Saturday 12 November 2016

Cheddar Scones

Sharing. It is one of the key components of being a parent, and it does not come easily to my when I am at my most gluttonous. But I have a secret weapon, and it is cheese.

Yes, cheese. Isn't it a miracle that curdled, rotten milk can be made into something so glorious? Christmas is coming, so cheddar, camembert, and stilton are everywhere, and that is a wonderful thing. Unless you are my eldest son, who, for reasons unbeknownst to me, has no appetite for the stuff. None. In fact, if he tastes cheese, he suffers a gag reflex, which is just great at parties, let me tell you. So while other families put cheese on and in food in order to entice their children to eat it, I must do the opposite. But you see, I can also flip it round: if I want something ALL TO MYSELF, I can just add cheese! Once his siblings see his reaction, they often follow suit in food refusal, meaning I get whatever it is all to myself, and I don't have to hide in the cupboard to eat it either.

And recently I have developed a slight addiction to cheese scones.

Whenever I can, I escape our flat to get some study time sans enfants, and the place I usual go is a hipster type farmshop plus cafe located 10 minutes walk from our place. And the best time to go is the first hour they are open in the morning. Why? Because that is when the scones come out of the oven. I don't even bother checking what kind are being offered anymore (they offer one sweet and one savoury kind each day, and there is no routine to them), so I just ask for a savoury one and wait patiently for the piece of art to appear. The scone arrives steaming on the table, hot to the touch, meaning the butter melts and soaks into every nook and cranny. Heaven, I tell you. And highly addictive.

So I thought I'd try and recreate some of the magic at home. I haven't quite moved up to the artisan level of their creations, but it was still pretty awesome, and NO ONE ELSE WANTED ANY!! Which meant I could eat one and freeze the other three for future self indulgence.

Ok, freeze two. They were really good.

Cheese on top and cheese within
My 4 babies

Butter makes it better

Here's the recipe I tried, with more milk than it says. Still needs tweaking, and I think I may add some seeds for crunch next time...

225g self raising flour 
Pinch salt 
Pinch cayenne pepper 
1 tsp baking powder 
55g butter 
100g cheddar cheese 
80­-90 ml milk, plus extra for glazing 
Extra cheese for topping the scones

Method Preheat oven with the baking tray inside to 200.C (slightly less for fan ovens). In a medium­large bowl sift together the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and baking powder. Sift again to make sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Cut the butter into cubes, place in the bowl and then mix with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the grated cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and rub in until the cheese is evenly distributed. Try not to mix too much as the heat from your hands may start to melt the cheese. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in enough milk to give a fairly soft but firm dough. Do not pour in all the milk at once as you may not need it all to get the right consistency. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough to approximately 2cm thick. Cut out the scones with a medium cutter and then place on the hot oven tray. Glaze the tops with the extra milk and sprinkle a little cheese on the top of each scone before putting in the oven. Bake in the oven for 10­-15min

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