They’ve been constructing Paris near my house and playing accordion music as they work. There are giant croissants and brioches too. No, I’m not hallucinating on absinthe, la fée verte, like Parisian artists of yore. It’s all part of Barcelona’s annual festival in my lovely neighbourhood of Gracia. Les festes de Gràcia start today and I’m celebrating with some Ispahan raspberry, rose water and lychee scones inspired by Pierre Hermé’s beautiful Ispahan book and recipe. Le posh joins le easy in this heavenly buttery Franco-Brit production which is somehow Parisian in essence. More accordion music please with my scones.
Here’s the link to some traditional French accordion music on youtube if you’d like to get in the mood and see some views of Paris. Yesterday in a street just down from mine, neighbours were still preparing decorations and props for their own mini early 20th century Paris. Can you see the Eiffel tower? More photos later…Failure? Oh la la! Mais non…
Back to the recipe, which I almost didn’t publish. When I first saw my scones they didn’t seem very risen and had tiny specks inside but then I ate one, and another, and… Well four delicious scones later, punctuated by sounds of me going ‘hmmm’ while mentally thanking Hermé, I decided to give you the recipe after all. Even if these scones don’t look perfect, once you bite into them you won’t care!
I followed my own scone recipe and method but used Hermé’s idea of adding rose water, rose syrup and chopped dehydrated or freeze-dried raspberries (which you can make or buy). I also added a little lychee juice as I felt it wouldn’t be an Ispahan scone without it, but you could replace this with water. Do always feel free to replace ingredients where necessary, though I recommend the dried raspberries rather than sour cherries or other dried fruit.
Dehydrating the raspberries: in my dehydrator it takes between 5 and 7 hours. Keep a close eye on them towards the end or they’ll go too dark. Hermé says 200g of fresh raspberries produces 40g of dehydrated ones and he places them in an oven on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper at 110°C/230°F (static, non-convection oven) or 90°C/190°F (fan-assisted oven) for 2 hours, moving the raspberries around every 30 minutes. Let them cool then chop roughly.The scones
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (static, non-convection oven) or 180°C/350°F (fan-assisted oven)
Follow the instructions on my scone recipe here (there are illustrations and a nice little story). All the wet ingredients are whisked in one bowl (except the water) and the dry ingredients in another large bowl, where you rub in the butter. Fold in the raspberries at the end. Finally the scones are brushed with beaten egg.
- 140g/half a cup natural greek yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 70g/a quarter of a cup plus 2 teaspoons sparkling water (add another tablespoon or two at the end if the dough’s dry)
- 1 good tablespoon/20g rose syrup
- 1 tablespoon and half a teaspoon/20g lychee juice from a can of lychees – optional (you can replace with water)
- 2 teaspoons/10g rose water
- 350g/2 cups and four-fifths cake or plain/all-purpose flour – you can also use spelt flour
- scant quarter teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- half tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 50g/a scant quarter cup caster sugar or xylitol
- 30g/1 cup dried raspberries
- 80g/a third of a cup or 5 and a half tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into little pieces)
- 1 beaten egg to brush on the scones
Well, that’s all folks. An easy recipe and c’est top, j’ai été bluffé! Translation: Brilliant! I was bowled over! Serve warm or at room temperature with butter or clotted cream. And maybe some raspberry jam. These scones can be stored at room temperature in airtight tupperware and are also great the next day as they have a very light, soft cake-like crumb. Shot through with little hits of intense raspberry amongst the subtle rose, lychee and slight saltiness in the background.
More Paris in Barcelona
Quick culture break! Here are a few more photos of preparations for the festival.
Will they be doing the can-can on stage I wonder. Or perhaps selling some paintings?
Gracia’s festival lasts all week so I’ll be wandering the streets, taking photos to share with you and soaking up the atmosphere. Which I’ll also appreciate from my flat as the excited and rumbustious masses stroll by in the street below. Actually at 9 this morning there was half an hour of extremely loud fireworks and beating drums to herald the start of the festival. Ahem, time to bring out the yummy Ispahan scones for breakfast with a pot of soothing Paradise Jasmine tea. C’est la vie. 🙂
OMG! I read in my guide that one of the squares is dedicated to cakes and ice-creams, probably in papier maché form! Woohoo! You know I can hardly contain myself… 🙂 Then my friend sent me a photo of them still setting up the cakes at 3 this morning!
What can I say? Except, cakes!!!! And now I’ll be preparing for my afternoon tea guest. With tea?
Perhaps cava or champagne to celebrate? 🙂
I’d also like to share these scones and the festival with my friends at Fiesta Friday, hosted by Angie@thenovicegardener and the event that inspired me to make these treats, where you’ll find loads more yummy scones: International Scone Week 2015 hosted by Tandy@Lavender and Lime. Please all mingle and have an Ispahan raspberry, rose water and lychee scone with a little glass of cava.
Perhaps another little scone?
Hope you’ve all enjoyed seeing the festival preparations. Au revoir mes amis et à bientôt! Happy baking and eating! And have a lovely weekend in your own cake dreamland! 🙂 x