Mini sco-nuts (gluten-free; dairy-free; vegan)

Tray_of_warm_vanilla_sugar_sprinkled_sco-nuts
Vanilla sugar-dredged mini sco-nuts. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

The weather has turned colder this past week, and my thoughts have turned to comfort food. In my opinion, food doesn’t come much more comforting than a light, fluffy doughnut with a crunchy, sugary coating. Sadly, not usually a choice for anyone on a gluten-diet, but I think these little treats are a good alternative, and best of all, they can be made in a fraction of the time that it takes to make the real thing.

Close-up_of_a_mini_ring_sco-nut_coated_in_vanilla_sugar
Mini sco-nut, fresh out of the pan. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

As the name suggests, the recipe derives from a scone mix that is cut and fried like a doughnut. I coated mine in home-made vanilla sugar but plain sugar is just as good. Leave them plain and dip them in a little of your favourite jam or sweet dipping sauce. Sometimes, I drizzle them with a little vanilla or cocoa flavoured glacé icing and decorate with a few sprinkles.

Mini_sco-nuts_drizzled_with_icing_and_decorated_with_sprinkles
Drizzled and decorated, mini sco-nuts. Image: Kathryn Hawkins
Pot_of_home-made_vanilla_sugar
Home-made vanilla sugar. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

I always have a pot of vanilla sugar in the cupboard. I chop up bits of vanilla pod that is past its prime, or any part of the pod that has dried out, and just keep topping up the pot with caster sugar. Every now and then I give the pot a shake to distribute the vanilla pieces, and I keep the pot well sealed. You do need to sieve it when you use it, but keep the bits of pod trapped in the sieve and put them back in the pot along with a top up of sugar, and you can replenish your supply more or less indefinitely. Here’s the recipe.

Makes: 14 mini sco-nuts

Ingredients

  • 150g gluten-free self-raising flour (such as Dove’s Farm)
  • 5g gluten-free baking powder (such as Dr Oetker)
  • 2g xanthum gum, optional – I have started adding this to my scone mixture as it really does improve the crumb texture
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil + extra oil for deep-frying
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • Approx. 6 tbsp. soya or other non-dairy milk
  • Vanilla sugar or caster sugar to dredge
  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and xanthum gum into a bowl and stir in the caster sugar. Make a well in the centre, and spoon in the oil and vanilla, then bind together with sufficient milk to form a softish scone dough.
  2. Pour the oil for deep-frying into a saucepan or wok and begin heating – the oil temperature needs to be around 180°C to fry the sco-nuts properly. While the oil is heating, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently to bring the mixture together and make smooth, then roll or press to a thickness of 1cm.
  3. Cut out rounds using a plain 5cm cookie cutter, and press out the middles using a 2cm round cutter. Re-roll the trimmings nd middles to make 14 mini rings in total.
  4. Fry the sco-nuts in 2 batches, turning them gently in the oil, for 2-3 minutes, until golden and crisp all over. Drain well on kitchen paper and keep warm while cooking the second batch.
    Sco-nut_dough_shaping_and_after_frying
    Preparing and cooking mini sco-nuts. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

    Dredge in sugar if liked, or drizzle with icing. Best served while still warm. Sco-nuts do freeze well if you have any leftover; just bag them up, seal and freeze. You can reheat them gently in a moderate oven for about 5 minutes if you want to eat them warm.

    Warm_sco-nuts_being_dipped_in_vanilla_sugar
    Extra indulgence, dipping mini sco-nuts in vanilla sugar. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

 

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