As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, being intolerant to all forms of dairy means I can’t eat one of my favourite things – cake. Having a sweet tooth, it’s something I look forward to, and relish, and yet unless I bake my own, it’s something I cannot eat when I’m out and about.
However, to my delight, one of the things I have noticed since coming back to the UK, is that there are an increasing number of cafes that serve a dairy free option, which is most exciting (not so good for my waistline!!). But it really depends upon where I am as to whether there’s a suitable sweet bite. Luckily for me, I live close to Brighton, a small city on the south coast of England that has a reputation as being a little alternative. There are now a number of cafes serving up vegan cake, so not only do I get a choice of cafe, but also a choice of cake!
There’s also a fantastic whole food store, Infinity Foods, that not only sells fresh veg and dried products, but bread, cakes and vegan pizza! Recently, I treated myself to a giant dairy free scone. I have to admit I was a little dubious that it would taste as good as a traditional butter laden one, but that soon changed to delight – it was light and packed full of yummy scone flavour.
I have a bit of a bad scone making history (my children regale with delight the time I used bicarbonate of soda instead of baking powder so the scones tasted of wee!!!), but was inspired to attempt to make my own again – both dairy and wee free!
One of the key things about a good scone is the lightness of texture, so I use self-raising flour and add some baking powder for extra lift. A delicate touch seems to be important too when forming and handling the dough; it seems to me that using dairy free margarine as opposed to butter is an advantage here as it is not quite as heavy.
Whenever I make individual scones, something seems to happen in the cutting process and the lightness and air just vanishes in a puff. Fumbling fingers are not good in this scenario. So to be on the safe side, I’ve found it best to make a single batch scone i.e: form the dough into one single round, half cut through to create sections and bake as a whole, cutting it into individual portions later when cooled.
So here is my version of non-dairy scone suitable for afternoon tea – serve with dairy free spread and lashings of your favourite jam.
225g self-raising flour (gluten free blend if needed)
pinch of saltt
1 teaspoon baking powder
75g non-dairy margarine
25g caster sugar
75g raisins (if you want fruit scones
100mls soya milk
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
First, heat your oven to 220oC. Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl then add the margarine and rub in to make fine bread crumbs. Alternatively, you can pulse in a blender to get the same texture. Stir in the sugar and raisins, then add the milk a little at a time until you form a soft, kneadable dough. Knead gentle for a minute or so until everything seems combined, then form into a single batch. Using a large knife, cut through the dough half way, first down the centre, then at the sides to create 6 sections. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar and brush with a little soya milk and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (if you’re not vegan then brush with egg as it’s a better glaze – soya milk doesn’t brown as well). Once cooked, cool on a wire tray, then cut into individual portions when you’re ready for afternoon tea!