What a great name for a bakery. I had never heard of it before last week when Mr.P returned from NY baring gifts of brownies – which had been charmingly left on his pillow in some Soho hotel. Intrigued by their quaint size, and slightly baffled that Mr.P had bought me brownies of all things, I flipped them over to see who made them, an almost handwritten label revealed, ‘Fat Witch Bakery’. I’m embarrassed to say I did not eat them, the ‘little people’ spied them lurking in the dark depths of my handbag and caught me at a weak moment, they were the lucky recipients. So annoyingly, I can’t vouch for them, all I can say is they have a magical website, great sound effects, and if you live in the ‘Big Apple’ please let me know how they taste, I don’t imagine I’ll be seeing another again for a while!
An industrial quantity of chocolate has been knocking around the farm since Easter. I mean I’m not complaining, I love chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, and am very partial to the sinfully genius eggs from ‘Artisan du Chocolat’. The ‘Creme Brulee’ milk chocolate egg won hands down, though the ‘Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel’ was a highly contested second. But of late, even I am getting close to saturation level, overindulgence, greed and lack of restraint to blame. Hence last friday I was presented with a dilemma. I wanted to bake something for the ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ for tea, but did not want it to contain chocolate, or indeed be of the cake variety for that matter. Hot cross buns have had their day and I needed something much more instant. Actually 20 minutes to be precise, Mr.P had just called to say he would be home in time for tea, a very rare treat, so a little gesture was necessary. I chose ‘Scones’. Quick and easy to knock up, literally “5 minutes darling”, is what my mother professed and 12-15 minutes to bake, and my word, she was right, mothers always are. The resulting scones were practically inhaled, let’s just say they were very popular. Crumbs speak volumes!
To give her her due, Mummy makes the most glorious of scones. I don’t know why I had not stolen her recipe earlier. They are lighter than you would expect and have this almost crumble like top to them. Really quite divine and far better than any other recipe I have ever come across. She swears that sour milk is what makes them, typically I did not have any so improvised with a yogurt and milk mix, that, and also not overworking the dough. Keep it quite sticky and don’t use a rolling-pin, just literally flatten out the dough by hand and then stamp out the scones, is her mantra, and believe me it works. Naturally they are made for clotted cream and lashings of homemade jam, but with the recent excesses of Easter, we were pretty austere (very strange for us) and stuck with butter and jam. They are reminiscent of another time and oh so good for it. Do try them, just to remind yourself how yummy they can be. Trust the ‘blue’ one who quipped rather flippantly, ‘Mummy, this is the best cafe ever’……… post eating several scones!
Scones (makes 6)
225gms self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tblsp of natural yogurt
6 – 7 tblsp of milk
Pre- heat an oven to 180 – 200c, I use the hot, top oven in my Aga so I can’t guarantee the temperature but it is pretty hot. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
1. Measure out all of the dry ingredients and pop in a mixing bowl with the cubed butter. Rub the butter in so it resembles breadcrumbs, or place in a Kenwood mixer, it does not have to be completely uniform.
2. Place the yogurt in a bowl and whisk with the milk until combined. Now add to the dry ingredients, and using your hands bring the dough together. If the dough is too dry, add a little more milk. The dough does not need to be super smooth, so don’t overwork it.
3. When the dough has come together place on a surface, flatten it off with your hand so the dough is about 3 cm thick and then stamp out your scones. Place on a baking tray and bake until golden and risen – 12- 15 minutes depending on the temperature in your aga. Remove and eat with melting butter or have toasted the day after.