Chocolate Chip scones have been long coming.
I am the #BloggerBanya for the month of June. This is an honor bestowed on me by LocalBanya, the up and coming grocery retailer who is now offering delivery of groceries in select cities including Mumbai and Pune. They gave me an opportunity to shop on their site, and shipped the stuff home to me. I created two recipes entirely from their ingredients.
Now on to the scones! I can’t say the word enough because I am thrilled to have made them at home finally.
Scones! Scones are an essential part of a cream tea, served with Devonshire Clotted Cream and strawberry preserves. The scone hails from Scotland as far as I know.
One of the things I marvel at while reading any Hamish Macbeth book – please do not tell me you have not met this red haired unconventional Scottish Highlander cop who has absolutely no ambition other than continuing to live in the wee village of Lochdubh – is the number of scones he puts away, the amount of butter that must go into the scone, and the amount that is put on the scone. And I sympathize with Hamish when he is served rock hard scones by the Currie sisters.
See the advantage of reading stuff? I know a scone is not supposed to be rock hard. It is supposed to be flaky and buttery and just dissolve in your mouth. My first attempt at making a scone was not that great, but I am glad I persevered.
Scones are not for everyone, I think. They are in between a cake and a cookie texture wise – that is the best way to describe them. We once had a big discussion at work about why eat a scone anyway? But it is my favorite coffee shop snack, after the Iced Lemon Pound Cake at Starbucks which Starbucks India does not seem to stock, sadly. But blueberry scones, cranberry orange scones, chocolate chip scones and so on have been put away by me aplenty. My waistline and pocketbook can both attest to that.
I ordered a whole lot of food from LocalBanya.com and decided to make a big tea spread. And high tea is incomplete without scones. So I decided to be brave and make scones. Chocolate chip scones were chosen because everyone likes chocolate, right?
The basic recipe is adapted from Joy of Baking. I think I increased the amount of butter a bit. And I am glad I did because I was very happy with the consistency of the scone I made.
The most important thing to remember while making any pastry is all ingredients have to be cold. Not very hard if it is snowing outside, but it was a big challenge for me considering it is 40C outside. So I cut up the butter and put it in the freezer for half an hour. The flour was also stored in the freezer earlier.
I rubbed an ice cube over my hands for a while to make them really cold. Seemed a bit excessive at the time but I am very happy I did it based on the scrumptious chocolate chip scones I ended up with.
Another note – use as little milk as possible, and knead as little as possible. Also, the butter should not completely melt in the flour. Some little bits of butter should still be visible.
Be sure to refrigerate the dough for some time before rolling it out to bake.
And yes, do use unsalted butter if you don’t want your sweets to have a salty touch.
Once you get the recipe right, you can add any flavorings, nuts, dried fruit or even make savory versions with different types of cheese, olives or other veggies.
Get the recipe below but also remember all the little instructions. They will make or break – or not break – your scone.
Chocolate Chip Scones Recipe
- 2 cups maida or All Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup powdered white sugar
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup Amul Butter
- 1 bar dark chocolate chopped
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ cup cold milk
- Cut the butter in chunks and put in the freezer for some time. Butter needs to be very cold.
- Strain the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and cinnamon powder through a sieve.
- Add the butter into the flour and work it in using a knife. Continue mixing until the butter is pea sized. You can use the tip of your fingers but make sure fingers are cold. I rubbed an ice cube over my palms before doing this.
- Once the butter is worked in, make a well in the flour.
- Slowly add cold milk and mix it in with a wooden spatula until a rough dough is formed.
- Cover and refrigerate for some time.
- Chop up a bar of your favorite chocolate. I used Cadbury’s Bourneville dark chocolate.
- Flour a flat surface and transfer the dough on it.
- Add the chocolate chips and roughly mix them in.
- Gently roll out the dough and cut it like a pie.
- Pre-heat oven to 200C and place the scones to bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Oven times vary a lot so keep an eye on it.
- Cool completely.
- These scones were crispy and crunchy on day one but became softer on the second day.
- Serve with butter and jam or enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.
Notes: I used Amul Butter because we generally have it on hand. Unsalted butter is recommended. Amul Butter gives the scones a slightly salty touch making them savory rather than sweet.
Use any chocolate you like. You can also vary these with chopped apricots, figs, prunes, cashews, walnuts etc.
Vanilla can be used in place of cinnamon.
These chocolate chip scones are a must try and are totally worth the effort, trust me! Try them out, let me know. And oh yes, serve them with my instant mango preserves.