Recipe extracted from The Baker’s Companion, by Allyson Gofton, published by Penguin NZ, RRP$55.00
Photography | Lottie Hedley 

Date scones are a perennial favourite. Here I’ve given them a make-over with an amazing spice blend with flavours redolent of the markets of Fez, Morocco.

MAKES 8

DATE FILLING
2 cups well-packed stoned dates, chopped
grated rind of 1 orange
½ cup orange juice (or use water)
2 tsp kasbah fragrant spice blend (see below) or mixed spice
2 tbsp coconut sugar or dark or soft brown sugar
2 tbsp honey, quince jam or apricot jam
25g butter

DOUGH
2 cups self-raising flour
¼ tsp salt
50g butter, cold, grated
¾-1 cup milk, plus extra to glaze 1 egg
coarse sugar crystals to decorate, optional

Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan bake). Set the rack in the centre of the oven. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
To make the filling, put the dates, orange rind and orange juice (or water), spices, sugar, honey or jam and butter into a saucepan over a moderate heat. Warm, stirring until the dates have become mushy. Set aside to cool.
To make the dough, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles crumbs. Make a well in the centre.
Mix ¾ cup milk and the egg together and pour into the well, stirring with a dinner knife or the handle of a wooden spoon to make a firm scone dough. Add extra milk if required.
Turn out onto a floured bench and knead only to bring together. Roll out to a rectangle about 0.5cm thick. Spread the cooled date mixture over the scone dough. Beginning at the long edge, roll up. Brush the tops with milk to glaze. If wished, scatter over coarse sugar crystals to decorate.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15–18 minutes or until the roll is well browned and, when tapped underneath, sounds hollow. Remove from the oven, place a clean tea towel on top and allow the roll to steam for 3–5 minutes.
Cut into slices and serve warm with plain yoghurt or butter.

KASBAH FRAGRANT SPICE BLEND
1 tbsp ground coriander 2 teaspoons ground cassia
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp dried rose petals, optional
few drops orange oil or pure orange essence

Mix together and store in an airtight container.

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