I have a love-hate relationship with scones. Both homemade or otherwise. They can be pretty unpredictable. The most unforgettable ones are tender, flaky and absolutely divine. Then, there are also the occasional letdowns – those whose picture-perfect appearance belie a dry, tough and tasteless interior. (the guilty ones are most commonly found languishing behind the glass display in cafes for days) Thankfully, after numerous attempts, I think I’ve found the perfect scones.
The perfect scone (in my opinion) is not simply a vehicle for fruit preserves or clotted cream. It should be pretty darn tasty on it’s own, with a sweet buttery, vanilla aroma but never cloying or greasy. To achieve that, I reduced the amount of butter and replaced the milk with some cream instead. The tops then lightly glazed and sprinkled with coarse sugar for a little crunch. Once baked, chunks of chocolate folded into the dough became pockets of molten bittersweet goodness. Mhmm. If that’s not enough, these scones work equally well with blueberries + raisins.
The ‘Perfect’ Cream Scones
These are the scones – taste devilishly good but not the least bit heavy or laden with too much butter! Be careful not to work the dough too much, just a fold it a couple times for the most tender, delicate scones.
300g unbleached cake flour
1 T double action baking powder
60g unrefined golden cane sugar (vanilla sugar would be sooo good here)
1/2 t salt
2 t pure vanilla or half a vanilla bean
3 T unsalted french butter, very cold
1 cup single cream
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped into chunks (dried cherries are a good complement to the chocolate!)
*variations: substitute the chocolate with other mix-ins like raisins, blueberries or dried fruits
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Rub in the cubes of cold butter, just until they are evenly dispersed. (unlike the usual recipes, you won’t be able to get coarse, or sandy pieces here). With a spatula, combine the cream & chocolate chunks, mix briefly until a dough is formed. On a floured surface, fold the dough over a couple of times and shape into 2 disks. Flatten each disk and cut into wedges. Brush each wedge with a little milk or eggwash and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C until slightly golden. Makes 16 scones.