I love these savoury scones and have made them several times. I top them with creme fraiche and chutney to look like normal scones with jam and cream. This is a lovely twist on a traditional afternoon tea staple.
I heard that Golden Cow Softer had launched this competition and decided to enter, never imagining that I would have any success. I was delighted when I heard that I had made the final and was invited to a live bake-off in the Belfast Cookery School.
Myself and the two other finalists, Siobhan and Pauline arrived and had a quick coffee while we took in our surroundings and checked out each other’s recipes. We then were allocated our work stations and set to work. I have to say, it was quite challenging working in an unfamiliar environment without being familiar with where to find the utensils, work the oven etc but we did our best.
Siobhan had opted for a plain scone served with butter, jam and cream, while Pauline made lemon and raspberry scones, topped with icing. Head judge, Ian Hunter from Belfast Cookery School advised us not to get distracted and stick closely to our recipes but I couldn’t help checking my progress compared with theirs.
I had weighed everything out before I had arrived so I was able to launch straight in. My top tip for scones is to freeze the butter and grate it in, mixing through the flour as you do it as it makes rubbing the butter into the flour so much easier. Mixture made, I rolled it out and cut into small scones before baking in the oven. I did have a moment of anxiety as I forgot to check the time when I put them in the oven, so had to add a few minutes to my estimated cooking time.
Once they were out of the oven and cooling, I set about my presentation. I had decided on a simple picnic theme and laid out my toppings of creme fraiche and Passion Preserved raspberry and lemon chilli sauce on a Belfast Times cloth with Northern Ireland sayings. I thought this was all looking rather lovely until I saw how exquisitely Siobhan had presented hers and felt totally inadequate. When my scones were cool I topped a couple with Golden Cow Softer and the toppings and added to my arrangement. The photographer set about taking a load of pictures and then all we could do was wait while Ian and Hannah from Smarts Communicate carried out their judging duties.
I was totally thrilled when Ian announced me as the winner. A total scone triumph! Ian described my scones as technical perfection! I couldn’t ask for more than that. Better still, I won a £500.00 voucher for the Belfast Cookery School, an overnight stay for 2 in the Fitzwilliam hotel in Belfast and some Golden Cow softer- happy days!
If you want to give these award winning scones a try, the recipe and instructions are below the pictures.
- 225g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Large pinch of salt
- 50g Golden Cow butter (frozen)
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 100g cheddar and extra to top
- 100mls milk
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 egg
- extra butter, creme fraiche and chutney to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt making sure they are well mixed
- Rub in the butter until the mix resembles breadcrumbs (Top tip- grate it in as this makes it easier to rub in)
- Mix in the grated cheese
- Create a well in the centre and add the mustard, herbs, eggs and some of the milk
- Mix together but try not to over work the mixture
- Use enough of the milk to bring all the mixture together
- Flour a working surface and roll out the mixture. Keep it quite thick as the cheese doesn’t allow the scones to rise as well as sweet scones
- Use a cutter to make your scones and place on a lined baking tray. Top with some grated cheese
- Cook for around 15 minute or until cooked and golden brown
- Serve with extra butter, tomato chutney and crème fraiche to look like jam & cream
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