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Monday, May 26, 2008

Beauty and the Feast Challenge: Coconut Lime Scones and Mango Orange Curd

Diva, over at The Sugar Bar is having a Tasty Food Challenge called Beauty and the Feast. It's such a creative idea! Choose your favorite beauty product, and make a dish inspired by the ingredients or scents in it. So many of today's products are full of fruit and vegetables, and not only are they good for us, but they smell good enough to eat, don't they?

My inspiration came from my good friend, Bethany. She's started her own company selling the most AMAZING bath and beauty products, called South Pacific Body. (She has some things listed for sale there, and even more on her Etsy Shop.) She makes olive oil soaps, lotions, sugar scrubs, shower souffles, body sprays, deodorants and facial care products. I can personally vouch for the quality of her things. My skin feels amazingly soft from her soaps, and not only that, I walk around in a cloud of wonderful scent all day. My absolute favorite is the Aloe and Green Clover scent. It's "clean" and "green" smelling. But green aloe and clover don't exactly sound like something I want to eat, hehe. So I took inspiration from two of her other scents: Mango Tangerine and Coconut Lime. Bethany has quite a few products available in these two scents, as well as a big selection of other scents, so what are you waiting for? Go check her stuff out and try something--you won't be sorry, I promise!

What did I finally decide to make? I gave it a lot of thought...I was going to make a cake, flavored with lime zest, with mango orange curd between the layers, then frosted and topped with coconut...but I didn't want to be tempted for a whole week having a two layer cake in the house, so I went with Lime Coconut Scones and a Mango Orange Curd.

I pretty much knew how I was going to make the curd. I followed the method for the Three Citrus Curd that I made a few weeks ago, using one orange and two mangoes. The two mangoes yielded about 1 1/3 cups of puree, so I used that instead of the citrus juice in the other recipe, along with the zest of one orange. Simple. The curd is delicious! Velvety, creamy, and orangey-mangoey. ;)

But the scones--it was those I wasn't sure about. I've made scones a couple of times before, and I was not happy with my results. The Boston Bruins might have been happy to use them as hockey pucks, though! Or perhaps donating them to someone in the process of building a stone wall. Yep. They were that dry and tough. So the first thing I did was go in search of a moist scone recipe. And the universe must have been looking out for me at that moment, because this recipe was the first one listed in google, by Jennifer A. Wickes. She researched why certain ingredients did what they did to make a moist scone, as opposed to a hockey puck. She actually won the grand prize in a Cook's Illustrated competition with this recipe! Way to go, Jennifer! We all know how picky (And I mean that in the MOST respectful way! I love those guys!) they are. The scones are perfect! I hardly ever make scones, and you don't really need to ask why, do you? hehe! But with this recipe in my repertoire, I can make them and actually be proud to serve them to people instead of a family of beavers looking for a stump of wood to chew on.

So why don't I just shut up and give you the recipes and some photos already?

Mango Orange Curd

1 orange
2 mangoes
3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes

Zest the orange, and eat the rest of it!
Puree the 2 mangoes and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the yolks and whole eggs with sugar and salt. Whisk in the mango puree.
Transfer mixture to a heavy saucepan and set over low heat. Add butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir curd constantly, making sure to reach edges around side of pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes.
Do the wooden spoon test. After 15 minutes, run your finger along the back of the spoon, and it should leave a trail through the curd.
Strain curd through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove any lumps. Stir in zest.

Pour the curd directly into an airtight container, seal, and chill for a few hours in the fridge.

Coconut Lime Scones (Based on this recipe by Jennifer A. Wickes)

2 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract (if you don't have this, you can use 1 tsp vanilla extract)
zest of 1 lime
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup shredded coconut

1. Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon cream in small bowl. Set aside. Whisk remaining egg, remaining 1/4 cup cream, buttermilk, and extracts together in medium bowl. Stir in lime zest.

2. Pulse flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until blended. Add butter and pulse into flour until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about ten 1-second pulses. Pour this mixture into a bowl and make a well in the center. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until batter forms moist clumps. Fold in coconut, being careful not to over mix the dough.

3. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead gently until dough comes together and is smooth, about 10 seconds. (Really, this is all it needs!) Pat dough into 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick. Using sharp knife, cut circle into 8 wedges. With pastry brush, remove excess flour from wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, brush tops with egg and cream glaze, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

We interrupt this recipe with a small note from me...

(The two times I made scones, they went on the pan with the sides almost touching. I'm not sure if these are supposed to bake that way, but that's what I did. Towards the end of cooking, the tops were getting nicely golden brown, but the sides were still wet and doughy. I didn't want to overcook them and dry them out while the sides finished baking. I took my dough scraper and separated them on the sheet pan, and gave them a few more minutes. This seemed to do the trick.)

4. Bake until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center of scones comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 15 minutes. Transfer scones to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cooled scones can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 days.)

See? No dry wood chips...I mean crumbs! These babies are moist!

Thanks, Diva! Great event! For anyone wishing to participate, and why wouldn't you? you have until Monday, June 2nd to get your entries to Diva. And she's offering a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize to sweeten the deal. Beauty and the Feast Challenge!

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Lina said...

good job on the challenge! those scones look awesome!

