I do like scones, they’re such a delightful teatime snack. Not too sweet, light and fluffy, the perfect accompaniment to some tasty or interesting jam and a doddle to make as long as you’re light handed and respectful of the dough. I’ve made any varieties, with particular favourites being lemon drizzle and blueberry. I recently bought the fantastic 80 cakes by Claire Clark and its providing me with lots of inspiration. She features some ginger and molasses scones which for some reason got me thinking of combining the flavours of sticky toffee pudding and transporting them into a scone recipe. Sticky toffee scones! Now that sounds like a great idea.
In fact it turns out to be an awesome idea, why don’t people make sticky toffee scones all the time? The mellow sweetness of the whizzed up dates is perfect in the not so sweet scone template and who can resist a sticky, crunchy top?
I posted my recipe for chocolate chip hot cross buns last week, but toffee/fudge flavoured hot cross buns seem to be a big thing this year. I’ve noticed varieties in Waitrose and Marks and Spencer – it really must be the bang on trend flavour of 2016. Never one to miss an opportunity to play with new and exciting flavours, I thought I’d experiment myself with these toffee ones. Now, I haven’t eaten one of the commercial buns, as you can imagine there is no room or need to buy such items in our household, so this is entirely my take on the idea.
I’ve combined the flavours of sticky toffee pudding with hot cross buns and what a cracker of a combination it is. The mellow sweetness of the date purée and subtle spices do work. The purée also gives a rich colour to the dough, enhancing the whole ‘sticky toffee’ look and feel. The dramatic shiny glaze is simply a thin coating of warmed golden syrup and the buns are then returned to the oven for a few minutes, giving the perfect sticky, shiny top.
I’ve hardly ever seen a baked item disappear with such speed, they were requested for breakfast, snack and puddings, working perfectly slightly toasted with a smidgen of dairy-free margarine and an extra drizzle of syrup for added sticky toffee naughtiness! I’d think I can safely say these are our new family favourite Easter treat!
Sticky Toffee Hot Cross Buns
(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
makes 12 large buns
500-550g strong bread flour
1 tsp dried yeast
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp ginger
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
100g dates, makes approx 1 cup purée
2 cups dairy-free milk
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp melted dairy-free margarine
For the crosses:
2 tbsp flour
2 or 3 tbsp water
For the glaze:
2 tbsp golden syrup
Add the dates to 1 cup of dairy-free milk and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until dates are soft. Blitz, stir in the bicarb and set aside to cool. This should make approximately 1 cup of date purée.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oat milk, date purée and melted dairy-free margarine, bring together to form a dough (adding more flour if too wet, or more liquid if too dry)
Knead for about 5-10 mins until the dough is smooth and springy. Place in a bowl and cover, leave in a warm place to double in size
Knock back, knead again and then form into 12 even sized balls (for a professional look, weigh them to make them all the same size). Place well spaced on a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper. Loosely cover with cling film and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes or so.
Mix together the water and flour to make a paste and pipe onto the top of the buns in crosses
Bake at 190 degrees/Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes until risen, golden and the buns sound hollow
Make the glaze by warming the syrup. Brush over the hot buns. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
These buns are best kept loosely covered or the glaze will make them go a bit soggy.