Vanessa Musi is a classically trained pastry chef, and one of the first health-focused pastry chefs in the world. She has more than twenty years of experience in the industry, consulted brands such as Starbucks and Whole Foods, and has developed her own baking method, Noble Baking, which she describes as an art, science and mindset using wholesome ingredients.
Musi’s baked goods are low glycemic, gluten free, grain free, vegan and free of processed sugar. She doesn’t just substitute ingredients and hope for the best, she creates them from scratch. In addition to recipe development and staying up on the latest food and healthy trends, Musi teaches her classes and Noble Baking technique worldwide.
Orange Date, Pecan & Raspberry Scones
Recipe & Photos: by Chef Vanessa Musi
Makes: 8 scones
1 cup (125 grams) of my gluten-free flour blend – see recipe below *
⅓ cup gluten-free oat flour
⅓ cup ivory teff flour (or millet) – teff has a malty flavor, or you can use cassava flour or buckwheat
⅓ cup brown rice flour or more of my gluten-free flour blend*
1/3 cup Date Lady Date Sugar
10 grams gluten-free baking powder (at high altitude use 6 grams) – I use Rumford brand baking powder
4 grams fine sea salt
½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries or frozen cranberries
½ cup chopped Date Lady Organic Dates
¼ cup chopped pecans
orange zest from 1 orange
90 grams of unsalted, cold grass fed butter, cold vegan butter, or cold ghee – cut butter into chunks (keep very cold)
⅓ cup coconut cream – I use canned coconut cream like Thai Kitchen’s, must be full fat
2 egg yolks
8 grams vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Egg Wash Ingredients:
1 pinch of Date Lady Date Sugar
1 pinch of salt
Note: You’ll use some extra date sugar to sprinkle on top of the scones once you apply the egg wash
1. Preheat convection oven to 370°F, regular oven to 390°F.
2. Line a half sheet baking sheet with a silicon mat (Silpat) or parchment paper.
3. Cut butter into squares and freeze.
4. Put flours, date sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest in a large good quality food processor (must be at least 9-11 cups). I use a Thermomix brand food processor. You can also make them in a Kitchen Aid mixer with a paddle attachment. Add butter and process on pulse until butter looks like small peas/lentils.
5. Put this mix into a large bowl. Add the fruit, nuts and dates.
6. Separately mix cream, vanilla, and egg yolk with a small whisk in a small bowl. You may need extra cream, this depends on the flours you use and how much you processed the butter.
7. Add this mix into the large bowl with the flour butter mixture and mix with a large rubber spatula for a minute or two. You will then have to use your hands to gently form the mixture.
8. Don’t knead the dough! The secret is just to put it together without overworking it. It should be moist enough to hold together but not too wet or your scones will end up with a muffin-like texture.
9. Form a round 6-inch pizza shape on a lightly floured surface or on a roll mat until about 1 inch thick. Cut 8 triangles like pizza slices and place onto the baking tray. Brush with the egg wash, sprinkle some of the date sugar on top and bake at 370°F for about 8 minutes until golden.
10. Lower heat to 350°F and bake for about 10 more minutes. IMPORTANT: time will depend on your oven, how moist the dough is, your baking pan, and the thickness, and size of your scones. Don’t over bake or they will be dry! Also, note that the scones will continue baking a little on the hot tray after you take them out of the oven so make sure to take them out just a tad before you think they’re fully baked.
11. Remove from oven and let sit on the baking tray for about 5 minutes. Remove with a metal cookie spatula onto a cooling rack or perforated tray.
12. Scones are best the same day they are baked. You can keep some frozen and bake as needed (in that case just put the frozen scone, with egg wash directly in a preheated oven and voila!) It will take longer to bake if frozen.
13. Decorate scones with a drizzle of the most amazing date syrup or the most addictive chocolate spread ever!! Beware you might get hooked on these products.
Recipe for Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 ⅓ cup tapioca starch
1 ⅓ cup potato starch
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour (not sticky white rice flour)
4 teaspoons xantham gum
NOTE: I use Bob’s Red Mill brand flours in this blend
Mix all flours into a container: stir well with a whisk until combined well.
– Chef Vanessa Musi