Recipe Difficulty: Easy. If you haven't made biscuits or scones before, maybe closer to medium difficulty.
My Strawberry Chocolate Chip Scones Recipe Notes
SCONES!!! Scones are special. I love biscuits and muffins but I'm fairly certain I like scones even more. These strawberry chocolate chip scones are moist and have the perfect amount of sweetness. While the method for making scones and biscuits is the same, the key difference between them is that when making scones you use a higher fat cream vs when making biscuits you typically use a lower fat liquid, such as buttermilk. In terms of vegan options, for biscuits I just use plant milk and add a bit of apple cider vinegar to replicate the acidity of buttermilk, and for these scones I buy a plant based whipping cream. You could always make your own cashew cream if you didn't want to use store bought.
Vegan Whipping Cream
The Silk whipping cream pictured below is actually insanely good. It tastes like dairy whipping cream! I was skeptical because it contains coconut, and I've had coconut based products before where the coconut flavour is very pronounced. Coconut is great in some instances, like in a curry for example, but I don't always want that flavour profile. Anyway, moral of the story. I highly recommend Silk whipping cream as a dairy free alternative to regular whipping cream.
Working With Dough
If you aren't too familiar with biscuit and scone making, it takes a bit of practice to understand what your dough should feel like. I start with the suggested amount of cream to form my dough. Simply keep stirring the cream into the dry mix (I like using a small wooden spoon), and if you have to add a splash more cream to incorporate all the flour that is in your bowl, do that. If it's too wet it will feel a lot softer and almost harder to fold over itself. (I've baked biscuits and scones when I've made the dough slightly more wet than I prefer, and they still turn out well. I've made thousands in my career so I have done it all.) When the dough IS the right consistency, it will feel tacky, but also have a firmness to it. Part of the process of scone making is to fold the dough over itself several times to create layers. If it's too dry, the layers won't stick together. You can honestly adjust the wet/dry nuances right on your board by sprinkling on extra flour or by adding a drizzle more cream. It's a bit tricker with this recipe because of the chunks of strawberries, so I try to get it "right" the first time.
How to Best Serve my Scones
I find after a day, the scones are so much better when reheated in a hot oven. I don't like using the microwave because the oven re crisps the bottom. So you get the combo of fluffy and crispy scone bites! I don't butter my scones, but you definitely could. I also tried using it as a base for a strawberry shortcake. Since I don't jam pack the batter full of strawberries, it's a nice way to add extra strawberry bites!
Using Frozen Fruit
I haven't tested this recipe using frozen fruit. Everything I have read about using it in baked goods suggests tossing the frozen fruit with flour before adding it to the recipe, which is what I do for these strawberry chocolate scones using fresh fruit, regardless. Frozen fruit contains a lot more moisture than fresh and it's possible it could affect the final product. If you have lots of experience baking with frozen fruit you can be the judge of whether it is a good idea, and if you have thoughts feel free to comment on this post! I am more inclined to use frozen fruit in things like pies, crisps and compotes. Also, I might be more inclined to use frozen raspberries or blueberries for a muffin or scone recipe over frozen strawberries. Even the sliced frozen ones I buy are too large for this recipe, I'm sure you could cut them from frozen if you really wanted to, but you definitely don't want to thaw them first!
Camino is one of my favourite brands of vegan chocolate. They sell chips, baking squares and cocoa powder. The quality is exceptional, and they are fair trade certified. There are a lot of ethical issues in the world of chocolate production, I am not an expert, but I believe in voting with my dollars so I feel good about supporting this brand. I used their semi sweet chocolate chips in this recipe. Delicious!
When buying sugar I look for a brand that is either organic or certified vegan. If you are new to veganism you might not know that all sugar isn't actually vegan, by the way in which it is processed. Vegan sugars are on the pricier side sometimes, but I always watch for sales and good deals. I often buy wholesome organic, or Camino. Though I have only seen Camino brand brown sugar, not sure if they make white sugar as well.
How to make savory scones
While I haven't made savory scones using this recipe, I know it wouldn't be hard. Typically you will still add a bit of sugar. I would be inclined to reduce it to about one or two tablespoons. Then, I'm dying to try adding shredded vegan cheese, vegan bacon bits and maybe roasted broccoli. When I try it I will report back!
History Of Scones
Scones are thought to have originated in Scotland in the 16th century. The word "scone" is derived from the Scottish word "sgonn," which means a shapeless mass or lump.
Traditionally, scones were made with oats and barley, and were considered a type of bread to be eaten with butter or cheese. They were also often cooked on a griddle over an open fire.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, scones began to be made with wheat flour and baking powder, which made them lighter and fluffier. They also became sweeter, with the addition of sugar and dried fruit.
