Cheddar cheese scones
Baby Girl had a friend over for a play date this afternoon and I have a fridge to clear out before we leave for France in a few days. The girl is from Israel though from what I've understood from her mum they are not Orthodox Jews. Still, I made sure that what I baked was vegetarian and contained no lard.
The kitchen smelled wonderful when the Cheddar Cheese Scones were being baked. A little Indian girl from next door dropped by (she's a fan of Baby Girl) with her Chinese Ayi and the latter asked if I was cooking dinner because the house smelled delicious.
The scones disappeared almost as soon as they were out of the oven. MIL said one had to battle to have one's share. It was a good way to finish up leftover vintage cheddar and fresh rosemary. It also provided me with a good reason to use my ajwain seeds.
Meanwhile the Teenager is away at school this evening for a charity High School Lock-in. He will be back at midnight and will have to be picked up by our driver. I feel bad about making the guy work this late, but I have no means of getting to the school bus drop-off points at that time of the night. Our back gate (nearest to the nearest drop-off point) is closed after 9pm and in any case it would be dangerous to be walking out there in the night. Taking a taxi may not be any safer. I miss my Phedra on days like this.
One consolation is that our driver lives near the boy's school and would welcome the extra income from working over time.
I would have baked these scones for his lock-in if they could be stored over night. Unfortunately scones are best eaten fresh out of the oven, as I've discovered at my English friend JW's yummy coffee mornings.
Cheddar Cheese Scones :
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp double-action baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
50g salted or non-salted butter (cubed)
80g sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tsp ajwain seeds
3-5 tbsp cold milk
Pre-heat oven to 400°F (my current oven uses °F and I am trying to get used to it).
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together into the bowl of your mixer.
Add the butter, cheese, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ajwain seeds, rosemary leaves and milk.
Pulse till everything comes together and you get a rough, yellowish dough.
Knead the dough till you feel that you can work with it. I did not bother to roll it out with a rolling pin, I just used my palm. It should be at least 1cm thick, and more than 2cm if you want the high ones.
Using a biscuit cutter cut out the scones and place them on a paper-lined baking dish.
Bake in the hot oven for about 15 minutes.
Eat them fresh out of the oven. Good for breakfast, afternoon tea or even as aperitifs. For non-halal scones, fried bacon bits could be added to the dough before baking, and those who love cheese could also add grated cheese on top just before putting it into the oven. And they can be eaten on their own or stuffed.