VeggieGirl said...

Beauty and the Feast - too cute of a name!! Love your inspiration for the scones (and the scones themselves, of course, haha). Yum!

Soap Girl said...

I think I'm going to give this a whirl for our fathers day bbq. Be prepared to get 10,000 "HELP!!!" text messages from a scone idiot. :)
Thank you for pimping my shop too!!!

farida said...

Elle, what a nice entry! Ohh, coconut lime scones look especially inviting to me!!! love the combination of flavors! Are you shooting for the first prize just like me???:) It was a fun challenge, wasn't it:)

diva said...


i really like that curd of yours. i'm a true blue lemon curd fan but i hope to make this as soon as i can get some mangoes because it sounds heavenly.

thanks for participating, i've just received your email entry.

p/s i'm gonna have a look at the your friend's South Pacific products. I love stuff like that, which is why i'm a sucker for LUSH products too. :(

toontz said...

I loooove scones! And you inspired me to make curd this weekend. It was so good I had to stop myself from eating a whole jar. Next on my list is scones to serve it with (though I already have a favorite scone recipe)

Sarah said...


I cannot stress how good these sound. Mango + coconut + zest of different things = amazing goodness. I've never made scones but it's on my list of things to bake. Perhaps I'll try these soon. Thank you, they are beautiful!

Pam said...

This looks like pure heaven... coconut & lime - two of my favorite things. Great job Elle!


renaedujour said...

You've really raised the bar this time. These look FABULOUS.

Sharon said...

Cute idea for a roundup...I'll have to hop on over there. Actually, now that I think about it - Coconut Lime is one of my favorite lotions from bath & body works.

These look great. I've yet to make scones, but they've always been one of my guilty pleasures with coffee.

Lori said...

I love tropical fruit curds! My favorite is probably passion fruit, but mango sounds really delicious too! :)

canarygirl said...

Elle! Why do you do this to me at 8am? You KNOW I'm hungry at this time of the day! (lmfao, I know--I did this to myself by coming to your blog, you are blameless) Beautiful scones, my dear, and your curd looks so creamy and delicious! :)

Grace said...

i've never liked scones simply because the only ones i've ever had were dry and brittle and bland. (i do not recommend the scones from starbucks, which would only be appropriate for cracking open coconuts or breaking windows.) perhaps there's hope for me yet, because these sure look tasty...and crumble-free. :)

Anonymous said...

A beautiful comprimise to the Aloe/Clover scent.

They look fantastic.

Jj said...

Scones can be difficult sometimes but when the turn out well, they are so good and yours do look very good! Never tried orange and mango together, either. That sounds really good, too. Thanks!

giz said...

The curd sounds just fantastic Elle - truly good enough to eat and good enough to slather all over my face. The scones - yummy and a great excuse to eat a whole container of curd.

Elle said...

Lina--thanks so much!

VeggieGirl--Isn't that a great name for a challenge? And thanks!

Soap Girl--Your stuff speaks for itself--everything you make is amazing!

Farida--Yes, this challenge was a blast!

Diva--Thanks for coming up with this idea--it is truly creative!

Toontz--your curd looks delicious! I'll keep your tip for the ginger one in mind.

Sarah--thank you so much!

Pam--thank you!

Renae--thanks so much!

Sharon--thank you! And if you want to try making scones, these are a joy to work with. Nice dough!

Lori--passion fruit sounds delicious!

Cg--thanks! I always torture myself looking at your blog when I'm hungry. hehe. But it's worth it.

Grace--I wonder whose idea it was that scones were supposed to be dry and brittle? What were they thinking?

Gk--thank you!

Jj--thanks so much for popping in1

Giz--you crack me up! And now I'm curious...I wonder what could curd do for my skin???

Ruth Elkin said...

This sounds like a fab event! You've made a great entry here. I love scones and the tropical tastes of these sounds magnificent!

LyB said...

Those scones look incredible! Very creative!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Elle, your scones look so flaky, yum! And you have used so many of my favorite flavors I would have seconds and thirds. We love mangos, limes and coconut here in Brazil!

kimberleyblue said...

Mmmm - that mango curd sounds fantastic!

Deborah said...

Lime and coconut are one of my favorite combinations, and that curd sounds amazing!

AMY VIG said...

Oh my, Elle. these sound SO delicious. Scones are definitely one of my guilty pleasures. I've never made them because I am too afraid to be constantly tempted by them, but with this I may just have to try.

noble pig said...

ELLE! These look are so inspiring to me!

Kevin said...

I really like the sound of the mango and orange curd! And the lime and coconut scones are a great idea. They look so light a fluffy and good.

LisaRene said...

Great connection between the scones and beauty products. I'm a big believer in natural products, I'll definitely check out her shop.

The scones look delicious! I'm a huge scone fan, a bit addicted actually :)

Kristen said...

What an interesting challenge and a fantastic entry! Looks tasty.

Garrett said...

I've been waiting for an update from you! :-P

I have yet to make scones, and these look fabulous! I love those flavors!

Anonymous said...

This looks great. I really wanted to join the challenge (such a great idea!) but ran out of time this month. I love your detailed instructions and photos.

Elle said...

Thank you, everyone!

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