I’ve decided one of my new years resolutions for 2015:
To be a better blogger with C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-T posts. It’s rather awkward when I look at my blog history to see a flow of posts from one trip and then a big empty gap after that before my next post.
Scones are one of my mother’s few favourite baked products. My mother often goes out with her friends to have lunches and afternoon tea gatherings and she always takes photos of the food and gives me reviews. Among all the different places that she had tea at, her favourite scones are from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong as their scones are very light and have a slightly crispier exterior with a light fluffy interior. Kn0wing that I loved to bake, she presented me the challenge of finding a recipe to match their scones. So, I began my research by asking my most knowledgable friend: Google.
Google gave me 14900000 results in a matter of 0.46 seconds but out of all these results, this is what I managed to verify as my top 5 tips for making scones:
1) Handle the dough as little as possible-try to fold it less than 5 times if possible.
2) Use self-raising flour than the all purpose flour and baking powder replacement because the flour is mixed through well
3) Butter must be chilled-this is better and gives a lighter texture as this keeps the flour dry and coats the flour crumbs well
4) Buttermilk which is a thickened milk product where milk is fermented and has a higher acidity due to the increased lactic acid is perfect because it keeps the scones lighter. Try not to use milk and vinegar/lemon juice.
5) Depending on the type of texture you want your scone to have, you may cover your freshly baked scones with a tea towel for a soft top/crust or leave them uncovered for a drier but crispier top.
A Good Book, A cup of Nespresso Coffee and scones with raspberry jam from paris~Utter Perfection.
225g self-raising flour or 215g of all-purpose flour and 2 slightly heaped tsps of baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
50g butter (chilled and cubed)
20g granulated sugar
125ml of buttermilk
45g raisins (optional)
Preheat your oven to 210C
Sift your flour, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and using your fingers, rub the cold butter into the flour, lifting the mixture as you go to incorporate as much as air as possible. Rub the butter and flour together until you get a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs.
Using a round-bladed knife, stir in the sugar and raisins to mixed through evenly.
Make a well in the flour mixture and slowly pour in the buttermilk. You may not need all the buttermilk so reserve 10-15ml and pour it in later if necessary.
Using the round-bladed knife, draw figures of 8 in the mixture to slowly mix the flour mixture and milk together. Do this carefully and gently to not overwork the mixture.
When the mixture comes together in a very soft dough, lightly flour your hands and your work surface and knead this dough on the surface 3-4 times to remove any cracks.
Using your hands, lightly press/pat the dough till it is approx. 2-2.5cm thick
Using a cookie/scone cutter, cut as many scones as you can. The remainder of the dough that is outside the scones can be re-kneaded to make new scones.
Place your scones on your baking tray which has a non-stick mat/lightly oiled parchment sheet on top.
Optional: Lightly dust the top of your scones with flour.
Place in the oven to bake for 10-12 mins until the tops are golden brown.
Set aside to cool before serving with jam, tea, coffee, clotted cream etc.