Scones became popular in England in the late 19th century, and were often served with tea. They have since become a staple in many other countries, and can be found in a wide variety of flavors
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Roasted Potato Sausage & Kale Recipe Notes
I really love this meal. It's great for when you want something simple, but really satisfying and delicious. With a handful of ingredients, you can have a satisfying dinner on the table with what I consider to be minimal effort.
Vegan sausage, garlic, white beans and kale get cooked in a pan while the potatoes roast. When potatoes are ready you just combine everything and serve with a wedge of lemon and a side of "Maple Dijonnaise". For the Dijonnaise, just mix equal parts vegan mayo & Dijon mustard together, then drizzle in a bit of maple to taste. You can make it sweet/spicy to your own taste by adjusting the amount of maple/mustard you add to the mayo.
About Roasting Potatoes
In this recipe, I don't write to cook the potatoes first, but that is the best way to enjoy roasted potatoes! This is because when I make this meal, it is typically not something I have planned ahead. It's more of a go to lazy day meal when I remember that I have all of the necessary ingredients to make it kicking around. Ideally, cook your potatoes in salted boiling water first until tender. Then cool completely before roasting. The result is definitely better, cooking them first breaks down the starch and creates more texture for having those delicious roasted crispy bits. In a pinch though, I skip that part. I suppose if I was serving company I would never skip that part...but for myself sometimes I'm ok with letting it slide ha. I talk about this is my Roasted Potatoes with Hummus post.
Choosing Plant Based Sausages
There is quite a bit of variety when it comes to plant based sausage these days. The brand or type I choose usually depends on the recipe I am preparing. It isn't something I cook with often, but they definitely aren't all created equal. Some you can definitely tell that they are a "veggie" sausage product. (that isn't always a bad thing in my mind), and others are convincing enough that when we gave a sample to the servers to try at the restaurant I currently work at, before telling them it was vegan, one girl proclaimed "meaty and delicious!"
"Yves" products are ubiquitous where I live, and I find seem more like a veggie sausage product. I have used their spicy Italian Sausage in this recipe, and in this context I like it. It's not fine dining cuisine, but this meal is about quick comfort so I'm ok with that. If you are someone who eats meat and is trying to reduce your consumption, "Beyond Meat" Sausages are the most convincing meat like product I have tried to date, which is exactly what the server at the restaurant tried when we made vegan "pigs in a blanket."
There are definitely a ton more options out there. Specialty markets often have interesting options compared to what typical grocery stores have, though I think maybe it just depends where you live. Since it isn't a product I include in my diet often I haven't tried a large variety. If you have any favourites or recommendations feel free to comment on this post and let me know what I should be trying! Of course if you make this, let me know how it goes. I love hearing feedback.
GFTO Vegan Groceries (link below) has some veggie sausage options and a lot more vegan products that they deliver right to your door. Being vegan in 2023 is awesome.
My Lentil Shepherds Pie Recipe Notes
I teamed up with Fresh Start Fauxmage to bring you this Shepherd's Pie recipe, and I'm pumped to share it. I developed this recipe to utilize their popular "Everything Bagel" Fauxmage. They have a range of vegan cheese products made from quality ingredients. The everything bagel fauxmage is what flavours the mashed potato topping, and let me tell you.... it's SO good. Creamy cheesy mashed potatoes and a rich, flavourful lentil & mushroom base. I think it's the best Shepherd's pie I've ever had to be honest. I really wanted to develop the rich flavour you'd find in a meat version of Shepherd's Pie and I do think I achieved my goal with this recipe. I did that by trying to build complexity. You might look at the ingredients and think does a tsp of soy sauce really need to be added? It would still be good without I'm sure, but I have always found layering different flavours makes a difference...so that's how I cook. This recipe calls for red wine, a bit of soy sauce, maple, smoked paprika, fresh rosemary and a splash of good quality balsamic vinegar. (A better quality balsamic will have more sweetness, lower quality ones tend to be more acidic) Anyway, onto the recipe...if you make it, make sure to leave a comment at the bottom of the post, I would love to know how you made out!
Can I make this Shepherds pie without Fauxmage?
Yes you can definitely make this shepherds pie and simply make a buttery mashed potato topping instead. The fauxmage is really good though, so if you can get it where you live give it a try! Their products are all over Canada, check their website to see locations. If you go to my red wine braised lentils post, it is essentially the same recipe, except I don't make it into a pie, I just serve the lentils spooned over rich mashed potatoes.
Lentil Mushroom Mixture
Everything Bagel Mashed Potato Topping
Assembly & Baking
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