Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cheese Scones

A few years ago, at a wonderful National Trust property in Cornwall, I had the most amazing cheese scone. Ever since that time, I have been trying to find one to match it. Sadly, I have been unable to replicate it in it's pale golden, soft, buttery, lightness, but I have formulated this recipe which sort of comes close.

Makes 15 x 4.8cm (1+7/8 inch) scones (don't ask - that's the size printed on my scone cutter)

120g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
50g butter, cut into 1cm cubes
80ml milk
1 tsp lemon juice
80g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 + 1/2 tablespoons of poppy seeds.

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

1. Mix the milk and the lemon juice together in a jug and leave to stand. (The milk will curdle. That's the point)
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, into a large mixing bowl. Add the poppy seeds and stir well.
3. Rub in the butter, until it looks like coarse sand. (Oliver Peyton in his Peyton and Byrne Baking book advises mashing the butter in with a fork. I found this a most unsatisfactory way of doing it. Although less messy it is less effective and more lumps of butter remain, but I digress)
4. Stir in the cheese, then add the milk/lemon-juice mixture to the flour-butter mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes together.
5. Handling the mixture as little as possible, bring together into a ball. Rest in the fridge for 5-10 minutes
6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1 to 2 cm thick.
7. Stamp out scone shapes using circular cutters. (I used the ones with fluted edges as there is less temptation to "twist" the cutter. If the cutter is twisted, it ruins the layers of the scone dough and causes a poor/uneven rise)
8. Bake the scones on the prepared tray for 15-20 minutes until just starting to brown.
9. Serve warm with plenty of butter.

Please note, these are in no way a health food, and should not be treated as such.

Friday, February 17, 2012

An Aran Hat For A Little Head

The Excellent Host and Hostess had a little boy. Since I have established a trend with them of knitting for their offspring (their oldest, Master Incredible, received Raja, and a rocket (not pictured), I produced a little something for this New Little Head.

Travelling cables on a moss stitch background.

Rib fold back edge.

With a little pointy top.

And, more excitingly, apparently it fits! (Although the Excellent Hostess declares it is not big enough for her head.)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Respice Finem

That was my school motto. Keep The End In View. Slightly strange for a school, I always felt... "Don't worry folks, you'll be out of here one day."

Yes, I am aware that it can be more profound than that, and if one is more Christian than most of my schooling was, then one can see it as keeping the end of this life and the start of the next in view. Although I think I'm struggling to spin this one, so I shall leave the motto aside and return to the point of this post.

The long game. A blanket. At least 10 years in the making.

Please ignore the garish colour scheme,

and the distinctly erratic tassels,

and enjoy with me (well, if you come round, and are very good, I might let you literally enjoy it) the warm cosy goodness of a finally finished blanket.

Pattern here, or for ravelry users, here.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Better Late Than Never, Better Never Late

I was busy, then the Computer Geek was busy, then I was busy, then the Computer Geek was busy (you get the gist). Aaaaaanyhoo, these are the photos of the presents I wrapped and the cake I made this last Christmas.

I made myself very happy - all in brown paper (recyclable, unlike normal "christmas" paper which often contains gold/silver/sparkles which can ruin an entire batch of recycling if they are included)

But to make them pretty, each one had a different colour curling ribbon round it (colour coded to recipient)

But in case the recipient did not understand the coded colours, they also had vintage-looking luggage tags.

The cake is a little special - we don't like icing in our family (but we do like marzipan) and we don't like artificial colours, so it's a neutral marzipan cake... mmmm, you kind of have to be there I suppose.

All photos: The Computer Geek