Saturday, 18 February 2012

Scones with Burnt Fig Jam

Salutations, friends!

Listen, I know it's been a while since I last posted, but fear not, for I have returned! Like I've said, this year is going to be crazy, busy, and at the moment rowing is at its peak - we go to Nationals over in Perth in like, two weeks! Scary, but exciting too. AND on top of all this training, racing etc., I've got mountains of work to do. Please forgive me, peoples of the Internet - I have baked this for you!

Usually, I suck at scones. Like, really, really suck. Like, my previous scone attempts have all turned out like rocks in appearance and taste. So I was both scared and raring to have another attempt at these country classics.

One of my absolute favourite blogs, raspberri cupcakes, has a fabulous recipe for Country Women's Association Scones, who, as we all know, are the masters of floury treats such as these. So I decided to pinch that perfect recipe (because I was hoping that it would be incredibly hard for me to stuff up), and paired it with some Burnt Fig Jam that I made.

I got the idea of Burnt Fig Jam from Maggie Beer, the grandmother of Australian cookery, but I didn't have a recipe, so I kind of just made it up. I also bought a jar of her jam to compare taste, but I found hers a little too burnt (maybe it would pair nicely with savoury dishes?). So I went for cooking my jam until dark and caramelized, but not to the point of being bitter.

I also used beautiful fresh figs that we had grown on our tree in our backyard. YUM FIGS! They appear only for a short time, and they are perfect to eat for an even shorter time, so I thought that making a yummy jam would preserve their summery deliciousness for a little while longer.

The scones turned out amazingly! Points to the CWA, and raspberri cupcakes for making a foolproof (ahem, me) recipe! They're light and fluffy, and with the burnt fig jam and whipped cream they are... well, you'll just have to make them, won't you!

CWA Scones

Makes about 12 scones

4 cups self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
300ml pouring cream
1 1/3 cups milk


Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius. Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Pour cream into bowl, and using a butter knife or spatula, cut the cream into the dry ingredients until just combined. Gradually add in the milk and continue to cut until a soft dough forms.

Handling the dough as little and as quickly as possible, gather the dough onto a flour bench and pat into a flat rectangle about 3.5 cm thick. If you knead too much, the scones will be hard (take it from me!)

Using an egg ring or cutter about 5-6cm in diameter, push down into the dough and remove the circles from the mass. Pack closely together in a lined baking dish that has sides. Lightly brush the scones with milk and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Serve immediately with whipped cream and Burnt Fig Jam.

Burnt Fig Jam


1 kilo ripe fresh figs
500 grams caster sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Sterilised Jars with lids


Trim figs and chop into small pieces. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and figs and over high heat, stir constantly while bringing to the boil. Add honey.

Reduce heat to mediuma nd cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom, for 40 minutes, until thick, dark golden, and almost burnt. To get the perfect caramelized taste, you will have to watch the jam closely AT ALL TIMES, and perhaps taste a bit (cooled down first) before turning off the heat.

Pour into clean jars, and seal. Label and store in the fridge for up to a month.

Enjoy on scones!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Coconut Panna Cotta with Berry Reduction

Hello once again, mes amis!

Well, school's back, and so is the rain! It's pretty cool how the weather can predict the feelings of all the schoolkids! Summer has disappeared completely, I fear. And what's more, there is terrible flash-flooding up in northern NSW. Stay strong, northern compatriates!

So, Valentine's Day is coming up... and I still have no idea what to blog about! Chocolate is the obvious choice, and so is going crazy with the red food colouring - but I don't want to do that! Meh, I'll think of something.

School is going to be pretty hectic for the next 8 months, so I think I will have to cull back my blogging - oh, it breaks my heart! But this is my last year at school, and after that, I'll be free as a bird to bake till my heart's content! 

So, these panna cottas are AH-MAZING. Like, legitmately incredible. Dad proclaimed it 'the best dessert ever', and then proceeded to inhale his jar of the stuff. Oh, I'm currently obsessed with jars. I know, once again, I'm a little behind on the whole 'food blog fad' business, but I am just coming to terms with how cute and shiny and clear they are! You can do so much sweet baking stuff with them too. Love!

So I decided to put the panna cottas in the jars. You don't have to, I guess... But don't say I didn't warn you! The jars almost enhance the delicious experience of these silky, coconutty desserts. And the berries! Oh, the berries! I simply adore jelly, and the fresh berries just make it so much juicier! You could almost eat the cooled reduction on its own - but don't! You must try these awe-inspiring jars of goodness!

Coconut Panna Cotta with a Berry Reduction

Serves 4

2 cups thickened cream
1 1/2 cups lite coconut milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 envelope plain gelatin powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coconut extract
Berry Reduction:
2/3 cup water
6 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp blackberry jelly
1 cup fresh blackberries and/or blueberries


To make the panna cotta, Place 1/4 cup of the thickened cream in a small bowl, and sprinkle the gelatin over the cream. Let it set for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, whisk gently. The mixture will be extremely lumpy. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining thickened cream with the salt and sugar until simmering. Stir in the extracts and remove from the heat. Whisk in the gelatin-cream mixture, then the coconut milk. Strain the panna cotta mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl, then, using a funnel or jug, pour evenly into 4x120ml sterilised jars (which look super cute!) or glasses, or if you want to get fancy, ramekins which you can pop the panna cottas out of later. Chill for a minimum 2 hours.

For the berry reduction (or let's just face it, yummy jelly topping), bring the water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan, and cook until reduced by half. Add the jelly and stir until dissolved. Add the berries and cooks until they are soft, but still hold their shape. Pour onto the set panna cottas and chill once more, until cold.