This Sunday morning was blissfully lazy wherein the only pressure I placed on myself was to make something truly indulgent (and woefully chocolate-y) for breakfast.
I can make scones with my eyes closed. It is one of those recipes that can be altered to suit any kind of dish, sweet or savory. When I was growing up scones were plain or, if you were feeling decadent, you could make them with dried currants.
I make small batches as they are best fresh out of the oven. I opt for plain scones for the most part because then I can have them with butter and jam or serve them with a runny fried egg.
When I came to the United States I found that scones had taken on a life of their own. They were enormous, (usually big triangular-shaped monstrosities) in countless flavor varieties, but I am sorry to say, overly sweet for me. I cannot say I have warmed to them after 20 years. What I do appreciate is that wonderful American trait of not being afraid to mess with tradition. Which is why when I saw a recipe the other day for Chocolate Scones I was intrigued and ready to give them a try.
While the premise of this recipe was great (adding chocolate – and I have added chocolate chips to my humble mixture in the past) I found it too finicky (using a mixer for the dough and cutting the dough into 3 pieces and then cutting triangles, as well as greasing the baking pan – all very laborious for my Sunday morning anyway), and too ingredient specific.
However, the revelation was adding cocoa powder (I’d never done that before) and adding an egg which made the dough richer. This recipe also called for dried cherries and this is certainly something I would have done if I had dried cherries (and I suppose a little more elevated than my little currants), but I am never put off by a lack of an ingredient and decided that more chocolate would substitute just fine!
So I made the scone taking my usual unsophisticated route and they were quite spectacular. I want to thank the original recipe for inspiration however as I would never have put cocoa powder in my recipe. If you want to try the other recipe (which is probably worth the trouble), it is here!
When the scones came out of the oven and the blast of chocolate-y odor wafted up the stairs, within minutes I was not alone in the kitchen anymore. Ah the power of warm confections
You will need:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup raw sugar (if you don’t have raw sugar, use white granulated sugar)
1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbs unsalted good quality butter (high butterfat content)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli 60% cacao)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (whole or non-fat is fine)
Preheat oven to 400*
1.In a large bowl mix the together with a manual whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. Slice the cold butter into the dry ingredients and knead it into the flour with your fingertips until it feels dispersed and “rubble-like” Add the chocolate chips and mix into flour with wooden spoon or your hands.
3. Mix the egg with the buttermilk in a smaller bowl with a fork and add to the flour mixture. Mix together with a wooden spoon until it comes together. If it feel dry (floury bits in the bottom of the bowl) add a little more buttermilk until it comes together.
4. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and pat down to form a thick slab. Using a cookie cutter (I used a fluted round cutter 2 inches in diameter but a little bigger is fine too), punch out the dough and place scone on lightly floured baking sheet. Keep gathering the dough together and flattening until all the dough is used up. Do not overwork the dough and don’t get too hung up on getting perfect shapes etc.
5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes (leave in longer if you check and feel they need a minute or two more. All ovens vary in temperature). Remove to a wire rack the moment you take them from the oven.
Wait about 3 minutes before splitting and serving with butter or butter and raspberry jam (the jam addition is sublime)