Sunday, March 29, 2015

Walnut Cacao Nibs Scones

I am obsessively into English High Tea or Afternoon Tea- the assortment of tasty sweets, bite size food, the cute plates and cups, tea, and.. the idea. The idea that you are there with your loved one(s) on a leisurely afternoon with nothing on your mind except to enjoy each other's good company. Eating is really an activity I can't live without. Moments when you can say "this is the best _____ I 've ever eaten" are what I live for. Food is on my mind 24/7. I am always thinking what my next meal would be or what I will bake next. Even my itinerary is food-based. Btw, I am NEW YORK bound! Woot woot.. NY pizza, NY cheesecake, ice cream, rice puddings, donuts, IPPUDO, HALAL GUYS! I'm coming. Looking forward to another travel adventure with the Fatty. It's only been a year since we explored Hawaii, Chicago, Paris and Barcelona together. Time to hit the gym and save up the sweet/carbs quota for the eating hop we will be doing. 

Anyways, I diverted a little. But my point is the first thing that really comes to mind when I think about the yummy-ness plated on the lovely tiered set of my beloved English High Tea is scones. Scones are like the staple of any my High Tea. I really wish my scones came out as perfect as the one I had at Chado or Heirloom- crisp, buttery, tender, flaky, a melt in your mouth experience. It didn't quite turn out exactly like so, but decent for a first real attempt. I say "first real" because it's really been a while since I made scones. I seem to have acquired an increasing liking for their dry crumbly texture over the years. Time to experiment more recipes so I can enjoy them more.

Walnut Cacao Nibs Scones
reciped adapted from The Faux Martha
makes 12 triangle scones

1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. heavy cream
1 large egg + 1 yolk
2 c. all purpose unbleached flour
1/4 c. pure cane sugar
1 tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 c. walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/3 c. cacao nibs
heavy cream
turbinado (or sanding sugar)

1. In a measuring cup, whisk together cream and eggs. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. Cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. *
4. Stir in walnuts and cacao nibs.
5. Make a well in the center and pour in cream mixture. Using a pastry fork and/or your hands, combine until dough just comes together.*
6. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Place dough on the baking sheet and form into a 6" square. Cut in half, then into thirds leaving you with 6 rectangles. Cut each rectangle on the diagon resulting in 12 triangular scones.
7. Using a pastry bench, loosen from the bottom and evenly place on the baking sheet.
8. Lightly brush with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
9. Place in freezer. Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 degrees.
10. Once preheated, remove scones from freezer and bake for 15 minutes.*
11. Serve warm or cooled. Store lightly covered, not airtight.

**I cut the butter into the flour with my finger tips and returned the mixture into the freezer when I feel the mixture getting too warm. I am thinking of using my food processor for this part next time to save time.
**Combining the dry and wet with the fork took a while. I started with the fork and finished with my hands. I also added back the 1tbsp heavy cream I initially skipped. Might have overknead-ed this part. Next time I will combine with a stand mixer to minimize the mess.

ready to bake!
I love how these scones came out toasty brown with the heavy cream wash. But what I love the most is the nice crunch from the sprinkling of turbinado before baking. Thinking of cutting down the sugar in the scones so I can have more turbinado crunch next time!

fresh out of the oven- let me just take one!

The scones were tender and moist on the inside. Crumbly when biting or cutting into it. I enjoyed eating these with some jam since they weren't too sweet.

Taste: 3.5 stars out of 5
Not sweet, pair well with jam
Texture: 3.5 stars out of 5
Could be more brown and crispy/hard. Prefer a hard short bite where the rest melts in your mouth.

Besides planning for the NY trip, I have recently also doing watercolor again. Check them out in the Arts & Crafts page!

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