(created and kindly donated by Kim McMahan Davis – Cinnamon and Sugar… and a Little Bit of Murder Blog)
It’s often said that Great Britain and the United States are two nations divided by a common language—and this is true of their scones too!
The quintessential “afternoon tea” snack, English scones are round and compact, light and fluffy on the inside, and crusty on the outside; they are not very sweet and are usually plain with no toppings (although they sometimes have sultanas embedded) as they are meant to be eaten with jam and clotted cream.
American scones, in contrast, are usually larger and denser, with more butter and sugar, and are normally made with variety of ingredients added to the dough, such as spices, fruits, nuts, and even chocolate. They come in an amazing range of flavours—limited only by your imagination!
You can find the recipe for traditional English scones at the end of A SCONE TO DIE FOR (Oxford Tearoom Mystery ~ Book 1) but since this story featured scones too, I thought it would be fun to provide an American scone recipe for comparison. This delicious recipe has been specially created by the talented Kim McMahan Davis of the Cinnamon and Sugar… and a Little Bit of Murder Blog and features an eternally popular combo: tangy orange and dark chocolate!
(Recipe from the back of THE DOUGH MUST GO ON – (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries – Book 9))
For the Scones
- 2 cups (272 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup (72 grams) granulated sugar
- Zest from 1 large orange
- 1/2 cup (112 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and frozen
- 1/2 cup (108 grams) sour cream
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 ounces (42 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
For the chocolate orange drizzle:
- 2 ounces (56 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F) or 218 degrees (C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together until smooth the sour cream, egg, and orange juice. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together until combined (about 10 pulses) flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and orange zest.
- Sprinkle the frozen butter pieces over the top of the flour mixture, then pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture and pulse just until the dough comes together. Be careful to not over process the dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the dough then gently knead into the mix. Again, be careful to not overwork the dough or it will toughen.
- Place the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges and move them slightly apart.
- Bake 12 – 15 minutes. The scones should be golden and the center should look set. Cool scones on a wire cooling rack while preparing the glaze.
Chocolate orange drizzle:
- Place the chocolate and vegetable shortening into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on 70% power for 45 seconds. Stir. Heat in additional 20 second increments as needed, stirring after each heat cycle until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Mix in the orange extract and stir until smooth.
- Drizzle the chocolate over the scones. Allow to set for 15 minutes then serve.
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(© copyright H.Y. Hanna)