Raspberry Scones

A labor of love. Emphasis on labor.

The ketogenic diet relies on a precise measurement of macronutrients. So any recipe that results in clumps of food, particularly carby food, is a bit dangerous. I worked very hard to make sure that each scone was uniform and consistent. I will describe my process and tell you what I learned about baking for my keto kid.

This recipe is adapted from Candice’s Low Carb Recipes (blog moved to new site 4/13): http://tmstrevival.wordpress.com/). She is a baker by trade and successfully lost weight with a low carb diet, which she continues. One general lesson I have learned is to take the process seriously. When it says to use frozen butter, use frozen butter, not softened butter. We are trying to re-create baked goods that are judged by their resemblance to their carby parentage. Sometimes it takes a little extra attention to detail to use materials with a vastly different make-up to make a high-quality product.

Raspberry scones

1/2 cup (56.8 g) Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour, divided into 6 Tbsp and 2 Tbsp
1 tbsp (10 g) Golden Flaxseed (whole)
2 teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
6 Tablespoons (85.2 g) unsalted butter
60 g unsweetened raspberries
3 large (150 g) eggs
1/3 cup (80 g) Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract

In large bowl mix 6 Tablespoons of coconut flour, flax, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix cream, eggs, and vanilla with a fork until all combined. Set aside.

Cut in FROZEN butter into your coconut flour mixture using your hands or a pastry blender until a course meal texture. I broke my pastry knife some time ago and have not replaced it. I used one of my hand mixer beaters to squash the butter into the flour and also used my hands. You can see the size of my course mixture.

Slowly add *almost* all of your liquid egg and cream mixture either mixing with hands or fork. Mixture will be runny. Add your extra 2 Tablespoons of coconut flour now and mix until thickened. Let it sit for a few moments and it will thicken as the coconut oil absorbs the liquid.

I calculated the recipe with only the batter, not the berries, and came up with 400 g of batter. Therefore it could make 20 scones of 20 g of batter each. However, after weighing the dough for each scone, I only had enough to make 18 scones of 20 g of batter each.

With each 20 g of dough that I measured, I then measured in 3 g of raspberries. Now I had 23 g of raw scone material for each one.

Here is an example of one imprecise measurement that I encountered in the overall recipe. Because the recipe calls for mixing in almost all of the wet ingredients, some of the mass is left out of the dough. I felt confident that at least I knew how much was in each scone, particularly how much raspberries were in each scone.

Place each measured dough ball on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 20 minutes.  Try to do this process rather quickly and efficiently, because you will want them to stay cold. Next form the dough into triangles. Nora knows that scones are typically triangle shaped, and presentation is as important as taste to her. After shaping, place dough in the freezer for 20 minutes again.

Preheat oven to 425F. Brush the scones with remaining liquid cream/egg mixture.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Let cool. Here’s the interesting food science part. Remember that I put 23 g of scone batter and berries into each one. When I weighed them after baking, they were 19 g each, and quite uniformly so. What happened? 4 g of steam came out during baking and cooling. That’s not very much water overall, but it matters when we are weighing and serving our keto kids, depending on how sensitive your kid is.

From all of this I learned that when I put my ingredients into the recipe analyzer, it simply smashes it all together and divides by the number of servings. It is very accurate for raw things, like B^3 and Macadamia Monster Mash. But it does not consider cooking and the loss of steam, and therefore the loss of mass. Note above that the nutrition label says it is a 23 g serving, but in the caption to the nutrition label I note that it is a 19 g scone. Tricky. I have not calculated this for my other baked recipes. For my purposes I think that they are close enough because we are not using the strictest version of the keto diet, but I plan to ask our dietician if they consider these things when they make recipes. Maybe it’s close enough that it is within the margin of error.

As hard as we try, there is measurement error in everything that we feed our kids. We weigh portions out, but we did not churn the milk into butter or determine the meat-to-fat ratio in that slice of bacon. We have to watch out for the places where large and significant measurement error could creep in, particularly in the carb department, like a scone that gets 6 g of raspberries and another that gets 2 g of raspberries if the recipe was made in the standard way of mixing and baking it all together, then cutting it up.

Now the important part: yum, these scones are good. They got the approval of Anders, his friend Henry, me, and Grandma Sheryl too. They are a great option for any low carb dieter or for someone who is gluten intolerant. Coconut flour is the magic ticket. Even without added sugar and non-sugar sweeteners, they are darn tasty. Nora eats them for breakfast with her 5 g coconut oil mixed with a teaspoon of butter.

On the emotional side, it seems to really help Nora when other people get to share some of her “special” foods. She was so happy when our friend Mara, who is gluten-intolerant, enjoyed the cupcakes that I made for Nora to eat at Anders’ birthday party (I will post that recipe sometime too–when I can do a controlled weighing like this again). She kept offering another one to Mara for the joy of sharing. It helps her to feel a little more normal, while we also remind her that almost everyone has their own food issues for different reasons. Mara can’t eat wheat, I can’t eat eggs, lots of people can’t eat peanut butter, or milk, or cheese, or yogurt. I guess we are all a little bit ~different~.

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About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Instructor and Researcher, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.

4 thoughts on “Raspberry Scones

  1. Mmm, great job, Christy! I’ll have to bookmark this for the day Jade comes far enough down on her ratio to use it. Maybe she’ll even be back on dairy by then! 🙂

    I make chocolate “suckers” for Jade as a treat. In my recipe, I’ve worked out the ingredients for 10 suckers, but I know that I will only ever get 9 suckers out of it because you always lose a little that sticks to the bowl, the spoons, etc.

    In order to deal with the variation that can happen from one batch of suckers to another, I weigh my bowl and spoon, add the ingredients, then reweigh. I subtract the weight of the bowl and spoon and then divide by 10. Usually, it comes pretty close, but this way I can double check and ensure that each sucker is exactly the same.

    Oh, and I always add just a bit more fat to the recipe, because it’s the fat that really sticks to the molds, etc.

    • Nice tip on adding a little extra fat. I also realize that I’m not weighing out the ingredients, I have been measuring them. So the eggs might not have been just the right size–getting fresh eggs from friends and the farmers market is worth a bit of variation, but I do weigh an egg if I’m cracking one for a meal. These eggs are so intensely orange in their yolks too, even after they are whipped. Healthy!

      Fawn–I also made a coconut raspberry muffin/cupcake recipe recently for Nora while we were celebrating Anders’ birthday, which I mentioned briefly. I should re-do that recipe because it was a hit, and contained coconut milk as well. You may be able to substitute some ratio of coconut milk and coconut oil to pump up the ratio and remove the dairy in this recipe.

      What do you strict keto families do for recipes? You can come up with your own recipes–right? But do they give you a tool or guidance to analyze it? Do they analyze it for you? I did not get much response from our dietician on that issue. I had to start winging it and found the caloriecount website to be the most user friends (although I have my complaints) and accurate (as far as I can tell).

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