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Thursday, 11 May 2017

SCONES MADE WITH MAPLE SUGAR

Good Morning to you,


As I have grown older, I have noticed subtle changes in the way I look.

I did know that I would change as I aged, but I had not expected it to happen so soon.... well it feels too soon for me.

The other day I glanced in the mirror and I noticed something a little different. Now don't laugh when I tell you.... my nose is changing shape. Yes honestly, it really is. Just a slight change, there is nothing bulbous or unsightly about it, I certainly don't look like Schnozzle Durante.  There is just a slight change in the shape, which no one, other than me, has noticed.

I then visited the dentist.  My teeth, which  once were straight as a die, were beginning to become a little crooked. I wouldn't mind, but  I wore top and bottom braces in the 1960's which were really uncomfortable, but I persevered, or should I say, Phyllis made me persevere and the braces did the trick. So when did the crookedness happen and more to the point, why have I only just noticed.... and another thing, when did the tiny gaps start to appear in my front upper teeth.  There are gaps where no gaps have ever been before.... not huge gaps, but enough for me to notice. When I questioned my dentist, he said, sorry Daphne, yes he knows me that well, I'm afraid its all to do with your age. 

.... that was slightly disappointing.

On Tuesday I was talking to my friend and we were discussing shoes.  I mentioned that I used to wear a size 5, but nowadays I wear a size 6.  I thought it was down to the manufacturing, that companies were scrimping on materials, but she informed me no, it was because I was getting older and my arches were falling.

My word, that was enough, nose, teeth and feet. Surely that was it with the changes.

But no, there is more.

.... yesterday, it was a lovely sunny day, so I decided to pin my hair up.  You see I have decided to grow my hair a little longer.  The bob is still there, but the layers are longer.... I fancied a change for the summer. Whilst pinning up my hair, I caught sight of my ears. Was there something a little different about my ear lobes.  On closer inspection I have to say yes, there was, my ear lobes are certainly a little larger than they used to be. Again they are not huge, I think I need to put this into perspective. We are not talking about ears as large as Jar Jar Binks from The Phantom Menace. They are not flapping about in the wind. No there is just a tiny difference. 

So what is happening to me.

Am I going to morph into someone else the older I get.  Will the person I see when I look in the mirror be so different in years to come.  In that case, will I recognise myself.   More to the point will George, Natasha and Danielle recognise me.  Now that could be a problem.

I am only joking with you. This is all tongue in cheek. As you know the ageing process is not something which happens over night, it is a gradual process. So the changes on a day to day basis are slight and hardly noticeably. 

So what is my solution to these changes.

Will I become upset and hate my nose.... not at all. My nose is part of who I am.

Will I stop smiling because my teeth are not perfectly aligned.... oh no not me. I love smiling.

Will I worry about falling arches.... definitely not, I will continue to wear beautiful size 6 shoes.

Will I stop wearing earrings because my ear lobes are slightly larger?  Absolutely not. I adore earrings.


.... and do you know why I am not worried? 

Because I am a Phenomenal Woman.

PHENOMENAL WOMAN
DR MAYA ANGELOU

Many people wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model size.
When I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips,
I'm a woman,
Phenomenally.

.... and that is enough for me.

I love to hear the beautiful voice of  Dr Maya Angelou reading Phenomenal Woman. When I read or hear this poem, it reminds me to be proud of who I am, that with all the changes that come with age, I am still a phenomenal woman.

So what phenomenal bake are we making today.


These fabulous scones made with the maple sugar and maple cream I received from our friend Bea.

I love scones and there was a scone recipe card included in the parcel. The original scone recipe was developed by Chris Wickham, the owner of Glen Mountain Market, in New York. I had thought to make Chris' scones, but decided to use my own recipe with the addition of an egg and the maple sugar, instead of normal granulated sugar.... and the scones are scrumptious.

So it's on with the pinnie and time to organise the ingredients.

INGREDIENTS 
YOU WILL NEED
TO MAKE
SCONES WITH MAPLE SUGAR

460g (1 lb) plain flour
pinch of salt
2 oval teaspoons of baking powder
115g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
115g  (4 oz) maple sugar
1 egg
1/2 pint butter milk
1 tablespoon of milk

FILLING

250g blueberries
284 double cream
small jar of maple cream

YOU WILL NEED

1 x 12 case muffin tin
12 paper muffin cases

Pre-heat the oven to 160C

HOW TO 
MAKE
SCONES WITH MAPLE SUGAR


Place the muffin cases into the muffin tin.


Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a medium
sized bowl.

Cube the butter and add to the bowl.

Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture
resembles fine breadcrumbs.


Add the maple sugar and mix well.

Beat the egg and mix with the buttermilk.

Add the egg and buttermilk to the bowl.

Gently mix the ingredients to create a soft dough.

I sometimes find that at this point
I need to add a little extra milk to loosen the mixture. For some reason, not always, but  on this occasion it was needed.

Add the milk.

Continue to bring the mixture together.



Using a tablespoon, place a tablespoon of scone mixture into each muffin case.

Place in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
Check after 20 minutes.


Remove from the oven when the scones are slightly golden in colour and thoroughly baked.


Place the maple scones on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the muffin cases and cut the scones in half.


Spread a generous layer of pure maple cream  on each half.
Whip the double cream and add
 a teaspoon of whipped double cream to the bottom portion of the scone.  
Place 3 or 4 blueberries on top of the cream
and
replace the lid


Place another teaspoon of whipped cream on top and for decoration arrange a blueberry in the centre of the cream.

I loved the flavour of the maple sugar and the maple cream, oh my word it was lovely. 

The tartness of the blueberries cut through the sweetness of the maple cream and I have to say, these little scones are definitely a hit in my house and will be made again and again and again.

For my English friends who cannot buy maple sugar and maple cream, I would suggest trying light brown sugar instead of the maple sugar and if you can buy some maple syrup then whip a tablespoon or so into the cream.... I feel sure it will be lovely.

Actually, I am going to try this when I run out of cream and maple sugar.... but for now, we are enjoying our lovely treat.

Now you may have been surprised that I used muffin cases.  I love the traditional way of cutting the scones, but I was feeling a little lazy and did not want to have a lot of washing up to do, as I had a lot of sewing to catch up on, so I decided to use the cases as a trial. The bases are slightly smaller than the top, but when the scones are filled, you really do not notice the difference. 

There was also a difference in oven temperature and the scones took half an hour to cook instead of the normal 10-15 minutes.

All in all, I was thrilled with how these maple sugar scones turned out.  I have to say they were a triumph.

Take good care of yourself and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,








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