Why go to England when you can enjoy delicious buttery scones right here?
While most people mistake a scone with biscuits or a small cake, they will be surprised to know it is nothing like either of the two. A scone is a crumbly yet dense cake with a delectably rich and creamy flavour. A scone alone wonderfully represents the elegance of British culinary.
Scones are best served with tea, and so when a friend of mine told me she’s coming over for some tea and a catch-up session, the first dish that came to my mind was of course, none other than scones. The best part about this appetising dish is that it can be made in approximately 40 minutes.
As fancy as a scone may sound, making scones is not as arduous as one thinks, but it does include an extremely refined method. The ingredients for scones are almost identical to ingredients used for cakes, except it’s important to be meticulous while handling the ingredients for scones.
A few pointers to keep in mind are that scones without eggs don’t rise much and become rather dense. Secondly, less baking powder can result in harder and less fluffy scones. Wet ingredients such as butter and cream/milk should be extremely chilled while being used. Lastly, over mixing the dough can lead to a great disaster.
So let’s get started, shall we!
Flour – 2 cups (do not over measure)
Baking powder – 4 tsp
Fine caster sugar – ½ cup (can be changed according to taste)
Butter –115 grams (unsalted and frozen)
Cream – ¾ cup
Eggs – 2
Brown icing sugar – For sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Add flour, baking powder and the chilled butter into a food processor. (I am repeatedly emphasising on frozen butter because this is crucial when making scones). Mix it until the mixture begins to resemble fine crumbles.
3. Transfer this mixture in a bowl. Add fine caster sugar to it and mix it further.
4. Beat one egg in a separate bowl.
5. Make a hole in the centre of the flour and baking powder mixture and add the cream and eggs to it. Mix it gently till it becomes dough-like. (Be careful not to over mix it). At this point, you can add your favourite nuts or chocolate chips to it, but I prefer their buttery taste so I do not add anything.
6. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and spread the dough out softly using your hands.
7. Using a cookie cutter, cut scones (circles) out of it and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. If you have time, place these unbaked scones in the freezer for around 15 to 20 minutes. This will make them very fluffy and help them rise even more while being baked. This step is not mandatory. You may omit it if you are short on time.
9. Using the other egg, separate the egg white from the yolk in order to egg wash the unbaked scones. Using a brush, glaze the top of the unbaked scones with egg yolk and then sprinkle some brown icing sugar on them. This will make the top crispy.
10. Pop them in the oven for 15 to 20 minute or until the sugar on top is caramelised.
Traditionally, scones are served with jam or clotted cream, but you can serve them with a spoonful of whipped cream as well.
Enjoy them while they are warm!
All photos: Mahrukh Nadeem
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