I’m going to continue 2016 with yet another breakfast / brunch option, though this one is nowhere near as healthy as the zucchini muffins I posted about. Cream, butter, chocolate paired with strawberries… these scones are pretty indulgent if you ask me. Before 2011, the only time I had had scones was from places like Starbucks or no name bakeries. They were hard, kind of chalky, weighed down by those disgusting hard sugar granules on top. I much preferred muffins and never gave them any thought.
Now in 2011, Maheen and I got to visit Malaysia, which was such a fantastic trip, and we got to visit the Boh tea gardens of the Cameron Highlands. Lush hills swallowed by fog and clouds, just chilly enough to wrap yourself in a shawl and curl up with a good cup of tea and some snacks. The best part was a tour of the tea gardens and standing on a deck right above the gardens. Now I know this wasn’t a “discovery”; the whole thing was very touristy and every space was staged, but it was beautiful none the less.
While the tea itself was good, it was the scones that blew my mind. Freshly baked, soft but still dense, buttery, spotted with currants or strawberries, paired with cream. I can honestly say I ate at least three on my own. In one sitting. With more brought back to our guest house for me to devour the next morning. Now I got what the big deal was. Fast forward to 2016 and I’ve had a few more scones at better known bakeries and I continue to be disappointed. Well except for the scones from Café Latte / Bread and Chocolate in St Paul, MN. But even with those scones as contenders, nothing has lived up to those scones from the Boh cafe. So I figured I’d make a batch at home to see how close I could come.
Hah, the first batch I ever made in 2015 were disgusting. I messed with the dough too much or the butter wasn’t quite right, but they came out like hard rocks. I tried a handful other recipes until I felt like I was going in the right direction. The recipe posted was something I actually made on a whim. I’m a huge fan of Kamran’s posts at The Sophisticated Gourmet and when he posted about his raspberry cream scones, I knew I had to try them. By the way, the original post is so beautiful, I encourage to you to head over there and read it. The first time I made these I used frozen raspberries and loved them. The second time I made a few tweaks and knew I wanted chocolate paired with the berries. Since I only had frozen strawberries on hand, I just subbed those in for the raspberries. You are free to use either. Now these aren’t as orgasmic as the ones from Malaysia but they are pretty damn good. Soft and creamy with a bit of weight to them, they are perfect on their own or with a mug of coffee (or tea). The base is pretty fool proof, so long as you don’t work the dough too much. I had my three year old messing with it so that should give you an idea of how resilient it is. Give them a try and let me know.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (dough) + 2.5 teaspoons (topping)
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cold large egg (dough) + 1 egg (topping)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup frozen strawberries cut into smaller bite size pieces
- 1/2 cup chocolate buttons / chips / chunks
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and cut with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal and no pieces of butter are larger than a pea.
- In a glass measuring cup, beat together the cream, 1 egg, and vanilla. Pour the cream mixture into the flour and butter mixture, and stir until a dough forms.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and turn out the dough. Scatter the strawberries and chocolate chips on top of the dough and gently kneading the dough for 10 seconds, until the berries and chocolate are evenly distributed throughout. The dough will be very sticky so feel free to add additional light dusting of flour while kneading.
- Pat the dough into a log shape about 3/4 in thick and let it rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once the oven has preheated, use a knife to cut the dough log into 9 chunks and put them on the prepared baking sheet. Or use a 2-inch /5cm round cutter or the rim of a glass dipped in flour to punch out circles of dough.
- In a seperate small bowl, beat together the remaining together the egg and salt. Lightly brush the tops of the dough pieces with the egg mixture and wait 1 minute until the topping sets. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar (about 1/4 tsp per scone) and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the scones are golden brown.
- Let the scones to sit on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool slightly for 5 to 10 more minutes before serving.