Saturday, 17 April 2010
I didn't really know all that much about sugar before I moved over here, except that there was white sugar and brown sugar. That just shows you how ignorant I was, really . . .
Since coming to the UK, I have discovered that there are a whole plethoria of sugars out there . . . granulated sugar, which is the sugar I grew up with, both dark and light brown soft sugars (the light being what I grew up with as well). There is jam sugar (a sugar with the pectin already added to make jam), caster sugar (a fine white sugar used for baking), Icing sugar (Also one I was familiar with) light brown and dark brown muscovado sugars (a sugar that has a higher molasses content and is less refined than regular brown sugars), demerara sugar (highly granular and wonderful in hot drinks and to add a bit of a crunch to your baking), Amber sugar crystals for use in coffee and decoration, etc. That is just to name a few!
I fell in love with the Tate & Lyle brand of sugars when I first came over here. Taste and Smile Not that sugar isn't just . . . well . . . sugar, cos it is . . . but their packaging is the best in my opinion. It keeps the sugar fresh and their brown and muscovado sugars don't harden like they do in the packaging of some other brands. They are also the only sugar company in the UK that are committed to having their entire range of sugars Fairtrade, which means that when you buy a bag of Tate & Lyle, you are helping to support smallholding farmers in the world. That can't be bad. I like to try use fairtrade products wherever possible in every avenue of my life.
They also have a scrummy Facebook page you can join: We Love Baking Tis chock full of people who love to bake, like you and me!! It's a great place to show off your cakes and bakes and recipes!
They contacted me the other day and asked me if I would write a little piece about them and I was more than happy to do so. I believe in their products and in their ideology . . . and their products are something that I use regularly and that I enjoy (especially the golden syrup!!).
Of course it would not be a proper sugar post unless I showed you something that I had made with their sugars. This scrumptious recipe showcases not one . . . not two . . . but three of their sugars! The jam sugar, which I used in making my own strawberry jam last year. Castor sugar, which is incorporated into that scrummy buttery scone dough, and finally . . . their icing sugar, which is used in the lemon drizzle icing.
I am fairly certain that when you bite into one of these you will be in scone heaven. The dough is buttery and short, with just the faintest hint of mint throughout. The strawberry jam is like a sweet surprise in the centre and that lemon drizzle, well . . . it's just the perfect capper!
I bet you can't eat just one! I dare you to try!
These are scones . . . but not as you know them. mmmmm . . .
*Strawberry and Mint Scones*
Makes about 14
You will find it hard to stop at eating one of these. They are so scrummy. Buttery . . . jammy and the lemon drizzle on top is just the perfect finishing touch.
280g plain flour (2 cups)
110g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1 TBS finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 tsp salt
6 TBS unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
225ml double cream (1 cup)
strawberry jam (homemade or store bought)
For the drizzle:
450g icing sugar, sifted (2 cups)
the juice of 1 large lemon
water as needed
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/Gas Mark 5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Sift the flour into a bowl. Whisk in the baking powder and the sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the mint leaves. Add the cream, stirring it in with a fork and mixing it in until the mixture forms a soft dough. Knead several times to really bring it all together and then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out with a sharp heart shaped metal cookie cutter that is about 3 inches across at it's widest point. Place onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving a good two inches between each. Reroll any scraps and cut out more hearts until you have used all the dough.
Gently make an indentation into the centre of each heart using the back of a teaspoon or one of your fingers. Spoon a heaped half teaspoon of strawberry jam into the middle of each indentation. Place into the heated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before removing the scones to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Mix together all the glaze ingredients in a medium sized bowl, mixing them until smooth and only adding enough water to give you a drizzeable consistency. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the lemon drizzle diagonally across the cooled scones. Let set for about 30 minutes before serving. Delicious!