A bit of tea and mystery

I was missing clotted cream and jam!

After watching Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, I was gifted with a volume of the complete Sherlock Holmes for Christmas.  I’ve never read the classic, but I’m hooked! And, following Holmes and Watson on their crime solving adventures put me in the mood for some tea and SCONES!

So, I did a little research on my own for a good scone recipe in Irma Rombauer’s, Joy of Cooking.  The ingredients were easy enough, but was I able to pull it off? Like pie crust, making scones requires ‘cutting in’ of butter.  This task seemed almost impossible without a fancy food processor. But with a little bit of ingenuity, I found my mini whisk to be the utmost of help!

Eggster: my loyal sidekick

I wanted a creamier scone, so I did modify the recipe a bit: instead of heavy cream I used sour cream and omitted the egg. I also splashed in a bit of pure vanilla. The result was a wonderfully scented, chocolate chip orange zest cream scone. Even though I omitted the egg and used sour cream, the scone came out of the oven moist, light and fluffy!

Ms. Rombauer’s recipe called for orange zest, which beautifully complements chocolate and smells wonderful.  I used 2 tablespoons.

grating the orange really woke me up! so fragrant

Chocolate Chip Orange Zest Cream Scones

yields 8 scones

2 cups of flour

1/3 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons of cold, unsalted butter cut into small cubes

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla

2 tablespoons orange zest

a bit or milk and cinnamon and sugar for the top

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.  Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.

3.  Make sure the butter is cold. Cut in the cubed pieces of butter into the dry ingredients.  I used my whisk and separated the pieces of butter into smaller pieces. I made sure to work quick so the butter didn’t melt and become a paste. Ideally, you want to coat the butter pieces with flour to resemble pea-sized pieces and the remainder of the flour to look like break crumbs.

4.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Mix together the sour cream, vanilla and orange zest. This will smell wonderful!  Pour the sour cream mixture into the flour mixture and mix until the ingredients are moistened.

6.  With your hands now, gather the dough and press against the side of the bowl to form one round ball of dough. Don’t overwork this step. You don’t want the butter to melt.

7. Bring the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat down into a round piece about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut into 8 wedges and place each piece onto to the baking sheet at least 1/2  inch apart.

8.  Before baking, brush the tops of the scones with some milk and sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar.

9. Put into the oven and bake until the tops are golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Let cool.

I think scones tastes best when eaten warm. So, if you bake these in the morning or the day before, warm it up in the toaster oven before serving.  Don’t forget the tea!

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