Diva, over at The Sugar Bar is having a Tasty Food Challenge called Beauty and the Feast. It's such a creative idea! Choose your favorite beauty product, and make a dish inspired by the ingredients or scents in it. So many of today's products are full of fruit and vegetables, and not only are they good for us, but they smell good enough to eat, don't they?
My inspiration came from my good friend, Bethany. She's started her own company selling the most AMAZING bath and beauty products, called South Pacific Body. (She has some things listed for sale there, and even more on her Etsy Shop.) She makes olive oil soaps, lotions, sugar scrubs, shower souffles, body sprays, deodorants and facial care products. I can personally vouch for the quality of her things. My skin feels amazingly soft from her soaps, and not only that, I walk around in a cloud of wonderful scent all day. My absolute favorite is the Aloe and Green Clover scent. It's "clean" and "green" smelling. But green aloe and clover don't exactly sound like something I want to eat, hehe. So I took inspiration from two of her other scents: Mango Tangerine and Coconut Lime. Bethany has quite a few products available in these two scents, as well as a big selection of other scents, so what are you waiting for? Go check her stuff out and try something--you won't be sorry, I promise!
What did I finally decide to make? I gave it a lot of thought...I was going to make a cake, flavored with lime zest, with mango orange curd between the layers, then frosted and topped with coconut...but I didn't want to be tempted for a whole week having a two layer cake in the house, so I went with Lime Coconut Scones and a Mango Orange Curd.
I pretty much knew how I was going to make the curd. I followed the method for the Three Citrus Curd that I made a few weeks ago, using one orange and two mangoes. The two mangoes yielded about 1 1/3 cups of puree, so I used that instead of the citrus juice in the other recipe, along with the zest of one orange. Simple. The curd is delicious! Velvety, creamy, and orangey-mangoey. ;)
But the scones--it was those I wasn't sure about. I've made scones a couple of times before, and I was not happy with my results. The Boston Bruins might have been happy to use them as hockey pucks, though! Or perhaps donating them to someone in the process of building a stone wall. Yep. They were that dry and tough. So the first thing I did was go in search of a moist scone recipe. And the universe must have been looking out for me at that moment, because this recipe was the first one listed in google, by Jennifer A. Wickes. She researched why certain ingredients did what they did to make a moist scone, as opposed to a hockey puck. She actually won the grand prize in a Cook's Illustrated competition with this recipe! Way to go, Jennifer! We all know how picky (And I mean that in the MOST respectful way! I love those guys!) they are. The scones are perfect! I hardly ever make scones, and you don't really need to ask why, do you? hehe! But with this recipe in my repertoire, I can make them and actually be proud to serve them to people instead of a family of beavers looking for a stump of wood to chew on.
So why don't I just shut up and give you the recipes and some photos already?
3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
Zest the orange, and eat the rest of it!
Puree the 2 mangoes and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the yolks and whole eggs with sugar and salt. Whisk in the mango puree.
Transfer mixture to a heavy saucepan and set over low heat. Add butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir curd constantly, making sure to reach edges around side of pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes.
Do the wooden spoon test. After 15 minutes, run your finger along the back of the spoon, and it should leave a trail through the curd.
Strain curd through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove any lumps. Stir in zest.
Pour the curd directly into an airtight container, seal, and chill for a few hours in the fridge.
Coconut Lime Scones (Based on this recipe by Jennifer A. Wickes)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract (if you don't have this, you can use 1 tsp vanilla extract)
zest of 1 lime
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1. Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon cream in small bowl. Set aside. Whisk remaining egg, remaining 1/4 cup cream, buttermilk, and extracts together in medium bowl. Stir in lime zest.
2. Pulse flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until blended. Add butter and pulse into flour until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about ten 1-second pulses. Pour this mixture into a bowl and make a well in the center. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until batter forms moist clumps. Fold in coconut, being careful not to over mix the dough.
3. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead gently until dough comes together and is smooth, about 10 seconds. (Really, this is all it needs!) Pat dough into 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick. Using sharp knife, cut circle into 8 wedges. With pastry brush, remove excess flour from wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, brush tops with egg and cream glaze, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
We interrupt this recipe with a small note from me...
(The two times I made scones, they went on the pan with the sides almost touching. I'm not sure if these are supposed to bake that way, but that's what I did. Towards the end of cooking, the tops were getting nicely golden brown, but the sides were still wet and doughy. I didn't want to overcook them and dry them out while the sides finished baking. I took my dough scraper and separated them on the sheet pan, and gave them a few more minutes. This seemed to do the trick.)
4. Bake until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center of scones comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 15 minutes. Transfer scones to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cooled scones can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Thanks, Diva! Great event! For anyone wishing to participate, and why wouldn't you? you have until Monday, June 2nd to get your entries to Diva. And she's offering a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize to sweeten the deal. Beauty and the Feast Challenge!