So here goes, you taste scones at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school (see here) and they're the best cheese scones you have ever tasted. Everyone around you agrees so you really have to try these at home, don’t you? Problem was I had no recipe, only a few hints and clues hastily scribbled on my iPhone. (Can you scribble on an iPhone? Yes, I think you can ‘cos it has a font that looks like handwriting.)
In my first attempt, finding the right mix was like playing Cluedo. Was it the plain flour with the cheese in the kitchen? No? Perhaps the self-raising flour with the salt in the parlour? Good job I like Cluedo. I may not have got all three answers in the bag but I was pretty pleased with the result. I have to admit it took me five scones to figure that out. In my defence, they were small ones.
For the second trial, I used guinea pigs in the form of two strapping lads who came inside for a coffee break after digging up the garden beds (with my permission, I might add). This time I’d tweaked the recipe by changing the plain flour to self-raising and adding more cheese.
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I only ate three scones this time. The bad news is that they were bigger scones. I know, it’s only bad news for me.
The even better news is that they worked. The boys were happy, I was happy and maybe you could be happy too if you just try them, who knows? They may not be 100% as gorgeous and perfect looking as Le Cordon Bleu’s but I think they’re still a winner.
The secret, I think, is to:
- use lots of cheese (I used Vintage* cheddar)
- have a wet dough
- handle the dough as little as possible
If you make them slightly smaller, like the first batch, you don’t even need butter. They are simply yummy!
Best ever cheese scones
2 cups self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon salt
50g cold butter
2/3 cup cheddar cheese (I used Mainland Vintage*)
1 cup milk
extra cheese to top the scones
Heat the oven to 230°C (450°F).
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Either grate the chilled butter into the mix or cut it into small dices. With your fingertips, rub the flour and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese.
Mix the cup of milk in lightly and quickly using a knife or palette knife until it just forms a dough. Do not overmix. The dough will be quite wet at this stage.
On a lightly floured board and with floured hands, gently roll the dough into a long cylindrical shape and shape into an even thickness. If the dough feels too sticky, put a little more flour on the board and your hands – just enough to continue. Cut into rounds, big or small, and place them on a greased oven tray or a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Grate some extra cheese over the tops of the scones – I like to use a reasonable amount.
Place the tray near the top of the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the scones are golden brown. Remove to a cake rack and cover with a dry tea towel to keep warm. Serve as is, or with butter.
Best eaten warm on the day – believe me they don’t last long.
* Mainland Vintage is an aged cheddar with a crumbly texture and real bite.
|For a sweet alternative, click here for cranberry & custard scones|