Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Parsley Cheese Scones - a Tea Time Treat

I've nothing against a good scone, but they are not something that I bake regularly. For one thing, I like to bake things that can be eaten over several days, and most scones are best fresh out of the oven, or at the very least, eaten the same day. For another, a fresh plain scone is a delight, but only when smothered with butter or jam and clotted cream - not really everyday eating. Lastly, and even more important, even if jam and cream were liberally available every day, scones aren't really the sort of thing the rest of the family like to eat.

So when Karen at Lavender and Lovage set the challenge of producing sweet or savoury scones for this month's Tea Time Treats, I decided to look for something different. Savoury scones appealed to me, although I wasn't sure how well they would fit into a traditional afternoon tea. I also feel that the monthly baking events which I take part in should be a spur for me to make it a real challenge and try something different - a new flavour or technique - so after a lot of searching, I decided to try this recipe for Parsley Cheese Scones from Dan Lepard, not least because it started by making porridge!

Dan promises the recipe is lower in fat and bigger in flavour, fibre and moistness than standard recipes. I'm not sure about the fat, as there was more cheese than I've seen in most recipes, but he used some oil and buttermilk, rather than butter, to reduce the fat a little, and the recipe lived up to the other promises. One of the good things about them was that they kept fresh for at least three days!

Unusually for one of Dan's recipes, I found that by the time I got to the last stage of mixing, I still had a bowlful of cheesey crumbs. Something wrong, somewhere! I had to add 6 tablespoons of milk to bring the ingredients together into a soft dough, which is quite a lot of liquid missing from the original recipe! I think I overdid the milk a little, because the dough was slightly too soft to cut well - the cutter left the scones slightly domed on top which meant they didn't bake to a good shape.

In the scheme of things, the shape didn't really matter as the great flavour more than made up for any shortcomings in the looks department. These scones were rich and moist with a strong flavour of the main ingredients - cheese and parsley. They were delicious still warm from the oven, lucious with melting butter, but they were also good eaten at room temperature. One way of eating them, which would be good at Tea Time, was with smoked salmon, but at other times of the day they would be good as an accompaniment to soup.

Tea Time Treats is a monthly baking challenge co-hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage, and Kate at What Kate Baked. The full rules can be found here, if you are interested in taking part.


Karen S Booth said...

These scones look amazing Suelle! The recipe is interesting too.....I don't normally like scones with oil in them instead of hard fat rubbed in, but yours seem to be lovely! I think the smoked salmon is a PERFECT way to serve them too!
Thanks so much for entering into Tea Time Treats!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

love them... lots and lots of cheese scone making going on this month... can't wait for karen's round-up!... and I too love the smoked salmon on top, great idea!!

snowy said...

They look so good Suelle. Love the idea of the smoked salmon.

C said...

They look really good. I'm not really into savoury scones, although I love, love sweet ones, but I'd be tempted by these. I like the idea of making a porridge for them, and the herbs sound good too. I'm impressed that they lasted for so long - I always freeze my scones on the day of baking.

Suelle said...

I should have thought of freezing them, C! I was the only one eating them and, although they kept fresh, it was a struggle to finish the batch.

DennyDustin said...

I have made lots of scones and decided it's time to try a different recipe. These scones are amazing. Thanks a lot for sharing such informative post.