Books & Literature

Cookbook Extract: Flour and Stone, by Nadine Ingram

Sample three recipes from this month’s Flour and Stone cookbook by pastry chef Nadine Ingram: Blueberry Buttermilk Scones, Zucchini Chilli & Gruyère Buns, and a Pear Ginger & Hazelnut Cake.

Sydney bakery, Flour and Stone, have released a collection of recipes in an all-new cookbook, complemented by stories of the life and kitchens, past and present, of pastry chef Nadine Ingram.

Above: Nadine Ingram. Photo (c) Petrina Tinslay.

Above: Nadine Ingram. Photo (c) Petrina Tinslay.

In collecting together recipes for the favourites treats that people keep coming back to – cakes, desserts and other indulgences that have taken her twenty years to perfect, Ingram is offering a backstage pass and a chance to reconnect with our happiest food memories, be they the lamingtons devoured as a child, or the hearty warm pies associated with a cold winter’s day.

Ingram has worked in high profile establishments around the world, including London’s Le Gavroche and The Ivy, as well as Sydney’s MG Garage and Bourke St Bakery. In 2011 she finally realised her vision of a bakery that would serve classic inspired pastries with Flour and Stone, her first bricks and mortar store.

In her new cookbook, released this month, Nadine aims to give you the confidence to try a recipe and celebrate your creations with others so you can share her bakery’s ethos of baking for love, life and happiness.

This beautiful book is a mouth-watering nod to the golden era of home-baked scones topped with dollops of jam and cream, delicate madeleines and hand-iced biscuits.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia, we’ve got three recipes below from the Flour and Stone cookbook for you to sample while you await our review:

  • Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
  • Zucchini, Chilli & Gruyère Buns
  • Pear, Ginger & Hazelnut Cake

Scroll down and get cooking. We hope you enjoy these tasters as much as we’re going to enjoy diving into the cookbook itself!

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones

Makes 10 large scones

I was never very good at herding cattle on the farm. In fact, when it came to outdoor pursuits I was a constant disappointment to my family, except for a brief encounter with Little Athletics when I made it to the regionals in high jump! If you’ve met me, you know I’m five foot three, so my prowess as a champion high jumper was fairly short-lived. As a consequence, I decided it was probably best for all concerned if I stayed indoors. These scones are the result of half a lifetime of relishing the feel of flour between my fingertips, and a personal goal to get over the finish line having made a blue-ribbon scone.

  • self-raising flour 450 g
  • salt 1/2 tsp
  • unsalted butter, firm but not too chilled, diced 80 g
  • caster sugar 100 g
  • blueberries 250 g
  • buttermilk 300 ml (for Pepe Saya buttermilk use 230 ml)
  • whipped cream and jam, to serve, optional

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Sift the flour and salt twice into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs with no butter lumps remaining. Add the sugar and blueberries and toss them through the flour using your fingertips. Pour the buttermilk evenly over the dry ingredients and, using a gentle touch, mould the dough into a ball. At this stage the dough will be slightly sticky on the outside and soft and pillowy to touch.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently flatten it to a thickness of 3 cm, using a little extra flour if necessary. Try not to handle the dough too much or the scones will be tough.

Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour, then dip an 8 cm round cutter into some flour to stop the dough sticking to it. Cut as many scones as you can from the dough and place them on the prepared baking tray about 4 cm apart. Gently squish together the trimmings left behind, then flatten to 3 cm and cut to yield a couple more scones.

Pop the scones in the oven for 20 minutes or until evenly golden, then remove and serve immediately just as they are or with jam and cream.

At Flour and Stone, we love our scone days. I always make extra and we all stand there in the middle of the kitchen, scoffing them straight from the oven.

Zucchini, Chilli & Gruyère Buns

Makes 16

These buns have a cult following amongst our morning customers. Toasted with butter and a sprinkle of sea salt is the way they roll.

  • strong bakers flour 300 g
  • plain flour, plus extra for dusting 100 g
  • caster sugar 2 tsp
  • salt 2 tsp
  • olive oil 1 tbsp
  • fresh yeast10 g
  • or dried yeast 5 g
  • tepid water 300 ml
  • milk 1 tbsp
  • bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped 2
  • medium zucchini, grated 1
  • grated gruyère 60 g

Place the flours, sugar, salt, oil, yeast, water and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or use your hands to form the dough into a ball). Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until it begins to form a ball, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes to develop the protein and give your dough structure. (If you are kneading with your hands, stretch the dough as you are kneading it and continue to work it on the bench for 10 minutes longer than you would if using the machine.) At this stage the dough will start to form a ball around the dough hook, peeling away from the sides of the bowl. To check that the dough is ready, you can do a stretch test. To do this, peel away a small piece of dough, roll it in the palms of your hand to form a ball and then stretch it out between your fingertips. If it doesn’t tear easily, it is ready. If it does, knead the dough for another few minutes to develop the structure of the bread.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic film or a tea towel and place in a warm place to prove for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in volume.

