In the month when we celebrate love, Recipe Redux is aiming straight for your heart with chocolate.
Chocolate has a taste that has launched a thousand obsessions. But the cocoa bean – and darker, less processed chocolates – also contains flavanoids that may act as antioxidants, help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow throughout the body, and prevent abnormal blood clotting. It’s no wonder that the culinary dietitians of Recipe Redux would focus on this heart-healthy, tastebud-friendly food for February (which is National Heart Month in the U.S.).
For my contribution, I figured one superfood is great, and two would be even better. So I combined heart-healthy chocolate from local Taza with the spicy-sweet anti-inflammatory root, ginger.
The result: a rich, zesty start to your morning with double chocolate ginger scones:
This recipe is a version of the banana chocolate chip scones I’ve been making for years, but with a little extra sugar to balance the bitter notes of dark chocolate and some extra buttermilk to help the cocoa powder mix in. When you make this, use natural cocoa powder and the darkest chocolate you can find, as the less processed, darker chocolates retain the most of the cocoa bean’s phytonutrients.
Double chocolate ginger scones (text file here)
You can make your own buttermilk by adding 2 teaspoons of vinegar to ¾ cup of milk, and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes.
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
½ cup (1 stick) of butter, softened slightly
3/4 cup buttermilk
½ cup candied ginger, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup dark chocolate chunks (small pieces)
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Use your fingers to squish the butter into small pieces & drop them into the dry mix. Using your fingertips, blend the butter into the dry mix until it resembles wet sand and the butter is evenly distributed
Add the buttermilk to flour mix and blend with your hands until they just come together. If the cocoa powder isn’t playing nicely and is hard to mix in, add a small amount of buttermilk or water to moisten the dough. Add the ginger and mix until evenly distributed.
Divide the dough into eight balls or wedges and transfer them to the baking sheet. Press your thumb into the top of each one to create a well, and fill each with a generous amount of the chocolate chunks.
Bake for 20 minutes or so (the magic number is 22 in my oven). When done, let them cool for a few minutes on a rack before eating.
As I was experimenting with this recipe, I also tried a version with chunks of chocolate and no cocoa powder.
My 5-year-old preferred this version to the double-chocolate kind; if you want to make these and do your own taste test, just omit the cocoa powder from the recipe above and add in ¼ cup small chunks of dark chocolate to the dough. Everything else remains the same.
But don’t stop with just those two takes on chocolate – show the foodie dietitians of the Recipe Redux some love and check out these great recipes: