These dark January evenings see me yearn for home more and more. The warmth of my kitchen stove calls to me just like my body calls for rest and my plush warm bed. I’ll be eating dinner at work, whilst gazing out of the nearest window misted by condensation, wishing for the relaxation of watching TV with a warm tasty treat. All the while knowing my dreams are in vain as I still have six hours left at work.
I’m currently cocooned in my new bed sheets holding a warm scone in between my hands like a block of precious gold. Now this is what days off are made for.
I attempted these scones three times before arriving here at this recipe. I tried a recipe from one of my most recent cookbooks, which I shall not name as I still love it even after my multiple scone disasters. My first batch was too sticky and lost its shape in the oven like a deflating bouncy castle. I adapted the recipe and drastically reduced the wet ingredients. These turned out crumbly yet full of flavour.
It was time for an overhaul, I needed a whole new recipe. I ended up adapting the Buttermilk Scone recipe from work; adding spices, ripe pears and bitter chocolate.
There is so much beauty in neat, clean patisserie with their straight lines and flourishing garnishes. However, I have recently come to rediscover the beauty hidden within the humble scone. It’s rustic exterior, silently holding a world of flavour beneath its golden top. So approachable and unintimidating.
- 300g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp. mixed spice
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 55g caster sugar
- 10g baking powder
- 85g unsalted butter, cubed and cold
- 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 100g ripe pear, cut into small cubes
- 100ml buttermilk
- 80ml milk
- 1 egg, for egg wash
Note: keep all ingredients as cold as possible for flaky scones.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C and have two baking trays lined with baking parchment ready for the scones.
In a large bowl, place the flour, spices, salt, sugar and baking powder. Combine the ingredients with your fingers and add in the butter. Flake the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips, rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. There should be no pieces of butter bigger than the size of a pea. Add in the dark chocolate and diced pear and toss through the dry ingredients.
Combine the cold milk and buttermilk together. Add this to the bowl and combine using your hands. Once a ball begins to form, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough two or three times to bring it together and to collect the last bits of stray flour or any pieces of pear/chocolate that fall out.
Pat or roll the dough out to about 3-4cm thick. Dip your cutter (or the bottom of a glass) into flour and begin to cut out your scones. Place each one onto the prepared baking trays. Beat the egg and brush on top of the scones, trying not to get it down the sides or onto the baking tray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Serve the day they are made.