Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love For Scones & Whedon

I've been in love with the works of Joss Whedon for quite a while now, mainly stemming from the time one of my friends introduced me to Firefly (Here's the pilot episode on Hulu.) After discovering that I was one of very few people I knew who hadn't watched Buffy and Angel, another friend of mine gave me the first three seasons of Buffy on DVD, and I binge watched them in about 2 or 3 weeks. When I asked her if I could borrow season 4 of Buffy and season 1 of Angel (there's a lot of crossover episodes, for those that didn't already know), she said she'd rather have a weekly watching party where we could watch an episode of each and drink lots of hot tea from her promotional WB Angel/Buffy mugs (kickin' it old school, yo.) Since we're both tea collectors, there is quite a variety of tea to chose from, and since I'm vegan, she graciously bought some soy milk so we could have some with our tea if we wished. For the first episodes party, she made the "one vegan recipe" she knows; a particularly good chocolate cake. For this week's party, I decided to make some scones to go with our tea (Giles would be *so* proud).

Last week, I discovered Bikram Baking: Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones by Isa Chandra Moskowitz on her Post Punk Kitchen website. Since the only chocolate I had in the apartment was one tablet of Ibarra chocolate, I halved the recipe and went from there. I replaced the oil with applesauce, and had a lot of fun smashing the chocolate disc into small pieces with a hammer (in a ziploc bag, of course). The mixture ended up being *very* solid, and clung together in a glob like so much cement wrapped around my hand mixer. I plopped out the scones on the cookie sheet as uniformly as I could, and baked them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F as the recipe instructed. My resulting scones were absolutely perfect on the outsides - crumbly and sweet, with that nice dry texture that good scones have. However, the centers were still moist and tasted like they might have needed to bake for at least another 5 minutes, especially the larger scones (I had one that lost its bottom when I lifted it off the sheet, even though I had used a silicone liner, and *nothing* sticks to that!) The best I could figure was that the problem arose from either the applesauce substitution or the fact that I was using powdered soymilk, and halving not only the liquid amount (1 1/4 cups), but also trying to figure out exactly how much powdered soy milk to use.

Vegan Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones

Since I've run out of chocolate (*sad April in snow*), the third gal who comes to the parties gave me some Craisins (dried cranberries) to put in the scones instead. I followed the recipe as written (except for the applesauce substitution), and put in about a cup of Craisins in place of the chocolate. Also, I used sucanat as a sweetener in the first batch, and used evaporated cane juice (granules) in the second batch. This second batch produced scones that looked more like fat cookies, and were uniformly too moist (I mean, they taste good, but they're not really "scone-like".) My boyfriend (who has more sensitive tastebuds than I) said that 2 tablespoons of baking powder seemed like an awful lot, and confirmed it when he tried a finished scone.

Vegan Ginger Craisin Scones

I'm figuring that next time, I'll take the soymilk down to 1 cup instead of 1 1/4, and I'll take the baking powder down to perhaps 1 1/2 Tablespoons. I'll probably also increase the baking time to 17 or 18 minutes, and see what happens. If any of my readers have experience making scones, I'd love to hear your ideas!


  1. I love making scones, making scones is very easy :)

    I do not measure, I use self raising flour, butter (vegan), sugar, rice milk and that is it :)

  2. I love making scones, though I make the standard British type - crumbly and either plain or filled with dried fruit. I always add more flour if it's sticky, and err on the side of caution with baking powder and salt. I really want to try chocolate scones!

  3. Tor Ince, I just made my 3rd batch of these scones (with raisins and no chocolate, since my boyfriend's dad isn't a chocolate person), and they came out really well! I'm going to post about them as soon as I can.

    The chocolate ones are great - more "desert"ish than British scones, I'm sure, but very tasty!