed black pepper and salt.

Baked Aubergines with Tahini Buttermilk Dressing (23 of 24)

3) Roast for ~ 20 minutes until eggplant rounds are nicely browned. Keep warm.

Baked Aubergines with Tahini Buttermilk Dressing (18 of 24)

4) Make the tahini dressing. Combine all the sauce ingredients listed above into a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Baked Aubergines with Tahini Buttermilk Dressing (20 of 24)

5) Drizzle the tahini sauce on top of the freshly baked eggplant. Garnish with freshly diced or shredded mint so that the colours pop. Serve as a side.

Baked Aubergines with Tahini Buttermilk Dressing (7 of 24)