Eager to try out some amazake-sweetened baked goodies, this recipe truly started out as an attempt at muffins. But when I mixed my batter together I realized there was no way it was thin enough to become muffins, so I whipped out a sheet pan instead. And twenty-five or so minutes later I was sinking my teeth into the most delightful little scone; a soft, delicate crumb with a cardamom-accented sweetness and the burst of warm peaches. Yum. This is probably the best scone I’ve made since becoming vegan, maybe ever, AND it’s gluten-free and sugar-free (of the refined variety, that is). I’ll qualify that statement by mentioning I love a scone that’s barely sweetened and a bit on the plainer side and if you’re used to quite sweet scones you might want to add some additional sweetener; however the little bit of spice and hint of almond extract really, really make this. I gave two away and ate the rest in three days by myself!
Having had mixed results with brown rice flour in the past (it often ends up gritty or overly fragile in gluten-free goods), I’m happy to say this scone holds together really well without the use of xantham gum, starches or a plethora of flours (as in the cupcakes I made earlier), and the scones stayed lovely and moist. I’m also betting this would be grand with a whole variety of fruit and spice combos.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own amazake, you can certainly use a storebought amazake beverage (I’m including guidelines for that in the recipe). It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly the flavor the amazake brings to baked recipes, but it’s amazing how deliciously subtle the sweetness is, and how moist and structured the results are. While not as visually airy as more traditional scones are, they manage to taste quite light all the same. I added some amaranth to the batter for a little crunch, but feel free to leave it out if you like.
To top it all off, these scones freeze beautifully, and days later it can be just like fresh baked scones all over again!
Cardamom-Peach Amazake Scones (gluten-free)
makes about 7-8 scones
3/4 cup amazake blended with 3/4 cup water (or about 1 1/4 cups* premade amazake beverage)
1/3 cup sunflower oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
1/3 cup coconut flour (or additional gluten-free flour)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons finely ground chia seeds**
1 tablespoon uncooked amaranth (optional)
1/2 cup chopped peaches (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional), for brushing the tops
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly oil.
Combine the wet ingredients in a measuring cup or small bowl. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Pour the wet mix over the dry and combine with a rubber spatula or spoon until mixed, then fold in the peaches. Let the dough rest for a couple of minutes.
Using a 1/3 measuring cup, portion out the dough and tap or thwack it out onto your sheetpan. If desired, brush a bit of maple syrup over the scones. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden and the edges are beginning to color. Delicious plain or with a bit of non-dairy butter, coconut oil, or jam. Freeze any uneaten scones in a sealed bag and reheat gently in the oven until warmed through.
*Once blended, my amazake mixture totaled right about 1 1/4 cups, although logic would have led me to believe it would make 1 1/2 cups.
**I used chia seeds as an egg replacer/binder because I had it on hand, but the same amount of ground flax seeds should work as well.
Buoyed by the success of this recipe, I set to work trying to make a loaf bread today with less spectacular results (I think I overfilled my loaf pan a little and it never really baked through all the way) and now I have no amazake left! In the words of one of my favorite bloggers, supersadface! I am going to remedy this soon with my remaining koji starter, as well as order more fresh koji, because I have a feeling amazake and I are going to be very very good friends for awhile yet Thanks, lovely coworker whose name begins with an A, for treating me to this lovely delight!