About 18 months ago I had a real thing for date syrup. I’d discovered it in one of those funny grocer-cum-spice shops where the vegetables are all rotting and the shelves are stacked high with things the casual Western European customer may struggle to identify. Even buying the date syrup was a gamble – the label was in French and Arabic and the picture on it was of three camels ambling through a desertscape. Actually, the camels were a dead giveaway – after buying Iranian ‘Camel’ brand dates for years, I figured there was a good chance that this glossy brown syrup was date-based too.
Anyway, date syrup and all the things I made with it had become a sweet memory until a couple of weeks ago when the lovely Laura Faire emailed to ask where I bought mine from. I sent her a few suggestions for stockists, but she went one further and sent me a DIY recipe. Not only does it work a treat, it means I no longer have to worry that the date syrup I use might actually be made from camels.
Homemade date syrup is less, well, syrupy than the bought version, but it does the trick just as well. Try it on porridge, drizzled over yoghurt, or in these double date scones.
Double date scones
I made these yesterday morning when I realised we had slim pickings for breakfast. They are so easy and using spelt flour makes them very easy to eat. That is to say, a small child and her mother can easily gobble down quite a few of them without feeling in the least bit weighed down.
300g (2 cups) white spelt flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 cup dates, chopped
1/4 cup date syrup
1 cup cream
Heat the oven to 210C and put a baking tray in the oven.
Sift the flour, baking powder and spice into a large bowl. Stir through the chopped dates.
Mix the date syrup and cream together and pour into the dry ingredients. Fold together gently and quickly to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a piece of baking paper and shape into a rough rectangle, then cut into eight pieces. Transfer the baking paper and scones to the hot tray in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until risen and golden.
Eat with lashings of butter or dollops of ricotta and honey.
Have a great weekend, everyone x