Ah, Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, it rears its head earlier each year, and the million-and-one cards and heart shaped balloons adorning the shop shelves are inevitably accompanied by scores of sugar laden treats.
Candy, chocolates, cakes. That’s what Valentine’s Day is about, right?
Maybe not. But they do feature heavily on the Valentine’s Day traditions.
In our family, Valentine’s Day is mostly about spending time together. My husband and I try to get out for a dinner a few days before, and on the day (or the closest free day), we take each of our kids out for some one-on-one time with each of us. I love that we have this day as a family treat day for mummy-daughter and mummy-son (and daddy-daughter and daddy-son) time. A cup of coffee and a frothy milk at a cafe, a play in the park, some time at home playing games, a trip to a local farm or attraction. It forms lovely memories and helps us grow closer as a family.
Candy doesn’t feature high on our list of Valentine’s Day treats. My husband and I might share a dessert when we go out. We may split a croissant at the cafe with the kids. But generally, we keep our treats non-food related as much as possible.
Still, there is something nice about baking and sharing something special on a celebration. And I knew I wanted to create something for you guys. Call it a Valentine’s Day gift from me to you. 🙂
So I decided it was high time to share a personal favourite: my sugar free cream tea recipe. Homemade jam, homemade scones, homemade cream (only kidding, please don’t go and milk a random cow at a farm near you). But jam and scones, oh yes. They are always tastier homemade. And the funny thing is, my sugar free versions are not only as quick and easy as the sugar laden homemade ones – they are actually quicker! The jam takes a couple of mins rather than a couple of hours!
So if you want to make something sweet and edible as a Valentine’s Day treat, why not make everyone a sugar free cream tea (or make it together – this is easy enough for kids to do) to share?
Just don’t mention whether it is jam or cream first… unless you want to spend the day arguing… seriously, the only thing that divides my husband and I on opinion more is whether turquoise is more blue or green!
A sugar free cream tea recipe, perfect for a sugar free Valentine's Day treat or family baking session at the weekend. Easy, quick, cheap and very tasty.
- 200 g (1 cup) frozen strawberries (or raspberries)
- xylitol and/or liquid stevia, to taste (or leave unsweetened for Sugar Free February or if you prefer to keep the sweetener out)
- 1-2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 250 g (1 and 3/4 cups) flour (plain/all-purpose, wholewheat, spelt or gluten-free - I like a mix of plain and wholewheat or spelt)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp xylitol, optional
- 55 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed (or use coconut oil, which I personally love as it makes a softer scone)
- 125-175 ml (1/2-3/4 cup) full-fat milk (or unsweetened non-dairy milk - cream (any kind) also works, I like half-and-half milk and cream)
- 1 beaten egg, melted butter or more milk, to glaze
- clotted cream or whipped unsweetened double (heavy) cream (or use whipped coconut cream sweetened with a little sugar free vanilla extract or stevia)
- tea (English Breakfast or Earl Grey or use a naturally decaffeinated tea like Rooibos for the kids or those avoiding caffeine)
First, make the jam: Place the strawberries in a medium saucepan over medium heat with a few tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the berries start to break down (should take 2-3 mins), adding more water if they start to catch. Blitz the berries until smooth and sweeten to taste. In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with a little of the strawberry mix to make a smooth paste, then pour into the pan and simmer for another minute or two until the jam is thickened (it will thicken more as it cools). Pour into a cold bowl or jar and allow to cool slightly, then chill in the fridge until cold and set (you can speed this up by placing it in the freezer for a few mins instead).
To make the scones: preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. In a food processor, add the flour(s), baking powder, salt and xylitol (if using) and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the cold cubed butter or coconut oil and pulse for 30 seconds or so until the butter is incorporated into the flour but you can still see some small chunks. Turn the food processor on and drizzle the milk through the spout until the mixture just starts to come together as a dough.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 2-3cm (3/4"-1 1/4") thick and use round cookies cutters to cut out as many scones are you can. Place on a lined baking tray and brush with milk, melted butter or beaten egg to glaze. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 mins, until the scones are risen and cooked through, golden on top, and breaks into two easily with your hands. Allow to cool.
To serve, top the scones with jam and cream (or cream and jam - I'm not getting dragged into that age-old debate!) and enjoy with a hot cup of tea.