I haven’t been baking so much recently – life and work have been stressful and busy and finding the time for new complicated recipes has not really happened. I have been working on perfecting some old favourites though. Most recently my scone recipe. I love scones but until now everytime I made them it seemed they were tough and too flat. This recipe makes the most light, risen scones even plus it is super easy (using mainly store cupboard items) and goes perfectly with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
- 350g self-raising flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 85g butter, cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 175ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- squeeze lemon juice (it can be the bottled stuff)
- beaten egg, to glaze or use milk but it will be less shiny
- Heat oven to 220C Put the flour and other dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs or whiz it in the food processor (I do this because I tend to over rub) Stir in the sugar.
- Heat the milk in the microwave for about 30 secs until it is warm but not hot and then add a squeeze of lemon juice – the lemon juice is not for flavour, it is to activate the baking powder more quickly giving them a bigger rise
- Put a baking sheet in the oven.
- Make a well in the flour mix, pour in the milk and lemon and combine it with a regular dinner knife. Dredge some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Sprinkle the dough and your hands with flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Flatten gently into a round about 3cm deep.
- Take a 5cm cutter, dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat, reforming and re-flattening the dough once or twice if necessary. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
- Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden.
- Serve with jam and cream – AMAZING!
I rarely make the same cake twice, but this week I revisited the Jammie Dodger Cupcake. It has been really sunny here and Andy Murray won Wimbledon – the first Wimbledon winner since Virginia Wade won in 1977 (and to all those who seem to have forgotten that women exist – fuck off) so it felt right to do something a bit British.
When I made them last time, they were a big hit in my office and got lots of smiles on the tube:
This time, they turned our pretty well. I had some issues with the piping because the kitchen was boiling hot so the buttercream was both melting and drying out at the same time and because I used the wrong piping nozzle, but the sponge and filling were definitely better.
I recently bought a cupcake corer thing from Amazon, which was just the job for filling the centres with raspberry jam. I really recommend it if you are into stuffing your cupcakes with lovely stuff.
So they looked much neater and I could put the cake plug-bit back in the back. Also the new oven is much more consistent so they were moister and more consistent in size and colour than before. See:
Anyway, on to the recipe. Makes about 12-16 (I use fairly big cases because I like putting people in to insta-sugar-coma)
- 175g Softened Butter
- 175g Golden Caster Sugar
- 1 Vanilla Pod deseeded or scraped or whatever you call it or you can use 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Essence instead
- 3 Large Eggs
- 175g Self-raising Flour
- Jar of seedless raspberry jam
- 210g butter soften
- 400g Icing Sugar
- 1-2 tbsp Milk
- Mini Jammie Dodgers (one for each cake)
- Seedless Raspberry Jam
- Preheat the oven to 170 C
- Put the butter and sugar into bowl and mix until light and fluffy. You can’t over mix it, so when you think it is done enough, do it a bit more. I never remember to defrost the butter in time so I cube the butter and put it in a bowl of tepid water for 10 minutes and it comes out at perfect ‘softened’ consistency. Thanks for the tip, Mary Berry.
- Scrape in the vanilla seeds (or put in the essence) and add the eggs whizzing well between each egg
- Add the flour and fold into the mixture
- Bake for about 15minutes but keep an eye on them from 10 minutes. They are done when they are all springy and your skewer comes out clear
- Leave on a cooling rack for 30 minutes or so until they are totally cool
- Next, take the corer or use a sharp knife to take out the centres. Push a bit of raspberry jam into the middle of each one. Make sure you save some jam for the tops of the cake.
- For the icing: Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar bit at a time and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. If it looks too dry add more milk. It is ready when it holds a shape (i.e. drag your spatular over it and see if it stays put and doesn’t sink back)
- Pipe the icing on to each cake, then to decorate fill a disposable piping bag with a couple if tablespoons of jam and cut off the very tip (leaving only a tiny hole) and drizzle the jam over the icing
- Finish with a mini Jammie Dodger.