Sunday, 10 August 2014

My bake-off entry: Roasted Pumpkin, Cheese and Kale Pesto Scones

This year's school staff bake-off was a little more of a challenge, as sugar was officially banished in favour of savoury categories only. This forced us all to put our thinking caps on to come up with new and interesting entries. Judging our creations this year was the lovely Anna Worthington, of Cakes By Anna fame. With her creative flair and rustic presentation in mind, and wanting to keep it seasonal, I did some experimenting with pumpkin scones. With the addition of some cavalo nero kale from our garden, this creation was made. In a typical morning rush, I forgot to photograph my entry prior to morning tea, so above is my half eaten entry.

Roasted Pumpkin, Cheese and Kale Pesto Scones

For the Pumpkin Puree:

1/4 of a large gray crown pumpkin, or any other variety you have.
salt and pepper, 
1/8th teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 200deg. C. 

Place the quarter of pumpkin, cut in half and skin-on, into a roasting dish. 

Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Roast for about 40 minutes until soft. Turn twice during cooking. 

Allow to cool, then peel off the skin and mash the flesh. 

Add the nutmeg and check the seasoning. 

This is enough pumpkin for two batches of scones. The left over will happily freeze until needed.

For the Kale Pesto:

6 cavalo nero kale leaves
1 generous handful of parsley
1 clove garlic - peeled
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons grated parmisan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons walnuts

Wash the kale and parsley, and separate and discard the stalks. 

Put all the ingredients into the food processor and whizz until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and cover and store in the fridge until required.

Push the plastic wrap down onto the pesto to stop it from discolouring. 

For the Scones:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g butter
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup pumpkin puree

Filling and topping:
1 cup grated tasty cheese
about 1/2 cup kale pesto
about 2/3 cup extra pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds, plus extra for the top.
3 tablespoons grated parmisan cheese for the top

Preheat the oven to 200deg. C

Sift the flour, sugar, salt, mustard and cinnamon together. 

Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like crumbs.

Combine the egg and butter milk. 

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture and first measurement of pumpkin puree. 

Stir gently until just combined and turn out onto a floured piece of baking paper.

Press out it a large rectangle shape using another piece of baking paper to stop it from sticking to your fingers.

Spread with the pesto, followed by the extra pumpkin puree, tasty cheese and pumpkin seeds. 

Roll up along the long edge and cut into 3cm slices. 

Place the slices into a paper lined baking tray. Cluster them together. 

Top with the grated parmisan and extra pumpkin seeds. 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and risen. Allow to cool before transferring to a serving board. This is the one I did as a practise during the weekend. 

For the competition I served the scones with butter and garnished with deep fried cavalo nero and fresh bay tree sprigs. 

Happy baking xxx

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