Wednesday, 15 September 2010
I love scones and am having a lot of fun developing new combinations and varieties. Todd's having fun testing them too, I must say! He loves being my taste tester, and . . . lucky him, he is one of those people who can eat whatever they want to eat without putting on an ounce! (I know, I'm jealous too!)
They're so easy to make, using techniques very similar to that of making biscuits (a scone type of quick bread, very popular in North America, not a cookie!) But that is where the similarity ends!
Scones are a lot lighter, and in many cases sweeter, often varying between cake-like and cookie-like in texture . . . but then again there are savoury versions that are more biscuit-like.
I guess there is no definitive way to describe a scone except to say that they are delectably delicious and the perfect thing to munch on with a hot cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon. (My choice is a lovely herbal tea, but I have friends that love Earl Grey and I do love the smell of a nice hot cup of Earl Grey.)
Whatever your poison . . . a cup of something hot and a plate with a warm scone on it just can't be beat on any occasion.
Today I thought I would try some dried sour cherries, white chocolate and flaked almonds in a scone . . . three wonderful flavours that go so very well together. The sour cherries help to cut the sweetness of the white chocolate that can sometimes be a bit cloying and the flaked almonds added a delightful bit of crunch.
All in all I'd say these are da bomb!! Definitely repeatable! These are going in my success file of things I have conjured up!
*Sour Cherry, White Chocolate and Almond Scones*
Makes 8 wedges
Cherries, white chocolate and almonds . . . the holy trinity of sconedom!! Seriously, these are fabulous!
8 1/2 ounces plain flour (2 cups)
2 1/4 ounces caster sugar (1/3 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 ounces unsalted butter, chilled (1/4 cup)
125ml of double cream (1/2 cup)
1 large freerange egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
6 ounces of good quality white chocolate, cut into small bits, or use
good quality white chocolate chips
5 ounces dried sour cherries, quartered (1 cup)
3 ounces toasted flaked almonds (1 cup)
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Drop in the butter and then cut it in using a pastry blender or two round bladed knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk together the cream, egg and extracts. Add all at once to the flour mixture, mixing it all in well and kneading until it is well combined. Lightly knead in the chocolate chips, cherries and almonds. Pat out with lightly floured hands to a 9 inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Place on the lined baking sheet, leaving some space in between each.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned. Allow to cool on the pan for five minutes, before scooping off with a spatula to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container.
Note - if you want your scones to have soft sides, place the whole round onto the baking sheet, and cut into wedges there, leaving them together and baking them as a whole. Cut them apart again once they come out of the oven with a serrated knife. Me . . . I love crunchy sides, and so I bake them apart!!