After having the most amazing time in Australia, I am now back in England and back into normal life once more! Coming back to the cold weather was rather a shock but I’m embracing the chance to wear my winter wardrobe again. Having my kitchen back and having an oven has been very exciting after several months without one and means one thing…back to baking! In Australia I may not have been able to bake but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to sample some lovely cakes from some of Australia’s wonderful bakeries, I didn’t realise quite how much they love baking! A little while ago I posted about some of the bakeries I visited in Sydney to give you a little idea. I also kept a photo blog of our travels while we were away, you can take a look here at The Adventures of Russ and Lotts, my boyfriend reckons my camera was glued to my hand most of the time but there was just so much to take photos of!
With mother’s day shortly after we got back it was the perfect reason to get back into baking, and not just to bake one thing but to go on a little bit of a baking frenzy! We had 8 guests over for tea in our tiny little flat, so there was lots to do! I did a similar thing last year, I blogged about the afternoon tea here. This year I made a selection of finger sandwiches, fruit scones, cheese scones, syrup and sweet potato scones, mini lemon drizzle cakes and a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting!
The carrot cake recipe I used is from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, the best carrot cake recipe I have found! Delicious!
The lemon drizzle cakes I made at last minute, so made up the recipe as I went along!
I made 3 types of scones, served with butter, clotted cream and blackcurrant jam. I thought that I would share with you the recipe for the syrup and sweet potato scones that I made. While it may sound strange to use sweet potato in a scone, and I was a bit sceptical too at first, it really works. The texture of the scone was great and they didn’t taste of potato at all! The recipe comes from Harry Eastwood’s book Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache. It is an absolutely beautiful book with some gorgeous recipes in it. The idea of the book is to create cakes that are natural and healthy by using a variety of vegetables to make the cakes! Obviously everyone is familiar with using carrot in cake and I like to make chocolate and beetroot cake, I’ve even made a cake with mashed potato before but this book has so many great ideas, I can see I am going to be doing a lot more baking from this book!
Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache: The ultimate feel-good book of natural cakes that taste naughty – Buy it here from Amazon.
To make the syrup scones you need:
250g white spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
40g unsalted butter
3tbsp golden syrup
200g peeled and finely grated sweet potato (it takes some grating!)
zest of 1/2 lemon
Preheat the oven to 200C and lightly grease a baking sheet. Put all of the dry ingredients into a bowl with the butter and rub the butter in to form fine breadcrumbs (alternatively use a food processor). Add the golden syrup to the mixture and add the sweet potato and zest. Bring all the ingredients together. Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it. Roll it out to 4 cm thick and use a 6cm cutter to cut out 7-9 scones. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until they are golden and have risen nicely. Serve with jam and cream. Delicious!