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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chocolate, Orange Scones

This is a recipe I used to make a long time ago and pull out every once in a while when I am in the mood for a delicious, not too sweet, buttery scone.  It brings back memories of the wonderful scones we ate when in Dublin and as St-Patrick's day is just around the corner, I was inspired to make a quick batch.   Orange and chocolate is one of my favourite flavour combinations (I love dark chocolate covered candied orange rind).  They puff up very nicely and are crisp on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside.   You can sprinkle them with icing sugar or drizzle extra dark chocolate on top to finish.  I hope you enjoy!

The chocolate and orange can easily be replaced in this recipe with flavours you love - just keep the liquid to 1 cup total.  You can also try lemon, cranberry scones.

Chocolate Orange Scones:  For 18 round 3'' (7.5cm) scones - they can be frozen once baked
  • 4 cups (600g) of all purpose flour
  • 5 1/4 tsps (20g) of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (180g) of cold salted butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups (125g) of icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) of 35% cream
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of orange juice - about one orange
  • zest of one orange - finely chopped (the best is to use a microplane/zester if you have)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100g) of dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) of pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour (4 cups - 600g), baking powder (5 1/4 tsp - 20g) and cream of tartar; (1/4 tsp).

Add cubed cold butter (1 1/2 sticks - 180g) and blend it in using your hands, pastry cutter or paddle attachment of your mixer until you have a coarse breadcrumb like texture (this is why the butter needs to be cold and should not melt into the flour - it is important to still see little bits of flour covered butter - this is what will create flaky dough);

Sift in icing sugar (1 1/4cups - 125g) and gently mix in;

In another bowl, combine eggs (4 large), cream (3/4 cup - 180ml), orange juice (1/4 cup - 60ml), orange zest (1 orange), and vanilla (1 tbsp - 15ml) - whisk together;

Add liquid to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Add chopped dark chocolate (1/2 cup - 100g).  The dough will be wet and sticky. Transfer to a generously floured work surface and knead a few times, adding flour as needed to prevent it from sticking to your hands.

Form the dough into a thick disk, flatten a little with your hands and cut out shapes with a well floured round tube cookie cutter.  Otherwise, you can divide the dough into thirds, form three smaller disks and cut them evenly into wedges.

Brush the tops with a little cream and bake for 13 - 15 minutes, turning the pan once for even browning.  Allow to cool and sprinkle with icing sugar or drizzle with melted dark chocolate.

Really good when served warm.

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