Goes beautifully with a steaming mug of drinking chocolate.
- 250g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 40g caster sugar
- 40g unsalted butter
- 18g baking powder
- 156g buttermilk
Option 1: Spiced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 15g cocoa nibs
Option 2: Citrusy
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 50g dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 175C.
- Mix flour, salt, sugar, baking powder [ spices/orange zest- depending on recipe].
- Rub in the butter to a fine crumb, like sand texture.
- Gently fold in buttermilk to just combine. It is important to not overwork this or we will end up with rock cakes. It is fine to have a little flour un mixed to avoid over working.
- Turn onto a floured work surface, roll gently to 2.5 cm thick. Using a cuter to the shape you fancy!! Stamp out the scones, do not twist otherwise your scones will rise like the tower of Pisa. Dip the cutter in flour in between each stamp.
- Gently reroll the remainder and cut out as above. Brush with a little egg wash, that’s a beaten egg and equal amounts of milk. For an even golden, richer glaze use double cream instead of milk.
- Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven when golden. Cool on a wire rack and cover with a clean cloth to keep moist until ready to eat.
Notes to help you get the most out of your cocoa and chocolate.
Depending on the kind of cocoa you use, how much you use and how you use it, cocoa and chocolate will have a different effect on the taste and experience of your dishes. In each of our recipes, we’ll tell you how much influence it will have, in our cocoa notes:
Low – a subtle hint, playing a bass note in the harmony of flavours.
Medium – a rich interplay of cocoa with other leading ingredients.
High – cocoa starring role.
The Character of Cocoa
The flavour of cocoa and the chocolate it produces varies depending on where the cocoa is grown. Different growing regions have different personalities, each pairing well with other ingredients.
Fruit-led flavours, refreshing in the mouth – perfect with fruits, dark meats and game.
Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Java
Complex and multi-layered flavours jostling for position. Goes with pork, chicken and wines.
Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador
Roasted flavours, led by mellow notes of roasted nuts. Ideal with fish, eggs and desserts.
Demystifying Cocoa Percentages
The percentages used on chocolate labels can sometimes seem a bit confusing. A 40% milk chocolate, for example, is not made with 40% milk. The percentage always refers to the amount of cocoa used in the recipe, and the rest will either be all sugar (darks) or milk and sugar (milks/whites).
You’ll find higher percentages in dark chocolate recipes, with less in milk, and least in white. Surprisingly, one of the UK’s most famous dark chocolates contains just 39% cocoa, and its milk counterpart only 23%. That means the largest ingredient overall is sugar. We believe this is wrong. We always prefer to use more cocoa in our chocolate for an authentic and satisfying cocoa hit. We put 40 – 70% cocoa in our milk and Supermilk chocolate, and 70-100% in our dark.
Our white chocolate has a much higher cocoa percentage than average, at 36%.
Sugar only costs a tenth of the price of even the cheapest cocoa beans, so it’s no wonder that it is tempting for low – quality makers to use so much of it. But in the world of fine chocolate, deciding on whether to use, say 73% or 75% cocoa in a recipe is the chocolatier’s choice and depends on the quality, character and flavour profile of the bean harvest. In many ways, deciding the cocoa percentage is like deciding the alcohol level in a good wine.
How To Melt Your Chocolate
In a Bain-Marie (recommended)
This traditional method offers a great deal of control. Put your chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t actually touch the hot water (or it can burn the chocolate). Heat in the steam for about 2 minutes until fully melted, stirring occasionally.
In a Microwave
Put your chocolate in the microwave on high power for a total of 40-50 seconds, but only in 10 second bursts, stirring in between to ensure it doesn’t burn. Stop when fully melted.
Essential Cocoa Nib Know-How
Knowing how to extract the best flavours from your cocoa nibs is essential to many of our recipes. It’s easy to buy cocoa nibs these days, but they can be of variable quality. Follow our tips below to make sure you get the most flavour possible from your nibs.
Awakening your Nibs
Often your nibs will have a silver grey hue to them as they have oxidised around the outside. This is harmless, but we recommend you grind them vigorously in a pestle and mortar for 30 seconds. You’ll see the nibs turn a gorgeous mahogany brown, their amazing flavour and aroma awoken at the same time.
Soak them in Water
After awakening, the nibs may still be hard and flinty. Soak them in a little hot water (just enough to cover them) for about 20 minutes which will soften them, the soaking liquid can be set aside as a flavoursome stock.
Storing your Nibs
Just like coffee, roasted nibs should be kept in an airtight container. If you are able to source ‘just roasted’ nibs or have made your own, you can freeze them in an airtight container until needed, retaining maximum flavour.
- preparation time: 10 mins
- cooking time: 15 mins
- ease of preparation: Easy
- serves: 6