Monday, May 5, 2008

Chocolate Toffee Scones

I have another scone recipe to share with you. It comes from the cookbook, Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard. I was pretty excited when I first got this book because the author happens to be the executive pastry chef at one of LA’s trendiest and swankiest restaurants, Spago. Yes, call me a little impressionable and star-struck but this really is one beautifully photographed and well written cookbook. It reads like an autobiography of Yard’s life, chronicling her career over the years at the various restaurants she’s worked at including of course, Spago.
These scones were a little different than the kinds I’m used to baking. For one thing, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, I have never used cream of tartar in a scone recipe before. Little did I know that this is a commonly used ingredient if you’re going to make a traditional English scone, which this recipe is. This resulted in a scone that was lighter and flakier than what I'm accustomed to. I also liked the sugar and cream coating that I brushed the scones with before popping them in the oven. This added such a nice crispness and subtle crunch to the scone in addition to giving it a bit of sweetness. The recipe is a very versatile one and you should feel free to add whatever suits your fancy. I was thinking of making chocolate chip scones but ended up chopping up some chocolate and toffee candy and mixed it into the dough. Next time, I think I’ll try some juicy raisins.

Traditional English Scones (from Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard)
2 C AP flour
1/4 C sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 oz (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 large egg
1/4 cup heavy cream, or more as needed
1/4 cup milk, or more as needed
1/2 cup chocolate-toffee bits (or chocolate chips, or toasted nuts, or raisins).

1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two 12x17 inch half sheet pans with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the first 5 ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and orange zest and mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the butter and flour are broken down into pieces the size of walnut meats. Use your thumb and forefinger to flatten the "walnuts". Then take up the mixture and rub briskly between your hands.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and milk. Add to the flour mixture along with the chocolate toffee bits (or whatever you choose), and blend at low speed just until the dough comes together, about 10 seconds. If it seems dry, add a bit more cream or milk, a tablespoon at a time.

4. Line your work surface with parchment, dust the parchment with flour and scrape out the dough. Shape into an 8-inch square, about 1 inch thick. You can use a rolling pin for this. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Flip the scones over and place on the parchment-lined pans. Brush with cream or milk and sprinkle with sugar.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until dark golden brown and puffed.


Deborah said...

I love this cookbook as well - and your scones look amazing!

Gigi said...

I have to get this cookbook! The scones look sensational.

kellypea said...

I must have picked up this book 10 times before I ended up purchasing the one I have. The scones look fabulous. And I use a scones & tea book from the UK to make my scones, so cream of tartar is normal, as well as the lighter version. They're delicious, aren't they? I'd love to try these...

RecipeGirl said...

Wow, do these look decadent and delicious! I've looked at that cookbook before. So far I've resisted in purchasing it but now I'm thinking I must have it!!

Foodie Pam said...

If you'd like to see some more recipes in Desserts by the Yard take look here.