Scones, heavenly scones

I’ve always stuggled to bake a good scone.  My batch always comes out too hard or uncooked or too flat…

Then I came across a range of scone recipes in a book called “The Ultimate Book of Baking” by Heilie Pienaar, and when I had to bake some post-birthday-party breakfast scones for a few hungry and hung-over thirty-somethings I knew just where to turn for help.

The basic recipe (without my changes)

Heilie’s Butter Scones

  • 500 ml cake flour
  • 2 ml salt
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder
  • 45 ml (4 tbsp) castor sugar
  • 80 g butter
  • 1 XL egg
  • 100 ml milk
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Add the sugar and mix well.
  2. Rub the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Whisk the egg and milk together; then – working as quickly as you can – cut into the dry ingredients with a knife.
  4. Press to a thickness of about 2 cm and cut out with a cookie cutter.
  5. Bake on a greased baking tray in a preheated oven at 200 °C for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Turn out onto wire cooling racks.

My Changes

  1. I added a cup of grated cheese (approximately 100 g) to the dry ingredients.
  2. I also made a slightly wetter dough with about 175 ml milk (instead of the given 100 ml).
  3. Instead of using a cookie cutter, I baked the scones in a muffin tray.
  4. And instead of glazing the tops, I melted 10 ml marmite and 4 tbsp (45 ml) butter and spooned this mix over the piping hot scones when they came out of the oven.

The verdict:

Scone purists may not agree with my changes and preference to a slightly wetter and stickier dough, but the scones came out light and airy while the cheese and savoury topping provided a lovely breakfast bite with tea.

 

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Cupcake challenge

Cupcakes with edible images of the latest kid or teen craze are very (and increasingly) popular.  High School Musical remains a firm favourite, while Bob the Builder and Bratz are loved by the young ones.

I have experimented with a wide range of designs but have decided to mount my images on digestive biscuits for a more 3-d look. 

Thanks Nigella!

I love Nigella Lawson.  Not a stalker kind of love, of course!  But it is Nigella who – apart from my baker mother – inspires me to really up the ante on my baking.  So when I saw the recipe for Flora’s Courgette Cake in How to be a Domestic Goddess, I decided to try it out.  Except… I made some changes and made muffins instead.  YUMMY.

Thanks Nigella.  And thanks Flora Woods for giving Nigella the recipe.  This is way better than carrot cake.

Wedding samples – turning disaster into opportunity

Dear stupid female driver To whom it may concern

It took me days of designing and hours of baking and decorating – most of it through Saturday night – to prepare a dozen cupcake samples for a client’s upcoming wedding.

You see, I meet prospective clients, learn about their likes and dislikes and the colour scheme and theme of their function, and create samples from which they make their final choice.  It’s hard work but that’s my choice and how I operate.

But on Sunday morning, after working through the night to ensure that she received the bestest, freshest goodies, and doing about 20 km/h down the road to ensure the safety of my precious cargo, you decided NOT to stop on the corner of Daphne and Empire, causing me to brake so hard that my cake boxes turned over and ruined a week’s worth of work.

Thank you for ruining my day allowing me to recreate and perfect my samples. 

I hope you rot in hell.  Practice makes perfect.