Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hot Cross Scones

I decided very early this year that I wasn't going to bake hot cross buns. I made them successfully last year, which was rather exciting since it was my first time using yeast, but I didn't have the energy to do it this year. Plus I just got my itch to bake bread out of the way. But I still wanted to do something similar and this was the perfect cheat's version of a hot cross bun. You'll be burning your tongue as you impatiently taste test these straight out of the oven, because they smell so good while they're baking!
I have waxed lyrical about scones and how easy they are to make, and these babies are no different. Super moist straight out of the oven with a hint of spices and lots of juicy sultanas, they are as close as you're going to get to a hot cross bun in scone form. And there's no yeast, so no long waiting times for proving, and no kneading. These even got the tick of approval from the boy, who tends to find scones completely dull.
I tried a couple of different experiments while coming up with this recipe. My first attempt was a variation of the CWA scone recipe that I love, but the texture of the cream scones didn't produce a hot cross scone I was satisfied with - it was too fluffy and not buttery and crumbly enough. So I went with a butter & milk combination (and buttermilk to make them super moist), and they turned out just right, with a pretty golden surface. The crosses are made from white chocolate, which give it a lovely richness. I even spread some of the leftover chocolate over the scones while I ate one, which was totally evil (and totally awesome). But they taste great on their own, fresh out of the oven.
I know there's nothing quite like a fresh, fluffy traditional hot cross bun, trust me I am a HUGE fan of them. But these weren't a bad substitute for someone who was far too lazy to knead bread and just wanted to whip up something quickly for brunch. I will definitely be making them again. I hope everyone has a great Easter break, I will be spending mine celebrating A's birthday, with plans to construct a slightly insane cake that will probably end in disaster. I'll let you know how it turns out!
Hot Cross Scones
(makes about 6 large scones)
220g self raising flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice (if you don't have it, substitute with more cinnamon)
75g butter, softened
70g caster sugar
70g sultanas or currants
1 large egg
2 tbsp (40ml) buttermilk
100g white chocolate
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Sift flour, salt, cinnamon and allspice into a large mixing bowl. Add butter and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and sultanas.
Lightly beat the egg and the buttermilk together in a small bowl. Using a palette or butter knife, gradually pour the egg mixture into the mixing bowl, gently cutting into the mixture until it starts to come together. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball and then turn out on to a lightly floured surface.
Pat the dough into a flat disc about 4cm thick and use a scone cutter (or a round glass dusted with flour) to cut out your scones. (Mine is around 5cm diameter) Carefully pat any scraps together into a ball and use cutter to form scone with remaining dough. Brush the tops of the scones with the leftover buttermilk.
Place scones on a lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Time will vary depending on the size of your scones and your oven. When ready, remove from oven and place immediately on a wire rack to cool.
While the scones are baking melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl either over a double boiler or carefully in a microwave. Place in a piping bag and when the scones have been out of the oven for a few minutes, pipe a white chocolate cross over the top of each scone.
Serve immediately with butter or (if you want to be a bit naughty) some leftover melted white chocolate. But don't use too much or it will overpower the flavour of the scone. Scones can be stored in an airtight container and warmed up in the microwave but are best eaten when fresh.
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  1. What a great idea! I love the white chocolate crosses - very naughty.

  2. such a cute idea, and hey, another excuse for cream. woohoo :)

  3. I'd gladly burn my tongue with one of these babies Steph - a delicious and super cute idea for Easter.

  4. they are adorable! I love the white chocolate crosses, mmm

  5. Very creative, Steph. I shall make some soon!

  6. Great idea! Going to have to add these to my list of Easter baking!

  7. Hehe kee-ute! Bringing a HCB and scone together is pure brilliance.

  8. Cute variation on a classic. I am going to try hot cross buns in a muffin pan. We'll see how they go.

  9. These look delicious! I must try these. Lovely blog! Lucie x

  10. Amazing! I just made hot cross buns today and have demolished at least two, but could still go for these scones!

  11. i've never made anything for easter maybe this will be the yr :D

  12. Yum scones. What a great idea for Easter. I would certainly prefer these to the traditional Hot Cross Buns.

  13. nice spork
    I mean バターナイフ

  14. Excellent! No need to have a break from scone eating over Easter to make room for hot cross buns, after all!

  15. ooh insane cake? cant wait! and love the idea of hcb scones! and with white chocolate! extra white chocolate oh yes!

