I’m currently on a blogger’s trip to Gran Canaria island, writing this post while sitting in an apartment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Yet rather than writing about travel today, I want to share a recipe for kamut scones with wild cherries and white chocolate that I made a few days ago at home in London.
Allow me to ramble first about a few things that have been on my mind. I recently had a meeting with a food PR to discuss a potential collaboration and I was asked if recipes are (still) a big part of my blog. I was taken aback by the question, as food recipes have always been one of the main focuses of Mondomulia and I thought it was evident to readers. Even though I have shared many of my travel stories over the years, my blog was born from my passion for baking and that remains my priority.
As a freelancer, I earn my living from different kinds of work: photography, writing, social media, workshops, etc. Recipe development (particularly baking) is the one of the things I enjoy the most because it gives me the freedom with play with ingredients, to work from home, to style, photograph and write. It’s a kind of work that sums up most of the things I love doing.
So I will never stop sharing recipes on Mondomulia for as long as this blog exists. And I wouldn’t think of my self as less of a food blogger just because I share more travel posts now, than I used to 5 years ago. There are months when my main focus is travelling and I spend less time at home cooking and baking. Other times I am in London for several weeks at a time and so I have time to cook daily or bake something new every week.
My blog reflects my lifestyle: work, fun, ups and downs, globetrotting and everyday routines.
Another conversation I had recently (this time with bloggers), was about how to find ideas for recipe posts. If you want to be a successful blogger with a high readership (of hundreds of thousands a month) you have to follow food trends or Google keywords and SEO, but I have never been able to do that. I will sometimes share a recipe from a popular cookbook and sure, it will get more traffic than other recipes. But I don’t let this affect the way I choose my content.
First and foremost, I cook and bake what I love to eat. I try to be creative and share recipes that I think other people are going to find interesting. I try to be original and different, taking inspiration from my travels and always adding my own twist to recipes I adapt from a cookbook or another blog.
If blogging stops being about what I enjoy, then what’s the point?
My recipe inspiration often comes out of something I have eaten, which makes me want to re-create it at home. That’s how I got the idea of making Kamut Flour Scones with Wild Cherries and White Chocolate. I bought a buckwheat scone from Pure Bread bakery in Whistler, Canada while on holiday there last month. It was so good! Crunchy on the outside, soft and crumbly on the inside, with moist sour cherries and chunky white chocolatey bits. I wanted to make exactly the same scones at home, but of course it would have been impossible without the original recipe.
It didn’t help that I couldn’t find buckwheat flour at my local shops in Clapham, so I decided to use Kamut flour instead. Kamut (also known as khorasan) is a variety of wheat. You can use it in the same way as normal flour and can be used to make bread, biscuits and cakes, though it contains more nutritional qualities. It is very high in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. I love it for its deep nutty flavour.
A few years ago I was obsessed with baking bread using kamut flour and this flawless milk bread loaf recipe. I used to make it every single week. I also used kamut to make a batch of delicious gingerbread cookies to send to my parents in Italy for Christmas a few years ago.
About these scones: they are soft, not so crumbly as the ones I was trying to copy. They are dense, a crossover between bread and cake. I love the white chocolate chips here, I don’t think dark chocolate would work well here. The Italian wild cherries in syrup add a sweet and sour flavour, which reminds me of my childhood (since I used a jar from Fabbri , a popular Italian brand).
- 300g kamut flour
- 100g rolled oats
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100g brown sugar
- 80g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 100g white chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 free range egg, beaten
- 100ml plain yoghurt
- 80g Fabbri Amarena Wild Cherries
- 2 tbsp milk, for coating
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven). Grease and flour a baking tray.
Mix the flour and baking powder together with a balloon whisk (to break up any lumps and aerate the flour). Add the rolled oats, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter using your hands until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the chocolate chips.
Whisk the egg, vanilla and yoghurt together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix everything together with a wooden spoon. Add the roughly chopped cherries. Use your hands to bring it all into a dough. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle more flour if the dough is too sticky.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a circle 2cm thick and cut into 8 slices. Place the scones onto the baking tray and rest for 10 minutes outside the oven.
Brush the scones with milk. Optional: sprinkle with caster sugar or sugar pearls. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they start to brown. Check the scones regularly after ten minutes to ensure they don’t over-bake.
Remove from the oven and place them onto a wire rack to cool down.