Knock back the dough by turning it out onto a lightly floured work surface, then gently pat it into 30 cm x 20 cm rectangle. Fold the dough in half, then in half again (as if you are folding a piece of paper). Return it to the bowl, then cover and prove for a further 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface once more, patting it gently with your hands to form the same rectangle as before. Sprinkle the chilli evenly over two-thirds of the dough, leaving the remaining third bare. Squeeze any moisture out of the zucchini and spread it over the chilli, followed by the cheese. Fold the bare portion of dough over half the cheese mixture, and then over again to completely envelop the filling.

Turn the dough so the seam is parallel to your body, using extra flour on the bench to stop it sticking, then pat it out to a 30 cm x 15 cm rectangle. Dust the top of the dough with a little flour (or leave it plain if you prefer), then cover with a tea towel and rest on the bench for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Using a dough cutter or a large knife cut the dough in half lengthways, then cut across the two rows to form 16 even square buns. Place the buns on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and prove one last time for 15 minutes or until they have doubled in volume.

Bake the buns for 25–30 minutes or until golden, then remove them from the oven and cool on the tray.

At Flour and Stone, we slice them in half horizontally and toast them, although they are just as delicious fresh from the oven. Either way, don’t forget the butter.

Pear, Ginger & Hazelnut Cake

22 cm / Serves 10–12
26 cm / Serves 15–20

This cake began as a humble ginger tea cake but, with the addition of poached pears and toasted nuts, it has morphed into a comforting upside-down cake that’s perfect for a winter pudding. Stem ginger is from the root part of the ginger plant and is commonly used in cakes and biscuits to perk them up. Buy it candied in syrup from good delis and Asian grocers.

Tin size:   22 cm   /   26 cm

Poached pears

  • water 1 litre  /   1.25 litres
  • caster sugar 500 g /   600 g
  • cinnamon quill 1 /   1
  • fresh or dried bay leaf 1 /   1
  • lemon, strips of peel from 1 /   1
  • pears 5  /   7


  • toasted hazelnuts, skins removed 150 g /   200 g

Cake batter

  • unsalted butter, softened 125 g /   160 g
  • light brown sugar 100 g  /   125 g
  • treacle 50 g  /   75 g
  • eggs, lightly beaten 2 /   3
  • sour cream 80 g /   100 g
  • plain flour 100 g  /   125 g
  • baking powder 1 tsp  /   1 & 1/2 tsp
  • salt pinch /   pinch
  • ground cinnamon 1 tsp  /   1 & 1/4 tsp
  • ground nutmeg 1 tsp  /   1 & 1/4 tsp
  • ground ginger 2 tsp /   3 & 1/2 tsp
  • stem ginger, finely chopped 2 pieces /   3 pieces

To serve

  • custard or ice-cream

Poached pears. Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon, bay leaf and lemon peel in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and allow the syrup to simmer while you prepare the pears.

Peel the pears, then cut them in half and remove the cores. Pop the pears into the syrup, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until they are tender. The poaching time can vary, depending on the ripeness of the pears you have chosen, so test by piercing one of the pears with the tip of a paring knife. You want a little resistance because they will be cooked again when they go into the cake. Allow the pears to cool in the syrup and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days before you bake the cake.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a 22 cm | 26 cm round cake tin with buttered baking paper, dust with flour and set aside.

Hazelnuts. Coarsely crush the hazelnuts in a food processor or put them in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin. Reserve 2 tablespoons of larger crushed pieces and scatter them evenly over the base of the prepared tin. Continue to grind the remaining nuts until you have finer crumbs to put in the batter.

Drain the pears on paper towel or a tea towel to remove any excess liquid and arrange them, cut-side down, over the hazelnuts in the tin. The syrup can be frozen for next time you need to poach pears.

Cake. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and treacle on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Give the eggs a light beat with a fork, then gradually add to the fluffy butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula every now and then if the egg is not incorporating with the butter. Add the sour cream and beat again to combine.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and fold them through the butter mixture, then fold in the stem ginger and remaining ground hazelnuts to complete the batter.

Spread the batter over the pears and smooth the surface using a spatula or a palette knife. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150°C and bake for a further 35–45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn it out upside-down onto a serving plate.

To serve. This cake is fabulous served with custard or ice-cream. It will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Extracted from Flour and Stone, by Nadine Ingram, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP AU$55 or NZ$65. Food photography © Alan Benson

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