Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Super Cheesy Parmesan & Chive Scones

There is nothing nicer than a fluffy scone, liberally spread with good Irish salted butter and perhaps a dollop of raspberry jam.  Until you make a savoury scone crammed full of cheese and fragrant herbs and realise what you've been missing out on.  I'll be honest, scone making has never been my special skill and when I was learning to bake in Home Economics class in school, mine were usually an unmitigated disaster.  Overworked, dry and tough, my scones could have been used as a hockey puck.  Not now however, I have a secret weapon to transform my scones into little fluffy angels - my food processor.  It blends butter and flour together in an instant and means that anything that uses the rubbing-in method turns out as light as air.

A word of warning, please do not take shortcuts and use a tub of ready grated Parmesan.  It's like nasty sawdust and will ruin your scones.  If you have kids, get them to grate the cheese.  If you have a food processor, you'll do it in 30 seconds flat (grate the cheese after you blend the flour and butter together).  Also, the colder the butter, the better the bake.  Wise words, eh?

Super Cheesy Parmesan & Chive Scones

500g Self Raising Flour
120g Butter, cut into small cubes and really cold
1 tsp Baking Powder
150g Parmesan Cheese, grated
50g Chives, snipped
200ml Milk
2 Eggs

Preheat your oven to 220c/Gas Mark 7 and line two baking sheets with parchment.

Whizz the flour, butter & baking powder together in your food processor using the knife blade for about 90 seconds until crumbly & fine (you can do this by hand too - it just takes longer).

Tip the mixture into a large bowl, add about 2/3 of the Parmesan and the chives and mix through.

In a jug, beat the eggs and milk together before pouring all but a tablespoon of liquid into the mixing bowl.

Use a kitchen knife to mix the liquid into the dry ingredients - it sounds strange but it really is the best way to bring it all together.  

When it forms a ball of dough, tip it out onto a floured surface and shape it into a very rough rectangle about 1 inch/2cm thick.  You can now cut it into scones - round with a cutter or go freestyle with a knife which is the laziest and quickest option.  You can guess which option I went with!  Either way, you'll get about 12 scones from this mix, more if you use a knife and cut them smaller

Place the scones on the baking sheet, brush with the remaining milk and scatter the rest of the Parmesan on top.

Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown and extra cheesy.  Allow to cool before eating.

These are perfect for lunch with a lovely salad or for a weekend brunch.

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