Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Orange Scones

It has been a long time, but I've finally had the time to post! Writing the entries don't take long but I'm really lazy at editing the photos, hehe. I feel bad that it has taken me this long to put this entry up, since I made these back in September. =X

I never cared much for making bread and quick bread on my own; sure, I love eating them, but they didn't seem exciting enough for me to recreate at home. However, I went to have afternoon tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver last month, and even though I enjoyed all of their savoury and sweet offerings, the only item that really wowed me was their citrus and lemon scones, served with Devonshire cream and berry preserves. There was just something so comforting and homey about those scones. Ever since then, I really wanted to reproduce that feeling which comes from eating something so deliciously simple, so I finally decided to try my hands at making scones.

Unfortunately I don't really remember what the hotel's scones were like exactly, but I did enjoy the hints of citrus in them, so I used what I have: orange zest. The chocolate chunks were added just because I had some leftover, and I know chocolate goes well with orange.

The scones themselves were great, albeit my underbaking them a little (by accident!) due to their thickness. The orange zest was a nice touch, and the chocolate provided a pleasant surprise when you happen to bite into it. I did not have any Devonshire cream, but I did use some strawberry jam with these scones, and the combination turned out really good. I was a bit iffy about the chocolate mixing with the strawberry flavour, but the taste of the jam was more dominant than the chocolate so it wasn't a problem.

Overall this was a good, easy recipe for basic scones. My scone craving is gone for now, but next time I would love to try adding different fruits to this recipe, and maybe get a little closer to the hotel's version.
Chocolate Orange Scones
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp chilled butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 tbsp orange zest
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Preheat over to 425ºF.

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and orange zest in a bowl. Cut in the the butter pieces using fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal with slightly larger butter lumps. (Alternatively, this process can be done in the food processor.)

Add the chocolate chunks and fold into the flour mixture.

Make a well in the centre and stir in the heavy cream with a spatula until a dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

Transfer the dough into a floured board or the counter top, and knead until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, about 10 seconds.

Form into a disk, and cut into 8 wedges (or your preferred shape).

Place the dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until the top is light brown in colour, about 12-15 minutes. Cool on a metal rack for 10 minutes.