Recipes365 starts off with a classic: Scones

It is the first day of my recipes365 project and it’s a Sunday. And Sunday is a perfect day for scones. With clotted cream and jam….. Yummy! Scones are the perfect start to my blog because they are easy to make, fool proof and delicious.

A scone, according to Wikipedia, is a small Scottish bread usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent (yeah, no yeast the beast!). I have a few scones recipes but I like the one from the Duchy Originals Cookbook (the cookbook published [not written] by the Prince of Wales; www.duchyoriginals.co.uk) best. The scones come out light, crumbly and simply delicious. And they freeze very well, so I always make a bunch and keep some for later.

For the scones I used 50g of butter, 250g of flour, half a teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of baking soda, baking powder (the amount specified on the packet for 250g of flour), two tablespoons of fine sugar, some vanilla sugar, 150ml milk and 50g of crème fraiche. The original recipe adds a pinch of cinnamon and 50g of raisins. Preheat the oven to 240° Celsius. First mix all the dry ingredients then add the liquids. Make a dough (it’s crumbly and moist), put it on a flowered surface, knead it a little (only a little) and flatten it to about 2.5cm. With a cookie cutter or glass (I find wine glasses work best) ‘cut out’ round shapes, put on baking tray, brush with milk and off in the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn off the oven but leave the scones in the oven for another 4-5 minutes. Done.

I researched recipes for clotted cream once but apparently you need raw milk for it. I don’t know where to get raw milk in Zurich except directly from a cow. As I don’t have access to any cows, I buy my clotted cream (at Globus or www.britfood.ch).

I have tons of recipes for jam but with so many different jams available at the shops and markets frankly I can’t be bothered. Traditionally you would eat strawberry jam with your scones. Today I am using a plum and coriander jam I bought at a farmer’s market. It is very nice and I wouldn’t mind getting the recipe for that.

If you are in Zurich and don’t want to make you own scones, you can buy really nice ones at the Pie Shop (http://www.pieshop.ch). A more expensive alternative is to go for afternoon tea at one of the fancy hotels. In Switzerland I’ve had afternoon teas at the Carlton, the Dolder Grand, the Widder Hotel, the Eden au Lac (all Zurich) and the Hotel Les Trois Rois (Basel). Prices ranged from CHF 40.– to 79.–. My favourite was the afternoon tea at the Hotel Les Trois Rois. Interestingly enough, the weakest part of all the Swiss afternoon teas I’ve been to has been the clotted cream. They always serve lightly beaten cream or thickened double cream but never the real stuff. Apparently, the chefs at these hotels don’t have a proper recipe for clotted cream either.

That’s it from me for today. I wish everybody a happy New Year!

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