Monday, September 16, 2013

DIY Almond Milk + Almond Nutella Scones

So, you know I'm allergic to milk protein and we only drink coconut or almond milk, right?
I've been meaning to test out DIY almond milk recipes because the milk is expensive to buy and we go through too many cartons to justify throwing them out OR recycling at this point. Also, I knew it could be done with only almonds and water, making it all natural or organic depending on which almonds you use.
I'm too lazy to actually follow a recipe though and wondered what would happen if I just guessed. The first result was disastrous. Literally. A totally waste of almonds, which is a shame since they aren't cheap.
The second was much better, proving that ANYONE can make almond milk, even without real help.
I suggest you follow the a recipe, like the one HERE if you're precise or don't enjoy experimenting. For the basics, here's what I did.
Before anything else, I soaked the almonds overnight because someone had mentioned that once as helpful. I took two handfuls and put them in a mason jar, filled the jar with water and stuck it in the fridge overnight.
Then I took them out, poured everything in a bowl, added a few cups of water and blended it with my hand blender. I poured it all back into my milk container and let it sit overnight again.

 Next, I lined my mesh strainer with a layer of cheesecloth and placed it in a measuring bowl. I poured everything in and allowed it to drain into the bowl. I squeezed out what wouldn't drain after a few minutes.
 I was left with all of this extra almond and saved it for later use (almond butter + the aforementioned scones).
 Here it is side by side, milk + nuts. I poured the milk back into my pretty jar and put it in the fridge. The rumor is that it can stay there for a few days without going bad. Also, mine was insanely strong. It tasted SO nutty. My husband loved it (which was odd because he isn't a huge fan of almond milk) but it was way too strong for me. I'll use far fewer almonds next time. If you want to wing it, go ahead! You can add more water if it's too strong to mellow it out. I also put a few twists of sea salt in from my grinder as well. If you don't like guessing or experimenting (which is wise, clearly), then again here's an exact recipe. 
Ok, so now I had tons of ground almonds and wanted to use them, so we made some Almond Nutella Scones. Originally they were going to have jam in them, but I had already added in cinnamon and cardamom, so it seemed like Nutella would be a better complement. You can always leave out (or don't!) the spices and use a jam layer instead.
I adapted the recipe from this classic scone recipe HERE.
You will need...
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom 
  • 5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces 
  • 1/3 c. ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
  • large egg white
  • Whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture well mixed. 
  • Mix 1/2 cup milk, almond, extract, and egg white in a bowl. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Knead dough by hand until it is mixed. 
  •  Here's the dough, ready to go. I divided it in half and smashed out the first layer into an 8 inch circle. You will need to use a silpat mat or line your baking sheet with parchment paper.  Then I covered it in a layer of Nutella. I would use more next time, but the jar was out. Be generous, you can never use too much ;) You can also sub in your layer of jam here or even an almond paste spread, which would be divine. Next, I pressed out another 8 inch circle from the remaining dough and placed it on top of the other, pinching the ends together. Afterwards, slice the scone into 8 pieces like a pie, but don't actually cut all the way through.  Finally, baste some milk on top of the scone and then sprinkle with sugar. I used this fantastic almond vanilla flavored cane sugar. SO good! Bake for 15-17 minutes at 425 until golden brown. Allow to cool and slice through. We ate the entire batch in one day. I'm not ashamed. It was a great way to use some of that extra almond up and so easy! 
  • All the best, and as always, thanks for reading!  

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