Sunday, 27 July 2014

Buttermilk Scones

Eve 27/07/14

Simply great scones! Buttery, soft and fluffy, you will never want to buy scones again!


I think I have create my most favourite scone recipe yet! Tall, fluffy and uber buttery, they taste like a puffed-up sugar cookie!


Have you ever gone to your favourite coffee shop and bought a scone to be given a dry, heavy scone that sticks to the roof of your mouth? I have countless times and it is an experience I wish I have never had. Since those days, I started to make scones, and boy, am I glad I did! These are a million miles better than the ones you can buy at the supermarket, bakeries and at coffee shops {unless you go to an amazing, artisan coffee shop!}.

These scones are easy and fun to make. Six basic ingredients makes these scones quick to whip up anytime! Butter, flour, sugar and the three magic ingredients - buttermilk, cream of tartar and baking soda. The three ingredients just listed are what gives these scones such a good rise and a soft and moist interior.


The main reasons why scones sometimes don't work and have a bad rise is down to two elements - the temperature and the thickness. Scones should be made with butter which has just come out of the the fridge or even the freezer. I used cold butter which was chopped into tiny cubes for the scones pictured here. Also, to keep the butter and scone mixture cold, once I have rubbed the butter into the flour and sugar, I freeze the whole mixture. 

Call me crazy, but "ya gotta do it" for amazing scones!

The dry mixture is only in the freezer for fifteen minutes, so your can prepared the ingredients of the next step.


Science lesson!
{nerd alert}

There are two factors which cause scones to rise with science involved! Buttermilk is acidic as well as the cream of tartar used. Baking soda is an alkali so, when the baking soda reacts with the tartar and buttermilk, a gas is given off and bubbles may appear. When baking, the milk, tartar and soda begin to react again, causing the gas given off to rise and "lift" up the dough, giving the scones and airy interior. 
The second factor is the cold butter. Cold butter is what allows puff pasty to puff and scones to rise. As the butter is worked into the mixture, it coats the flour and sugar, giving a crumbly texture and appearance. In the crumb, pieces of flour, sugar and butter are clumped together as well as there being little lumps of butter. Once the cold butter comes in contact with the hot oven, the butter melts rapidly, producing steam. When the steam tries to escape from the scone, it travels up through the scone, lifting it even more, hence giving the scone a buttery, flaky and crumbly texture. 


I visited Glasgow yesterday to see the Commonwealth games attractions and stalls. I bought the blue plate above and the little cake stand at a vintage homeware stall, so cute!
Ready to make scones? Sure you are!


Buttermilk scones
Posted by Eve
Makes 8
Ingredients
  • 50g butter, chopped into tiny tubes or grated
  • 220g plain flour 
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar 
  • 110ml buttermilk, ice cold

Method 
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºc/ 200ºc fan/ gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar until crumb-like. Put the mixture into the freezer and chill for 15 minutes until ice cold but still granular and crumbly.
  3. Remove from the freezer and add the baking soda and cream of tartar and stir well with a round-bladed knife. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until a light dough is formed. Knead lightly on a clean surface until uniform in texture.
  4. Shape into a round which is 3cm thick and cut into 8 slices, as is you would a cake.
  5. Place the scones on to the prepared baking tray and dust with a touch of sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they are golden brown and risen. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.


Enjoy!


The scones are best eaten on the day of baking but can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.



Buttermilk scones
1 scone, plain ( 8 scones)


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

Eve 23/07/14

This tasty chocolate cake is so easy to make and is super chocolaty. Perfect for a birthday or a treat!


One word - Chocolate!


This cake may look innocent with it's milk chocolate frosting, but no! This cake is deep, dark and fudgy, for serious chocolate lovers. Why settle for 1 type of chocolate when you can have two? ��


What do we have here, you may ask. Well, we have an obscenely moist dark chocolate cake topped with a creamy, luscious milk chocolate frosting. I can't believe this is my first chocolate cake recipe on BtD, what has happened over the past year and a half?!

I love chocolate cake, especially if it is like this one; soft, moist and dark. This cake is not the sweetest in the world, I don't really like overly-sweet cakes. I think I have trained myself to like less-sweet things. I you asked me two years ago to make this cake, I probably would have doubled the sugar amount! If you like your cake to be a bit more on the sweeter side, add 30g extra caster sugar to the batter.


What makes this cake so darn moist and completely irresistible are the wet ingredients. Oil, eggs, milk and yogurt give this cake the fudge-like quality. I prefer to use oil rather than melted butter as oil is more "wet". Also, I like to use butter in a bake when it contributes to the flavour, like in vanilla cakes but because of the amount of cocoa used, you wouldn't taste the butter. 

The yogurt adds richness, the milk adds smoothness and the eggs add stability. Every ingredient has an important job to do!

Look how fudgy it is!

Cocoa powder gives the cake the rich chocolate flavour. There is nothing worse than biting into a dry, bland chocolate cake; a waste of money and time. However, if you crave a chocolate cake with plenty of flavour, this one definitely fits the bill!







Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake
Posted by Eve
Makes one 20cm cake/ serves 8-10
Ingredients

For the cake
  • 100ml oil, like sunflower 
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml milk, I used semi skimmed 
  • 60g plain yogurt 
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules 
  • 135g self raising flour 
  • 50g cocoa powder 
  • 115g caster sugar, I used golden
  • 40g soft brown sugar

For the frosting
  • 30g butter, at room temperature
  • 65g icing sugar
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 30ml double cream


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºc/ 160ºc fan/ gas mark 3 and grease, line and flour a 20cm springform cake tin. 
  2. Whisk together the oil, eggs, milk, yogurt and coffee in a bowl until smooth. 
  3. Sieve together the remaining cake ingredients into a large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk or spoon until combined. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top with a knife. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin completely. 
  4. For the frosting, beat together the butter, sugar and cocoa in a large bowl until coarse but combined. Add the cream and beat until smooth. 
  5. Split the cake in half and use 1 - 2 tbsp. of the frosting to moisten the cake. Sandwich the cake together and top with the frosting in any way you like and decorate if you wish.



Enjoy!



The cake should be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before eating.


Dark chocolate fudge cake
1 slice with frosting ( 10 slices)