classic cheese scones

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I have lots to share with you at the minute – there’s some recipes, and also the benefits of wearing legwarmers to work – but my train was delayed on the way home, and I have spring rolls to eat and an episode of the Bake Off urgently requiring my attention, so instead of writing up one of the recipes that I have already cooked for your reading pleasure, I made a whole new one to tell you about. Illogical? Me? Surely not.

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Actually, I might also tell you about the legwarmers now. Mine are a particularly fetching pair of rainbow-striped ones that I bought millennia ago, in my teens, but you can wear whichever style you like (kind, aren’t I?). Underneath trousers would be my recommendation, though, unless your workplace’s dress code is a lot more relaxed than mine.

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Before heading off in your new fetching attire though, you need to make these scones. In legwarmers, if you prefer – personally, I kept mine on, but then my kitchen is surrounded by raging blizzards(ish) on three sides, and I am a wimp. You’ll thank me, when you’re biting into one of these at your desk / oil rig / surgical bench at 11am (or however far you got into the morning before you were unable to resist temptation – I don’t normally make it much past 9. And I take two to work).

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Who can resist a cheese scone, really? Especially ones spiced up with a little mustard powder and cayenne pepper, ones which have just a little heat for perkiness – ones which are also childs play to make, and can be assembled, baked and eaten in the 30 minutes between getting home from work and turning into the sort of person your spouse / family / housemates are willing to talk to again.

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Self raising flour is sifted into a bowl with the spices, then rubbed in with butter or margarine until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs – this can be done most easily by simply grating the butter into the flour and rubbing a bit. (You’ve got to get the grater out anyway, for the cheese). Add grated cheese to the mix, stir through some milk, plop out onto a floured surface and either roll and cut neatly or spoon onto a baking tray, then bake for no more than 10 minutes. What could be simpler?

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classic cheese scones

Mum’s recipe – makes 15 medium-large scones

16oz (455g) self raising flour
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4oz (115g) butter/margarine
1/2 pint (500ml) milk
2oz (55g) mature cheddar

Preheat the oven to 190°C (180°C fan).

Sift flour with cayenne pepper and mustard powder into a large bowl. Add the butter or margarine, and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the cheese, then add all the milk and stir to create a dough (it will be quite sticky – don’t worry).

Turn out onto a floured surface and either roll to 2cm (3/4in) and cut out with scone cutters – don’t twist as you remove the cutter, as this will impede the scone’s rising – or simply scoop heaped tablespoons onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until pale gold.

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