The Secret Life of Scones

By Suzy Bowler

Food & drink

Paperback, eBook

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4 mins

~ Genius Recipes ~

By “genius recipe” I don’t just mean a good idea, I mean the kind of key recipe that can be easily varied to create all sorts of delicious things. In these books I try to explain the principles; the why and how a recipe works, so that you can confidently vary it, add to it and create brilliant dishes of your very own.

In these pages, for instance, I give recipes for sweet and savoury scones, rock cakes, griddle cakes, dumplings, doughnuts and more all based the one simple “genius” reci-pe. But that’s not all! In addition to the straightforward recipes I also make suggestions on how to vary them and having researched different flours, liquids, fats, glazes and toppings I give all the useful information I can think of to help you do this.

~ Intro, Info & the Genius Recipe ~

I had a lot of experience with scones when my sister and I owned a seaside hotel and restaurant in Cornwall; we sold hundreds of the buggers. Our Cornish Cream Teas were very good even though I do say so myself; clotted cream from the farm up the road, a choice of jams in generous bowls and warm, fresh out the oven (we baked constantly all afternoon and still had trouble keeping up) really large homemade scones.

It was not until I left Cornwall, however, and had time to play around a bit that I realised the full potential of this humble recipe and it has served me very well ever since.
It turns out that this might just be the most useful dough in the world! Not only can it be varied to create any sweet or savoury scone, American biscuit, griddle cake or rock bun you can think of, not only is it the base recipe for many traditional and ancient dishes but it also make lovely fluffy dumplings, crisp doughnuts, cobblers, turnovers, pie crust (nicer than pastry, I think, as it’s so short and crumbly) and more.

~ Genius Recipe
~ Rubbing In
~ Flours * Fats
~ Additions
~ Liquids
~ 9 Important Points
~ Glazes and Toppings
~ Storage etc.
~ Clotted Cream
~ Cream Teas
~ American Biscuits

~ Sweet Scones ~

~ Traditional Fruit Scones
~ Rum & Raisin Scones
~ Hot Cross Scones
~ Cranberry Orange Scones
~ Strawberries & Cream Scones
~ Sautéed Blueberry Scones
~ Caramelised Apple Scones
~ Treacle, Golden Syrup, Honey or Maple Syrup Scones
~ Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
~ Pecan and Brown Sugar Scones
~ Sticky Toffee Scones
~ Peanut Butter Scones
~ Chocolate Scones
~ Sticky Orange Buns
~ Monkey Scones!
~ Sandwich Scones
~ Filled Scones

~ Savoury Scones ~

Simply put leave the sugar out of the key recipe and up the salt slightly, then follow one of these recipes, or make one up!

~ Cheese Scones with Lots of Variations
~ Cheddar & Mustard Scones
~ Herb Scones
~ Sweet Potato Scones
~ Caramelised Onion Scones & Likky Cakes
~ Garlic Bread Scones
~ Roasted Garlic Scones
~ Black Garlic Scones!
~ Sautéed Mushrooms Scones
~ Roasted Tomato Scones
~ Panko Crusted Balls

~ No Oven – No Problem! ~

This is just a short chapter because it is eminently possible to cook all of the above scones on top of the stove.

~ Griddle aka Girdle Scones
~ Not Quite Drop Scones!
~ Flatbreads

~ Shortcakes ~

Another very scone-like creature, only more luxurious, is the shortcake. The luxurious-ness is achieved firstly by using cream instead of milk in the key recipe then by adding sumptuous fillings. Just a few examples here, use your imagination!

~ Almost Classic Strawberry Shortcake
~ Caramel-Banana Shortcakes
~ Tomato Shortcakes

~ Rock Cakes aka Rock Buns ~

Now yer rock cake (or rock bun) is very like yer actual scone except that an egg (plus some milk) is used to bind the dough and each little cake is formed into a rock-resembling dollop rather than a neat little cake.

~ Traditional Rock Cakes
~ Fully Loaded Fruit and Nut Rock Cakes
~ Dried Cherry & White Chocolate Rock Cakes
~ Dark Chocolate (and possibly Chilli) Rock Cakes
~ Caribbean Coconut Rock Cakes
~ Gingerbread Rock Cakes

~ Regional Variations ~

This must be a fairly obvious dough recipe as it has evolved in various forms all over the place.

~ Northumbrian Singin’ Hinnies
~ Welsh Cakes
~ Sussex Plum Heavies
~ Lardy Johns
~ Fat Rascals
~ Devonshire Apple Dappy

~ Cobblers, Slumps & Similar ~

There are several dishes of this type that can be made using the key recipe but I’m not quite sure how many! The thing is the same recipe will go under several names or, equal-ly confusing, one name will sometimes apply to more than one dish. There is even some-thing called a Sonker but research has revealed that nobody really knows quite what it is!

Here are some ideas – call them what you like!

~ Cobblers
~ Plum Cobbler
~ Slumps aka Grunts
~ Pandowdy

~ Short & Crumbly ~

This splendid dough can also be rolled a little thinner and used as a crust – upper, lower, both or neither! It is very short and crumbly so fragile when handling but if you do mess up a bit and make a hole, just smidge a bit of dough over to mend it. Rustic!

~ Tarts
~ How to Bake Blind
~ Rustic Tarts
~ Tarte Tatin
~ Caramelised Shallot Tatin with Blue Cheese Crust
~ Pies
~ Turnovers
~ Biscuits of the English Persuasion
~ Crumble

~ Dumplings & Doughnuts ~

Mince and Dumplings is one of my Geordie lad’s favourite meals. I make these so often and every time I do he looks surprised and says “nice dumplings!” which is possibly the greatest compliment he has ever given me!

~ Dumplings
~ Likky Stew with a Natterjack
~ Sweet Dumplings
~ Grand-Père
~ Doughnuts
~ Savoury Doughnuts

~ Leftovers! ~

I love cooking with leftovers, they are my favourite ingredient. I can pretty well always think of something good to do with any bits, pieces and trimmings.

~ Dough Trimmings
~ Leftovers Scones and Similar
~ Scone and (no) Butter Pudding
~ Leftover Dumplings

~ 5 Ancillary Recipes ~

~ Sticky Toffee Sauce
~ Alcohol Soaked Fruit
~ Drops Scones as we normally understand them!
~ Sausage Gravy!
~ How to Roast Garlic



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