My love of scones is well-documented. But one thing has always irked me about my homemade scones; they're not very photogenic. In fact, the lumpiness and uneven shape of my original CWA scone post makes me cringe so much that I keep wanted to redo the photos. But then I made this batch of Banana Scones with Whipped Honey Butter, and I realised that all my scones look pretty lumpy and uneven. It's my fault, I'm terrified of over-working the dough because there is nothing worse than a tough, rock-hard scone. I want my scones to be fluffy clouds of deliciousness. So I guess I still have a way to go before I improve the look of my scones to the level that you see from the CWA ladies.
So I may not be 100% happy with how these look, but I do love how they taste. It's a great way to use up those bananas that are too ripe, and that extra cream you might have in your fridge (I always have extra cream but that's me). The scones are super soft and light, and they are really meant to be served with some kind of sweet topping, like the whipped honey butter and strawberry jam, or cream & jam. The scones themselves are not sweet at all, so you'll have to add some icing sugar and spices to the scone mixture if you plan on eating them on their own.
Originally I was planning to make some honeycomb butter to go with these scones, but I was too lazy to make my own sugar honeycomb, and I managed to eat the two Crunchie bars that I bought for it. Chocolate bars do not last very long in my house. But this fluffy honey butter works just as well with the banana scones, with the added sweetness and just a hint of cinnamon. It's so good melted on a warm, freshly baked scone.
My favourite part about making these scones was opening up my oven to be greeted with the smell of the warm banana in these scones. It smells amazing! Because the scones are so light the flavour is not super intense, but it's definitely noticeable. I'm quite happy to eat these for breakfast, brunch, tea or dessert. In fact I've been slowly making my way through a batch over the last day, zapping them in the microwave until they're piping hot, slathering them with the honey butter and strawberry jam and enjoying them with a giant steaming mug of tea.
Banana Scones with Whipped Honey Butter
(makes 9-10 scones, adapted from my plain scone recipe)
300g (about 2 1/3 US cups flour, closer to 2 metric cups) self-raising flour, sifted
1 over-ripe medium banana, well mashed (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
100ml (about 1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp) pure/pouring cream (min 35% fat, heavy whipping cream in the US)
160ml (about 2/3 cup) milk
Note: if you are not planning to make the butter or to serve with jam, I recommend you add about 2 tbsp sifted icing sugar and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon to the flour mixture
For the butter: (Alternatively you could make Bill's honeycomb butter)
115g (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room-temperature
4 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
To serve: strawberry (or any other flavoured) jam, can replace butter with clotted cream
Remove the butter ahead of time to allow it to soften. Preheat oven to 230°C (445°F), 220 °C (430°F) fan-forced. Sift flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre, place the mashed banana in the centre. Gradually pouring the cream into the bowl, begin to cut cream and banana into dry ingredients with a flat bladed knife so that it starts to come together, then gradually add milk (using the same cutting motion with the knife to combine the ingredients) until there is enough to form a soft dough. (I usually save a small amount of milk to brush the tops of the scones)
Working quickly and gently, gather dough together on a floured bench. Try to handle the dough as little as possible, using lightly floured hands to stop dough sticking to you, and pat the dough into a rectangle about 3-3.5cm thick. You can lightly knead the dough with your hands for a smoother appearance but overknead it and your scones will be tough and hard.
Cut out round using a 5-6cm scone cutter (push the cutter into the dough, don't twist) and place next to each other in a lined/greased heavy based baking dish that has sides (scones baked close together will rise higher and thus be lighter). I usually manage to cut about 5-6 scones, then I pat the scraps together and cut out another 2 and finally pat the scraps from that together into a ball to form the final scone. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with some extra milk using a pastry brush.
Bake for 10-15 mins, until scones are cooked through and tops are lightly browned. While scones are baking, prepare the butter; chop the softened butter into small cubes. Place the butter, cinnamon and honey in a large mixing bowl and beat well on high speed with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Place in a serving dish and store in the fridge until ready to serve. Cover with a clean tea towel to keep scones soft, serve immediately with honey butter. Strawberry jam is also a great addition to the butter. You can substitute the butter with clotted cream. Store leftover scones in an airtight container, warm up in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Best eaten on the same day but scones can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.