Sunday, April 28, 2013

Captain Carrot's Dwarven Carrot Cake Scones

Sir Terry Pratchett is 65 today. I bet you he enjoyed a small party with friends and family, full of laughter, smiles, and cake. If you don't know Terry, you should. Maybe you've seen him hanging around your favourite Neil Gaiman novel.  Or maybe you've come across his surname taking up at least three shelves in the fantasy aisle of your favourite book store. The man has a goddamn ancient sea turtle named after him, for god's sake.

All I'm saying is, if you haven't read Pratchett, then you really really should.

I don't think Pratchett and his novels have gained as much ground in North America as it has elsewhere in the world. England, South Africa, and Australia all have conventions celebrating the Discworld, a flat planet that is carried on the backs of four elephants, who are all riding on top of a giant turtle. If you're a little lost now, don't worry. The ins and outs of Discworld are a bit hard to describe, but I think I'll start with the City of Ankh-Morpork - a medieval parody of London, with a dash of renaissance Florence thrown in for a little colour. My favourite Discworld novels feature the stories of the City Watch - a rag-tag group of coppers who try their best to keep the peace by knocking a few skulls and kicking in a few pairs of teeth.

The two members of the Watch that I've really taken to is Captain Carrot (the 6 ft tall, flaming red headed human raised by dwarves) and Sgt. Angua von Uberwald (Carrot's somewhat reluctant werewolf partner). Maybe because I see a lot of their relationship reflected in my own. Or maybe it's the fact that Mr. C makes a pretty good Carrot. 

This photo isn't ours - some amazing fan took it at Emerald City. If it's yours, please let us know!

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen this photo before. I mentioned our newfound love of cosplay on this blog, but here's the proof. For our two local comic conventions, we dressed as our favourite literary characters - Carrot and Angua. A lot of people loved our costumes, but gave us pretty strange looks when we tried to describe who we were. But then there were people who ran down the aisles, frantic to confirm that we were in fact representing Pratchett's finest. In fact, our best experience at Fan Expo this year was a lovely family of Brits who tracked us down, took pictures, and had a lovely chat with us about Discworld. I even think we talked the little girls into dressing up as Nobby Nobbs and Cherri the dwarf next year.

In order to celebrate Sir Terry's birthday, and to celebrate our first successful cosplay, we've created something that Carrot might find in his packages from home. Dwarf bread and cakes are famous - they fight wars over it, and with it. It's notorious for being hard as a rock, and as hardy as a rock as well. Our dwarven scones won't break your teeth, but they will give you a satisfying and sweet breakfast.

Captain Carrot's Dwarven Carrot Cake Scones
Makes about 8 scones
adapted slightly from Everyday Champagne

1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about three carrots)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups AP flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
3/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup raisins
lemon juice
1 cup icing sugar

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Shred your carrots by hand, or in your food processor. Set them aside in a bowl. In another bowl, combine both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger until it's completely combined. Chop your butter in small cubes and, using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut your butter in with your dry ingredients until your butter is the size of peas. You can also just pulse all these ingredients together in  your food processor until your butter is the right size. Either or will work out just fine.

2) Slowly add your buttermilk a bit at a time until your dough forms - you may not need all the buttermilk. The dough should easily gather, but should not become too sticky or wet. Transfer your dough to a flat surface and add your shredded carrots and your raisins to it by hand. Flatten into a large disc, roughly 2-3 inches thick, and cut like a pizza into 8 slices. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden for 16-19 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your scones reach 160 degrees. Set out to cool before icing.

3) For the drizzle, put your icing sugar in a large bowl and add your lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time until it gets to be the consistency you like - I like mine with more lemon, but some people like it a bit sweeter/thicker. Spoon into a plastic bag, cut the tip off, and pipe/drizzle over your cooled scones. Enjoy.


The Suzzzz said...

LOVE THIS!!! I was introduced to the work of Terry Pratchett about 14 years ago when I lived in Ireland. I had unsuccessfully tried to get my American friends and family to read his books, until I managed to get my nieces to read the Tiffany Aching series. I'm going to have to get them into the rest of the discworld novels so I can make these and have someone understand what they are. Thanks!

Sugary Flower said...

Oh come on now, if it was a real dwarf scone it would be for sitting on, yes? ;)
But oh my stars, you guys look awesome as Carrot and Angua - love it!

Anonymous said...

There have been three North American Discworld conventions, the most recent of which was just a few weeks ago in Balitmore, MD.

They happen on odd numbered years and alternate with the UK ones so that they don't occur in the same year.

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