Pancetta, Cheddar and Chive Scones. 

img_1851

On Sunday, even though it was Mother’s Day I had a quiet day to myself.  Mr SmartCookieSam was out taking part in a rally in his classic car, my son was working and my daughter is at uni.  So for some of the day I was at home with the dog. I know I shouldn’t be baking as I just end up eating it but I love the whole process of it. Baking is therapeutic to me.

Last week I treated myself to Lorraine Pascale’s latest book simply titled “Bake” I have most of her books including her very first publication, also a baking book.  As soon as I opened the book in the middle of Costa Coffee I was sat there drooling over the pics and mentally bookmarking what I was going to bake first.

The day after I got the book I baked some star shaped cookies but this time it was something savoury.  I’ve always loved cheese scones but these ones were slightly different in that they had crispy fried pieces of cubed pancetta in the dough.  I knew they would taste amazing.  I had a packet of pancetta cubes in the fridge from when I was meant to make a Carbonara last week and never did. So in the end they got thrown into the scones.

First, the packet of pancetta was fried until crispy.No need for oil in the pan, I let them fry in their own fat.  Once they’d cooked and were crisp, I got a paper towel out and let the fat soak into the towel to dry off.

While the pancetta was cooling down I grated some mature Cheddar into a bowl.

I  then used my food processor to combine cold cubes of butter with self raising flour, baking powder, mustard powder, sea salt flakes and an optional extra to the recipe: paprika.  I put a large pinch of this in.  After the mixture had turned into what looked like breadcrumbs I put in 3/4 of the cheese along with some chives and the pancetta.

To bring it all together I poured in some buttermilk which was about half of a carton.  This was enough to form the scones into a dough. It wasn’t sticky but the right consistency for rolling out gently.

Lorraine says her recipe makes 8 scones but I found I could only get 6 decent sized ones out of it. I often find this with scones. The recipe quantity makes far less than it’s meant to. Still six scones was more than enough for me.  I used a plain circular cutter for my scones and then once cut out they were put onto a baking tray covered in parchment. I glazed the top of the scones with buttermilk and then sprinkled on the remaining cheese.

The  scones went into the oven for about 10-12 minutes until they had risen well. I saw the cheese was bubbling and golden and couldn’t wait to test one out that very afternoon cut in half and spread with butter.  They were delicious.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Apple Scone Round

img_0522Last week my Dad and step mum gave me a bag of beautiful looking apples from the tree in their garden. I was delighted with them as the apples on my own tree in my front garden aren’t quire ready yet. The apples are a bit small and hard at the moment. To top all that, Mr SmartCookieSam had to prune the tree a couple of weeks back as our greedy and nosy Labrador worked out a way that he could shake the tree to make apples fall down. He had a great time doing this until he ended up hurting his tail after jumping up at the tree! I’ll have to see if they are worth using in a couple of weeks time.

Every year I think about what I could bake with the apples and I get fed up of the same things. Of course crumbles and pies work well and I did make a few different apple cakes. But sometimes you just want to try something different.  I gor out my recipe books and looked for all the apple recipes I could find.

One simple but delicious recipe is one I’ve baked before but never actually made it at home. In my previous post about Cheesy Feet I mentioned about working in a school and running a Cookery Club. This was a big success and wherever possible we tried to use fruit and veg that was grown in the school garden.  We did have an apple tree which on one year only produced two apples. So we made a big thing of using the two apples in a yummy apple scone round.

The original apple scone round recipe comes from the very first Great British Bake Off recipe book published back in 2010 to accompany the first series: The Great British Book Of Baking.

It’s a great recipe and I found it perfect for baking with children.

First, you need to peel, chop and core some apple. I used two medium sized ones. I put the chopped apple to one side in a bowl but worked quickly so that the apple didn’t start to turn brown. Then in another bowl I rubbed in butter, self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon to create a breadcrumb texture. Then some demarera sugar was added to sweeten the mixture.  When this was done I added a little bit of whole milk bit by bit until it formed a manageable ball of dough.

On a large baking sheet covered in baking parchment, I put the dough but flattened it out gently until it was about 20cm in diameter. I then got a knife and divided the scone into 8 by scoring the lines on the top of the dough.  Into the oven it went for about 20 minutes.

img_0517
Ready for the oven.
img_0522
Apple Scone Round; a great way of using all those leftover apples.
img_0523
A slice of apple scone with a cup of tea and some Cheddar cheese.

To get the best out of the flavour and taste, as with all scones it is best to eat them warm and fresh.  As I’d baked the scone round on a late Saturday afternoon and was going out for dinner, we didn’t eat any til the following day. It was ok but probably should have been eaten straightaway. A great serving suggestion popular round my way is to serve it with a slice of cheese: something like Cheddar or Wensleydale would work well. Failing that, it would also be delicious with a good dollop of clotted cream on the side.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

 

 

Chocolate Chip Scones- The Great British Bake Off Everyday.

A couple of weeks ago I had come home from work, walked the dog and had an urge to bake. As I often do.  My son had been off school with a stinking cold but this did not curb his appetite.  He was really hungry and asked if I had any biscuits.  I didn’t. I don’t buy them because no sooner than they are taken out of the carrier bag they are in my mouth and straight on my hips.  Or if I make them they don’t last long either.

As I had lots of jobs to do I wanted to make something that would be quick and easy to prepare as well as taking a short time to bake.  Scones always fit the bill for me and as I was feeling tired and sluggish myself, a scone with a cuppa would hit the spot!

Once again I thought I’d try a recipe from the latest Great British Bake Off book” The Great British Bake Off Everyday”.  I had noticed a few scone recipes in the book and knew this would appeal to my chocolate loving son.  These scones also had the extra addition of marmalade in them which sounded lovely.

Here’s how they were made:

Self raising flour, salt and sugar are sifted into a mixing bowl.
Self raising flour, salt and sugar are sifted into a mixing bowl.
Small cubes of cold butter are added to the bowl.
Small cubes of cold butter are added to the bowl.
The mixture is rubbed together to form breadcrumbs.
The mixture is rubbed together to form breadcrumbs.
In a jug some buttermilk and an egg are mixed together.
Some buttermilk and an egg are mixed together.
The egg mixture, chocolate chips and marmalade are added to the mixture.
The egg mixture, chocolate chips and marmalade are added to the mixture.
The mixture is formed together with a pallette knife.
The mixture is formed together with a pallette knife.
The ball of dough is flattened slightly and rolled out to about 3cm deep.
The ball of dough is flattened slightly and rolled out to about 3cm deep.
The scones are cut out with a plain cutter. This was meant to be a 6cm diameter one. I ended up with an 8cm one so I only got   6 scones out of an 8 scone recipe!
The scones are cut out with a plain cutter. This was meant to be a 6cm diameter one. I ended up with an 8cm one so I only got 6 scones out of an 8 scone recipe!
Split open and warm straight from the oven.  The scones tasted fab spread with butter and more tangy marmalade.
Split open and warm straight from the oven. The scones tasted fab spread with butter and more tangy marmalade.

The scones made a yummy alternative to fruit ones and were a great hit with all my family.  I will definitely make them again.  I didn’t tell my son there was marmalade in the scones itself as I can imagine he would not eat it.  He did eat them with butter though.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx