Sunday, 3 February 2013

Chocolate and pear scones

I absolutely love scones. I think they are one of the most underrated baked good around, people's opinions blighted by memories of rock hard scones brought back from cookery class, or those horrible chalky crumbly things, punctuated with bright red glace cherries (not that I don't love glace cherries!). Last weekend in Greenwich, Harry and I had wonderful afternoon tea at the Fan Museum, with excellent small, warm scones. The weekend before we had an absolute behemoth of a scone from Euphorium bakery, with a inch of clotted cream slavered on top.

So gor those of you not dieting, this recipe is for you! I realise that I've only really posted low calorie recipes recently, so here is one without a calorie count, one to just enjoy.

The original recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, whose blog is far more eloquent and photogenic than mine. Nevertheless, I've got a couple of photos to show you and I made a few changes to the recipe. I also didn't use a dough hook to do the mixing, doing everything by hand instead, and it worked out absolutely fine.

Chocolate and pear scones


3 small pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks*
140g dark chocolate, cut into chunks
290g plain flour
75g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt, plus a little more for the egg wash
125g cold butter, cut into chunks
90ml double cream
2 medium eggs

*I actually only had 2 pears so I substituted a small apple instead

1. Put the pears on a baking tray lined with parchment and roast at about 180 degrees (fan) for 15 mins or so, until the pears are starting to brown.

2. Place the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl and give a quick mix with a spoon. Add in the butter, one egg, and cream. Mix a little with the wooden spoon. You'll find that it very quickly becomes difficult to stir the mixture. At this point, get your hands in, and start rubbing the butter into the flour, moving it around, kneading it, until it's starting to look uniform.

3. Add the pear chunks and chocolate and knead some more till you have a relatively homogeneous mixture.

4. Flour your work surface and tip the dough out. It will be a little sticky, but not inordinately so. Work the dough into a sheet about 4cm thick. You don't need to use a rolling pin, you should be able to shape it with your hands.

5. Using a cutter (or your hands), cut the scones out. I made  9, plus a small one of scraps. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment.

6. Using the other egg, add to a bowl along with 1tsp water and a pinch of salt. Whisk together with a fork until it's relatively uniform. Brush the scones (I used a pastry brush) all over the top and sides.

7. Bake in an oven at about 190 degrees (fan) for about 30 minutes. They should be golden brown.

8. Leave to cool and then eat. Or eat while still hot and the chocolate is all melty...

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