Heya, it's really nice to meet you.
My inner critic, if she were to be personified, would be this big hairy girl (like those with a she-moustache) with a ridiculously inapt name like Crystal who roams around the schoolyard looking to, well...make you feel like you ain't good at nothin'.
Although I am way past my school years, this girl is always in my head. And she's built quite a nice little nest for herself inside of me.
But we all have our inner critics. Some may be louder than others, but they are there.
My first post on this blog, saying an e-hello to the e-world in this way, is my little way of beating my Crystal. I often think of this phrase I saw once when I was on my morning jog down the canals near my apartment, that has since stuck with me: 'when was the last time you did something for the first time?' This blog is going to be full of 'firsts', I am certain of that.
Baking is always full of 'firsts'. Even when it's the same recipe for vanilla cake, there's always going to be something new, whether it's a new ingredient, a new problem to solve, a new recipient, a new friend made from sharing. And I hope you can feel that sensation as well by trying a new recipe I post here. I hope it reminds you of that wonderful feeling of sharing something you made with someone you care about.
This first introduction to my first post, leads then to the first recipe for the blog: scones.
It is one I truly treasure because it takes me back to the very first time this Korean-Aussie tasted something sweet and warm that just out of an oven, at school camp (my Korean mother never used the oven in her life).
Scones are ridicuously easy to make. I tried many recipes over the years until I finally found the one. Try it, I know you will love it.
Strawberry Cream Scones Recipe
Makes 10-12 small scones
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 12-14 minutes
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
210 g plain flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
35 g sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
160 ml very cold heavy cream plus more for brushing on top
80 g coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
raw brown sugar for sprinkling on top
1. Place a rack on the middle shelf of your oven and preheat to 220°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, using a whisk, mix together the lemon zest, and all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
3. Mix the vanilla extract into the heavy cream. Making sure your cream is very cold, drizzle the cream and vanilla mixture over the dry ingredients while gently stirring and tossing the dough.
4. Mix in the strawberries to the dough. If the dough is too dry, you may add a tablespoon or so of cream. The dough should be quite ‘shaggy’ and moist, never sticky.
5. Working on a lightly floured surface, use your hands to flatten the dough to a 2cm thickness. Cut out rounds using a cookie cutter (I used 5cm rounds) and place them on your prepared baking tray, leaving room for expansion. Brush with cream and sprinkle with raw sugar.
6. At this point, if you want your scones to hold their shape better, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browning on top.
8. Remove from oven and serve warm with fresh whipped cream and a dab of strawberry jam.