I definitely have a thing for making up my own recipes, I love experimenting but sometimes its nice to find inspiration via someone else's recipe and adapt that to be your own creation. Even if I try to stick to a recipe, more often than not I will add or subtract a little something here or there, it's just part of making it my own and it's fun!
About the scones, I came across a Thug Kitchen recipe (check them out if you haven't already!) and I have not made any of their recipes yet but heard good things and when I saw Sweet Potato Chai Scones well, I just knew I had to try them out! I LOVE chai, which in India really just means tea but here in the Western world it means creamy, spicy, sweet delight and it is basically the equivalent of an ice cream cone to me! Plus, sweet potatoes are amazing. I pretty much scrapped any plans for the rest of the afternoon that day and decided making these was higher on the priorities list.
So there is the why, which brings me to the how. I ended up making several of my own tweaks during the process, but the end result I loved. These scones turned out a little bit more cakey than a traditional more crumbly scone but that was totally fine by me, I actually enjoyed the texture that the sweet potato gives them it's different but in a good way. My love of Ayurveda made me change up the spices/flavoring a bit as well, I just could not have these without cardamom and fresh cinnamon, then I remembered I had some crystallized ginger, which having used that in a different scone in the past I knew it would work well here. Plus, pecans....how could these not be good with pecans?
Well, here is my version of the scones and I loved them, hope you do too!
Sweet Potato-Chai Scones
1 15 oz can of full fat coconut milk
3-5 bags of your favorite chai
3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon crushed black chai tea (use mortar & pestle or crush in tea bag)
3/4 cup mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup roughly chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans, or nut of your choice (pistachios perhaps?) (optional)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 almond milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Peel and chop the sweet potato into large dices and boil until very soft, once done drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small sauce pan heat the coconut milk over medium heat until it reaches a simmer, add the tea bags and take off the heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, crushed tea and spices. Squeeze the tea bags that have been steeping in the coconut milk. Combine the sweet potato, maple syrup, and vanilla extract into a high speed blender or use an immersion (hand) blender in the pot, blend until well combined and creamy.
Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the sweet potato milk mixture. Stir until all the flour is mostly mixed and then fold in the nuts and crystallized ginger until combined, then start kneading the dough into a ball. You may need to add more flour to the mixture if yours is too sticky and soft, mine was more like cake batter at first, so add flour accordingly, remember they are scones!
Pat down the dough into a circle no more than 1 ½ inches high. Use a knife or pastry cutter and slice your dough into 8 pieces (pizza style) don’t separate the pieces. My dough was still pretty wet here and I was concerned for the outcome of my poor scones so I simply stopped them half-way through the cooking and re-cut the lines in my scones, cleaned them up a bit and finished the cook time. Brush the outside with a little grape seed oil, olive oil, or almond milk and stick in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
While they are in the oven whip up the glaze, it takes all of about two minutes. in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and almond milk until smooth.
Place scones on cooling rack with parchment underneath; once your scones are cool enough (about 10 minutes) pour the cinnamon glaze on top and they are ready to eat!