If you’re ever on holiday in Devon, in the southwest of England, you absolutely have to have a Devonshire cream tea! You get a pot of hot tea (English Breakfast, Earl Grey, whatever kind you want) along with freshly baked scones, jam (usually strawberry but sometimes raspberry and blackcurrant are also offered) and clotted cream. There is nothing else on Earth quite like authentic Devon scones, and for good reason too. These tasty, crumbly scones are not too sweet and not too savoury. They are topped with rich, thick clotted cream and then sweet strawberry jam. Hot tea goes perfectly with them.
Perhaps you’re reading this thinking ‘wait a minute, clotted cream is Cornish, isn’t it? What’s the difference between Devon cream tea and Cornish cream tea?’ Well if you ask someone from Devon or Cornwall they will have very strong opinions that their method is correct! However, the scones and tea are the same – it’s just about how they are prepared, either cream first and then jam, or jam first and then cream. It is much disputed there!
In Devon it’s cream first and then jam because the cream spreads easier on the scones than on the jam. In Cornwall it’s never, ever cream first – the cream goes on top! I suggest you make these scones and try both ways to see which you like best. Eat these scones the day you make them or freeze then thaw for a few hours and refresh them for 10 minutes in a warm oven. Continue reading
Scones are always good, but this recipe is extra-special. By swapping some of the flour for cocoa powder and adding chocolate chips, you can make these decadent chocolate scones. This recipe is simple to prepare and you will end up with 8 deliciously rich chocolate scones, which you can enjoy halved and slathered with salted butter or perhaps with strawberry or raspberry jam and some clotted cream. Along with the flour, cocoa powder and chocolate chips, we are using cream or milk, vanilla, egg, sugar, salt, baking powder and butter. Use dark chocolate chips and either milk or white chocolate chips.
All you need to do is combine the ingredients to make the dough then you can divide the mixture in half 3 times to make 8 equal sized pieces. While some people prefer to make round scones, others like to make one large round, then cut it into 8 wedges to make wedge-shaped scones. Either way is good. It is just a matter of personal preference. These scones can be served warm from the oven (the best way!) or cold.
Double the recipe if you want to make more scones. If you have any left over they will keep for a few days in an airtight container. Enjoy one of these chocolate scones with a cup of tea or coffee as a late afternoon snack. Alternatively have one for breakfast or as dessert. These scones are as versatile as they are delicious. Perhaps you even want to indulge in two of these wonderful little treats! Continue reading
Think of English scones and your mind might give you an image of halved plain or raisin scones, still warm from the oven, generously slathered with butter and topped with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Although this is one of the most popular ways to prepare and enjoy scones, there are also some savoury varieties which you should try, with cheese scones being the most popular of these. We are making them with flour, butter, cheese, milk, salt, and baking powder. To add a little extra kick you could also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mixture, or even some mustard. Those are optional though.
Our recipe makes 6 scones but it is very easy to double if you want to make 12. This is certainly a recipe you will want to make more than once anyway. Historically, scones used to be flat and round, and about the size of a small dinner plate. They were made with unleavened oats and then cooked on a griddle. When baking powder became available, scones were oven-baked instead, and their size became smaller.
Scones, especially savoury ones, make a wonderful snack for those times you want a bite to eat but nothing too heavy, or when dinner is still a couple of hours away and you are already hungry. These portable snacks can even be buttered at home, then taken to work or school. Cheese works wonderfully as a scone flavouring. You could even get creative with these, adding bacon or onions perhaps, and maybe a pinch of dried thyme. Continue reading
Although scones in England are often served plain (or with raisins) and topped with strawberry jam and clotted cream, these are a little different. We are incorporating fresh strawberries into the scone batter for sweetness and colour. We also use sugar, flour, baking powder, sugar, butter and Half & Half – or light cream (single cream) or cold buttermilk – to make the batter, so you can expect a delicious, crumbly result. Serve these warm from the oven or keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a couple of days. Although you can halve these and spread them with butter, they are also very good without.
The size you cut the berries into depends on their size. Small ones can be halved but larger ones should be quartered, else you will have too many strawberry parts that stick out of the scones. You could try this recipe with raspberries or blackberries if you like, to make a change. Why not prepare these for your next tea party? Add some delicate little sandwiches, homemade cake and a pot of tea to round it out.
There is not much that can go wrong with this recipe. Just try not to overmix the dough (as soon as everything is incorporated and the dry ingredients are mixed in well, it is done) and keep an eye on it in the oven towards the end of the baking time. The sugar on top at the end adds a nice crunch on top, but watch these cook for the final 5 minutes because they can burn if you do not, and then they might be dry. Continue reading
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