  16. Mmmmmm just smother with cream and jammm!! Happy Bday A ^^!

  17. Yumm! I love hot cross buns in all shapes, forms etc. Your scones look adorable. Happy birthday to A, looking forward to seeing your creation!

  18. Yummo I love love hot cross buns ... I have a creepy obsession with dried fruit. What a fab idea for something different. One step closer to constructing a diet solely of hot cross "things". Ingenious!

  19. Cute! I've always thought that the cross should be made from white chocolate :P

  20. Ah wow what a nice idea :) bet they were delicious too, so good for easter!

  21. Oh yum! I don't even like sultanas but i love the look of the hot cross scones. I can just imagine how awesome it would taste with some butter. YUM

  22. No offense to hot cross buns, but hot cross scones sound sooo much better than their bun cousins. And easier and less scary to bake too!

    Lovin' the festive adaptation!

  23. was thinking of making hot cross buns for easter this year too but uhm... i'm a tad too lazy to work with yeast at the moment. hot cross scones is a great idea though!!!! :)

  24. Hurray! These are fantastic! I also hate working with yeast...I have yet to perfect bread without using the breadmaker!

  25. How many times I have said that I absolutely admire your creativities? I am saying it again. lol!! Very very nicely done.

  26. Gorgeous. The scones look so so good. I'm definitely tempted to try this. And I love the chocolate piping!

  27. What a novel variation on a traditional classic! Loved that you used white chocolate instead of the usual recipe for the crosses. That should be incorporated with the standard hot crossed buns :)

  28. I love how you made a twist on the traditional. And scones, too. One of my favourites! :)

    Hope you had a safe and happy Easter.

  29. Poires au Chocolat - Haha naughty, but tasty! Thanks!

    Helen (Grab Your Fork) - Haha I like the way you think! Too bad I didn't have any cream around at the time....

    Trissa - Aww thanks! Hehe I regularly burn my tongue on things straight out of the oven, it's a wonder I can still taste anything!

    Lisa - :D thank you! I saw a recipe that used dark chocolate and it didn't appeal to me as much as the white!

    Anh - Thank you! If you do, let me know how they turn out for you!

    Chele - I had a huge list of easter baking and I never got around to it!

    Karen @ Citrus and Candy - Thanks :) Though your HCBs looked so good I wish I had made some!

    Mark @ Cafe Campana - Ooh that sounds like a great idea! Hope it works!

    Lucie - Aww thank you very much! x

    Y - Mmm hot cross buns are meant to be demolished! I bet yours were lovely!

    Betty - Heehee I hope so!

    A cupcake or two - Yay thanks! Though I'm still quite partial to the buns, I just didn't have the time to make them!

    Deadmoan - :D and thanks for the translating!

    Conor @ HoldtheBeef - :) Exactly!

    chocolatesuze - Oh yes, the extra white chocolate was the cherry on top :)

    FFichiban - Aww thanks! Mmm I should have, I just ate them plain cos im boring!

    Betty @ The Hungry Girl - :D Thanks! I agree, hot cross buns in any form is win!

    wannabegourmand - Hahaha that's okay, I have a creepy obsession with scones! It happens. Thanks!

    Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella - Yes, I think a lot of people agree with you! I saw a lot of recipes using chocolate for crosses on the interwebs.

    Natalie...-They were rather tasty :) Thanks!

    linda said - Aww you don't like sultanas! That's ok, you can do it with something else instead!

    vickys - Hahaha I'm glad you think so! Definitely easier to bake :) Thank you!

    Trisha - Haha same, I'm so lazy! Thanks!

    That's Ron - Happy Easter to you too!

    Brenda - Aww you should give it another go, I LOVE working with yeast, I just don't get the time to wait for it to work its magic!

    Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - Aww major love Ellie! *hugs*

    Clare @ Mrs Multitasker - They were really good, even warmed up in the microwave the next day! Thanks!

    Simon @ the heart of food - I agree, though it can be a little too sweet sometimes! But good in small doses :)

    Julia @Mélanger - Same here :) I can never say no to a scone. Same to you!


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