Why don’t my SCONES look like yours?

I though today I’d do a short post about some common mistakes that people make when making scones..

A scone should be light and fluffy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside… it needs to hold up to lashings of delicious cream and jam (yum)!

My Mom’s scones in England work perfectly every time, and in my opinion, she makes the best scones, but her recipe fails completely here in the States. It’s taken me a while to perfect something that always works, whatever the flavor I’m making.

You can see in the image above that a scone has a natural break through the center. You will normally only get this in the first batch that you roll out and cut, so try and get as many out of that batch. Once re-rolled scone dough will rise, but not as well as the first roll… You should never need a knife to cut through a scone.

Here are some principles for recipes if it’s not instructed otherwise.

  • It’s full fat (whole) milk if not specified.
  • Use medium eggs if not specified
  • Spoon measurements are level
  • Get some cheap kitchen scales – most recipes will not be in cups – it’s not accurate enough
  • If using a fan over reduce temperature given by 10C (50F)

The number one key to good scones is not overworking them. Whether you make by hand or with a mixer if you over work them they will be heavy and will not rise. A scone mixture will always have some raising agent, don’t work out the magic!!!

Cooking times per oven are always slightly different, so just push down on a scone that looks done and if it is it will feel spring to the touch.

Always line your pan…. ALWAYS

As soon as scones come out of the oven transfer to wire cooling racks… no one likes soggy bottoms.

When stamping out scones push straight down with the cutter. Don’t be tempted to wiggle now, no twisting. If it doesn’t release, transfer to your pan and gently push out through top of cutter. You can prevent sticking by dipping cutter in flour each time.

Plain scone

Don’t roll your dough to thin. Your scones wont rise and you’ll have sad little cookie like dense things that you wont want to share!

Scones taste best the day they are made but freeze well for about a month, or store well in an airtight container for 3-4 days… just give them a few seconds in the microwave to freshen up!

I hope these hints help you in your scone making. A good scone really is nothing like a American biscuit, it’s so much more 🙂

Of course scones are best enjoyed with a cup of tea….

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Head on over to the Tea Store to find something delicious

 

Which one are you?.. English, Posh, Royalty or Jedi?

Which one are you?

I suppose my answer to this is always .. it depends on where I am and what I’m drinking out of..

I have been definitely been known to hold my teacup like Royalty (and not only when my husband reprimands me for behaving like a princess!), but that would be with my Royal Albert Porcelain.

Give me a big old heavy mug and I’m probably going to revert to English builder 😉

I wish I could master that Jedi trick though… that would be cool.. and would earn me a ton of Kudos with my Star Wars loving American family…

In lieu of the fact I still need practice I’ll add this cute picture to keep them happy!

Star Wars tea drinking session

How do you hold your tea?

Thanks for stopping by… feel free to link your latest Blog!

 

 

 

 

Head on over to the Tea Store to find something delicious

Boxing Day…. what is it?

Of course Santa loves Boxing Day #dayoff

So today is Boxing Day. If you are reading this in the States then it’s just another day… in England and other parts of the Commonwealth this is also a days holiday for most people.

When I was growing up I always thought that the 26th December was named ‘Boxing Day’ because of all the sport that happens.

It’s always a huge day for football in the English Premiership (that’s soccer to you Americans, and football to the rest of the football playing world LOL), and Boxing Day evening in our house always meant tuning in to Match of the Day which is the summary program of all the day’s action….

My Dad and I would sometimes even go to a game when Aston Villa (his team) were playing at home .. (I’m a Liverpool fan so we’d always look for that tie!).

It’s also a huge day for horse racing and hunting..( we used to have a hunt come right past one of our houses in Worcestershire)..

Today is also a huge sales day at the stores…think Black Friday in the States… it’s crazy and I’ve never been…I’d rather lie in bed than get mixed up with that crazy! People queue in the cold… no thanks… there is a reason I live in Florida now!

So imagine my surprise when my husband (who is American) told me this morning that Boxing Day had nothing to do with sport and shopping originally..although there is some query about the origin!

According to Wikipedia

There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which is definitive.[5] The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.[6]

The term “Christmas-box” dates back to the 17th century, and among other things meant:

A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain, usually confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer; the undefined theory being that as they have done offices for this person, for which he has not directly paid them, some direct acknowledgement is becoming at Christmas.[7]

In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.[8]This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys‘ diary entry for 19 December 1663.[9] This custom is linked to an older British tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.

So apparently I’ve had it all wrong all this time…

Our Boxing Day traditions at my parents was an open house and lots of ‘buffet’ style food and desserts for anyone, family, friends and neighbors, to drop in and enjoy…. here my husband has gone to work and I’m blogging… hmmmmmm.

Have a wonderful Boxing Day, and enjoy your leftovers!

Oh gosh.. who wants to win some Cash?????

So excited to be part of this wonderful giveaway that some of my blogging friends and I are hosting. You’d be crazy not to enter!!!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

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Cherry, Vanilla Bean & White Chocolate Scones

Cherry is not something I grew up with in my scones, but it is one of my favorite flavors.

You could make these scones with the candied red cherries that you can get at Christmas… I like this brand which I buy on Amazon – Candied Fruit – 1 Lb Tub (Red Cherries).

Here I’ve used a dried cherry, no extra sugar added. The sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla negate the need for the extra sugar.

This is as close to perfect as I’ve found so far, the key is a set of baking scales, because cups are just not accurate enough… I recently purchased this very reasonable set on Amazon, Weighmax Electronic Kitchen Scale 

Baking Scales Amazon Prime

They are only $11 and you can free delivery if you have Amazon Prime.

This recipe calls for Vanilla Bean… it’s become so expensive recently and I’ve taken to using this in both my scone recipes and whipped cream…. yummy! Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

Get you some!!

