Date Scones with Caramel Cream

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Sometimes, when it's cold outside and won't stop raining, you need a pot of tea and a large bowl of scones.

They don't take very long to make, and they're oh-so-delicious when eaten straight out of the oven. And, surprisingly, you can add interesting things to them. These are date scones.

After watching season upon season of Paul Hollywood testing out bakes and bottoms on The Great British Bake-Off, I now check things automatically: are the scones all the same size? Are they big enough to support the weight of piled-on cream? And then, Mr Bakercourt picks up a scone and, with a very serious face, knocks it on the bottom to check the "bake". 

I'm pleased to say, these scones would pass the Hollywood test.

Date Scones with Caramel Cream

30g softened butter
1/4 cup golden caster sugar (or brown sugar)
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or 1 cup of buttermilk with 1/4 cup cream)
50g of finely chopped dates (make sure they're pitted first, ow!)

A cup of double cream, and a dollop of golden syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 220'C and grease a baking tray. 
2. Beat the butter, sugar and egg until light and fluffy. Add the sifted flour and dates, and mix. Then add the buttermilk and cut through the mixture with a knife to make a soft, sticky dough.
3. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and lightly roll out to about an inch thick. Cut out scone shapes using a round cutter. Place them on the baking tray about 1cm apart and brush them with milk (or buttermilk, if you have any leftover).
4. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Add a large spoon of golden syrup to the double cream and beat until light and you can't help but lick the spoon. You're ready to serve.

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