Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In the Kitchen - Creamy Chocolate Chip Scones with Lemon Curd

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Creamy Chocolate Chip Scone with Lemon Curd

I've been thinking about scones for a few days now. Buttery and creamy scones, hot from the oven, paired with a tart lemon curd and a good cup of tea. Well, I ran out of tea, but the scones and lemon curd made for a much more perfect breakfast than I'd imagined. The lovely, buttery aroma that filled my kitchen was utterly irresistible. Did I mention that it takes only 13 minutes to bake? Yes, deliciousness can be a lot easier than it seems.

Crispy and Creamy

These scones are really something - crispy on the outside, just slightly moist in the center, with a hint of saltiness that absolutely complements the chocolate bits. I followed Deb's drool-worthy Dreamy Cream Scones recipe adapted from the America Test Kitchen's Cookbook almost to a T, except that I swapped the dried cranberries for chocolate chips, added a little bit more salt, and halved the recipe so that it's just enough for two.

Thickening lemon curd

Now the lemon curd takes a little more patience. There's nothing much to it, except that you have to keep stirring so that it doesn't burn. Be patient. Eventually, it will thicken, and it will be worth it. Just imagine all the possibilities - spread on toast, paired with a cheesecake, slathered in between layers of cakes, baked into lemon tarts... With an impending final paper this Thursday, I doubt I'll be so fancy, but I'm definitely slathering it all over my toasts for breakfast... The curd I made was tasty, but I'm still not entirely satisfied with it. I'll share the recipe when I do perfect it. In the meantime, I found David's instructions highly useful, and mostly followed the recipe from Joy of Baking because I decided not to fuss with additional egg yolks this time round (you'll see what I mean if you compare their recipes). Just be careful with the sugar - I used only half the sugar called for but still found it a little too sweet.

Creamy Chocolate Chip Scones
Adapted from Creamy Dream Scones, via

1 cup (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/8 cup chocolate chips or to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 218°C.

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Or use a food processor and pulse six times.

If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in chocolate chips. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add chocolate chips and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. If there are too much dry, floury bits, add a bit more cream until just enough to form the dough into a ball.

Press the dough down on a lightly floured work surface, shaping it into a circle of approximately 3/4 inch in height. Form scones by either a) cutting the dough into 6 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper or b) cutting pieces with a biscuit cutter, and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece and cutting until dough has been used up. (If you use the latter method, the scones that are made from the remaining scraps will be much lumpier and less pretty, but taste fine.)

Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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