Nothing like a pandemic lockdown / circuit breaker to bring out the inner baker in us! Flour has been sold out for the last 2 months and I’ve only just seen it been stocked on supermarket shelves again in the last couple of weeks. And don’t let me get started on baking chocolate. I’ve been looking for chocolate chips for the longest time and the only ones I can find are compound chocolate. Run far away if you see the word “compound chocolate” because that has a lot of unecessary stuff in it, eg palm oil. What you want is “couverture chocolate”. Compound chocolate is cheaper, but you’ll regret it when you taste the final baked goods.
Anyway, I recently saw RedMart selling its own brand of Chocolate Chips. Beggars can’t be choosers so even though I was looking for Hershey’s Chocolate Chips I decided to Put In Cart. Alas, before I could click check out, the chocolate chips became sold out. Damn those with faster fingers.
So what is a person to do if you can’t find baking chocolate? I guess you can bake scones. Scones are very forgiving to bake, no matter what you do, you’ll most likely still end up with something that is still very much edible. And it’s not something too difficult to master either. Most importantly, it can be made with very few ingredients, that are relatively easy to find in the supermarket these days.
Here’s the recipe and instructions for the cheese scones I made the other day. I didn’t want to make plain scones because I prefer to eat scones with clotted cream rather than butter, but clotted cream is expensive and lasts only 5 days after opening. This cheese scones are really good. They have a distinct cheesy flavour and very light. I didn’t even have to put any jam on them, they were that good!
225g plain flour
3tsp baking powder
120g grated cheese
pinch of salt
egg for glazing
1. Put flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir to combine.
2. Add in the butter and knead into the flour mix with your finger tips until resembling bread crumbs. Stop the minute you get to the bread crumb stage because overdoing it will overwork the gluten and make your scones tough.
3. Add in the cheese and mix until evenly distributed. Use any cheese you have available.
4. Add in the milk (plus minus) and combine until you get a soft but not sticky dough.
5. Roll out the dough to approx 2 cm (or taller if you like) and cut with scone cutter or just a knife.
6. Glaze with egg.
7. Bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees celcius in a pre-heated oven.
I used a mixture of parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese. Use whatever is available in your pantry.
Invest in a scone cutter to get uniform looking scones. But feel free to just use a knife or even just shape the dough with your hands! They’ll still taste good!
After cutting out the scones but prior to the egg wash. The egg wash is absolutely necessary or your scones will look pale even after baking. Just go compare the sides of the baked scones with the tops of the scones. See the difference?
After glazing the scones with egg wash.
How the scones looked directly out of the oven.
Cheese scones so good you don’t even need cream or jam to go with them.
Satisfied customer. Okay somewhat satisfied. He actually wanted raisin scones so to placate him, I gave him some. He can stud the cheese scone himself!