A couple of months ago I posted my recipe for Ginger Shortcakes with Caramelized Peaches. It’s an elegant dessert that’s always well-received. The last time made it, I had leftover shortcakes and we enjoyed them as a snack. So much so, that I wanted to come up with a healthier version.
I didn’t make a lot of changes to the original recipe, as it only had 1/4 cup of sugar in it to begin with (not counting what’s on the candied ginger). What I did was do was substitute whole wheat flour for most of the all-purpose and add bran for fibre. I did succumb to an extra hit of crunchy sweetness and bling by brushing the tops with cream and adding a sprinkle of cane sugar, but this step could easily be skipped and I don’t think you’d miss it.
I was pleased with how these scones turned out. They have a tender crumb and a richer taste than the original version due to the whole wheat flour and bran. Of course, the chunks of ginger still do their job of adding extra flavour and heat, not to mention a chewy textural contrast. I achieved my goal of creating a healthier snack that doesn’t stray too far from the original recipe. I dare say you could even use these in the dessert with caramelized peaches and whipped cream, and you wouldn’t receive any complaints!
I took mine to work and found that savouring one at mid-morning with a cup of coffee was a great counterfoil to email and spreadsheets. The scone brought a comforting feeling of home to the office, and the revitalizing kick of ginger was energizing. A good way to get me to lunchtime!
Whole Wheat Ginger Scones
Whole Wheat Ginger Scones
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup bran (I used spelt bran)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cut unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Optional for Topping: 1 tbsp milk or cream and a couple tsp cane sugar
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the butter and cut with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together the milk and egg, then add to mixture until just combined. Add the crystallized ginger, and just stir in. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface, and knead gently for about five turns. This is a very sticky dough, and I needed to flour my board and the surface of the dough a few times.
Pat or roll into a more or less round shape about 3/4 to 1-inch thick, then use a pastry cutter to cut into rounds. Pat the scraps together and continue until you’ve cut 8 rounds. Pat each round to a consistent 1-inch thickness and place on the prepared baking sheet. (I used a silpat liner this time, but parchment paper on a baking tray would be fine too.) If you’re gilding the lily, now’s the time to brush each scone with cream and sprinkle on the cane sugar.
Bake the shortcakes about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer to a rack, and cool at least 15 minutes. Enjoy, slathered with butter or simply plain, which works just fine for me.