Print Recipe
Cherry, Vanilla Bean & White Chocolate Scones
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan assisted)/425F/Gas 7.
  2. Line baking tray with parchment paper
  3. use 1lb of the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers to create a breadcrumb-like mixture.
  4. Add the sugar, eggs and baking powder and use a wooden spoon to turn the mixture gently. Add the chocolate chips and cherries at this point. Make sure you mix all the way down to the bottom and incorporate all of the ingredients.
  5. Now add half of the milk with vanilla mixed in and keep turning the mixture gently with the spoon to combine. Then add the remaining milk a little at a time and bring everything together to form a very soft, wet dough. (You may not need to add all of the milk.)
  6. Sprinkle most of the remaining flour onto a clean work surface. Tip the soft dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top. The mixture will be wet and sticky.
  7. Next roll the dough out: sprinkle flour onto the work surface and the top of the dough, then use the rolling pin to roll up from the middle and then down from the middle. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and continue to roll until it’s about 2.5cm/1in thick. ‘Relax’ the dough slightly by lifting the edges and allowing the dough to drop back onto the work surface.
  8. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out rounds from the pastry and place them onto the baking tray. Dip the edge of the pastry cutter in flour to make it easier to cut out the scones without them sticking. Don’t twist the cutter – just press firmly, then lift it up and push the dough out.
  9. Once you’ve cut 4 or 5 rounds you can re-work and re-roll the dough to make it easier to cut out the remaining rounds. Any leftover dough can be worked and rolled again, but the resulting scones won’t be as fluffy.
  10. Place the scones on the baking tray and leave them to rest for a few minutes to let the baking powder work. Then use a pastry brush (or your finger if you don’t have a brush) to glaze them with the beaten egg and salt mixture. Be careful to keep the glaze on the top of the scones. (If it runs down the sides it will stop them rising evenly.
  11. Bake the scones in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the scones are risen and golden-brown.
  12. Leave the scones to cool, then split in half and add butter, jam and clotted cream to serve.
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$150 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

Oh my… I could do some serious damage with a $150 Target gift card…

I’d start with some new towels… Mr Tea Lady seems to always manage to get dirty marks on ours. I’d get black ones, but he’d find a way to get bleach on them!

Anyway GOOD LUCK!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize: $150 Target Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 12/13 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

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British Chocolate Hobnob Biscuits

Let me tell you about Chocolate Hob Nobs.

OUR FAVORITE BISCUIT! And of course delicious with a cup of Balmoral Breakfast Tea from our store (you can drink your own teas, can’t you?)

We Brits have a special affinity with all things chocolate (4th largest consumers in the world!!). So when create a perfect biscuit (cookie for my American readers) with oats and Golden Syrup you must give it a healthy dose of chocolate!

Now we can buy these back in England (they were Hubster’s favorite) – of you want to try some you can get them here on Amazon.

If you’d like to try a better version (according to Hubster!) then give these a whirl.

You will need some Golden Syrup, there is no alternative, fortunately Amazon to the rescue again!

Golden Syrup

 

 

Print Recipe
British Chocolate Hobnob Biscuits
Course Biscuits
Cuisine English
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
Biscuits
Ingredients
Course Biscuits
Cuisine English
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
Biscuits
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F
  2. In a large baking bowl, cream the sugar and the butter together with a hand whisk or stand mixer. You are looking for light and creamy
  3. Add the milk, Golden Syrup and beat again.
  4. Sieve the flour with the baking soda into the bowl with the creamed mixture fold carefully using a metal spoon. BE GENTLE
  5. Finally, add the porridge oats and fold into the mixture.
  6. Pop the bowl into the fridge for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile - lightly grease a baking sheet or line with grease proof paper. (I like grease proof paper for everything! and buy the pre-cut sheets.. )
  8. Divide the biscuit mixture into 2 tablespoon 'spoon' fulls. Use a cookie dough scooper. Quickly roll the measured dough into a ball and pop onto the baking sheet. Space the balls about (2") apart as they will spread in the cooking.
  9. Once the tray is full, pop into the middle of the heated oven and cook until golden brown, around 25 minutes. Do not try to increase the temperature to make things cook quicker, all that will happen is the biscuits will burn, slowly is good.
  10. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to stand for about 10 minutes so the biscuits to begin to set. Transfer to a serving rack.
  11. Melt the wafers as per instructions. Liberally coat each biscuit and then set aside to set..we put in the fridge because we want to eat them! Bet they don't last long in your house, they don't here!
Recipe Notes

These are the chocolate wafers I use... but you could use any dark chocolate

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OMG $150 Jet Blue GIVEAWAY

One of the wonderful thing about being involved in the blogging world is to be able to collaborate on fun giveaways like this with other other awesome Bloggers!

How does a Jet Blue gift card sound? I love Jet Blue. Fun staff and always a good experience!

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize: $150 Jet Blue Gift Card

Co-hosts: The Mommyhood Mentor® // Mama’s Mission // Surviving Mommy // Crayons & Cravings // Coupons and Freebies Mom // Jenns Blah Blah Blog // Capri’s Coupons // Lipgloss and Crayons // Mom and More // Inspiring Words from the Heart //  Peanut Butter and Whine // Sparkles and Shoes // Getting Fit Fab // Misadventures with Andi // Beautiful Touches // Java John Z’s // The Frugal Free Gal // SWEETHAUTE // Ottawa Mommy Club // Musings of a Museum Fanatic // Homeschool Insights // A Labour of Life // Bill Hiatt’s Education Site // Ms. Cat’s Honest World // Sunshine and Sippy Cups // Mommies with Cents // English Tea Lady

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 12/19 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Enter Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway