Last week I received rather a lovely Easter gift, in the form of several products from the Baking Mad website.
If you like eating, baking or just looking at pictures of delicious goodies, you might like to have a quick squiz at some of their tasty treats. They have lots of Easter recipes and lovely photos of Easter baking to inspire you.
The parcel I was sent contained the following items – oven gloves, a pinny (apron) and a box of Easter picks and cupcake cases:
Many years ago I had a PVC pinny with a barn owl on it, but it seems to have vamooshed during one of my many house moves over the years, and for a long time now I’ve gone pinnyless in the kitchen.
Living in my parents’ house at the moment means that I do in fact have access to pinnies of theirs, but I’m so used to not having one that I usually get covered in flour before it occurs to me that I might have put one on.
No more though, for I now have a pinny of my own again:
To christen my new pinny I made some scones, although I’m also looking forward to using the cupcake cases and Easter picks, which are very delightful:
This morning I felt in the mood for fruit bran scones, but I Eastered them up with a little gilding. Here they are being taken out of the oven by my brand new oven gloves:
Hot cross scones:
The crosses on hot cross buns are generally made from little bits of pastry, but since I didn’t have any pastry scraps I used strips of marzipan.
The marzipan did get slightly burnt at the edges, but well fired marzipan is one of life’s little surprises – amazingly tasty.
One of the things I like about scones is the speed at which they go from ingredients to finished product, but one day when I’m not so desperately hungry I would like to try making these hot cross buns, which look utterly superb.
When I’d finished making the scones, I hung up my oven gloves next to my mum’s ones:
And proudly added my pinny to the pinny pegs:
Then I put the kettle on, made a pot of popcorn tea…
… selected a scone….
…and settled down to write this post.
I didn’t make the scones very sweet, so I spread on a bit of blackcurrant jam, which added a nice fruity zing:
If you’d like to try making these for yourself and need a recipe, here’s the one I used (below).
This mix makes quite a substantial dense sort of scone, but if you want to make more traditional fluffy white scones just omit the bran and wholemeal flour and use 8 oz white flour instead. Leave out the sultanas if you don’t fancy them, or bung in some other fruit/nut/seed/ingredient that’s more to your taste. You could also leave out the egg and substitute nut or soya milk for cow’s milk.
Fruit Bran Scones
2 oz bran
5 oz self-raising white flour
1 oz self-raising wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 oz fat (I used Bertolli spread, but you could use any margarine or butter)
1 oz soft brown sugar
a handful of sultanas
1 beaten egg
enough milk (I didn’t measure but something like 3 or 4 tbsps?) to make the mixture into a dampish malleable consistency
small strips of marzipan
Put a shelf at the top of the oven and set to high (I use 210ºC in a fan oven).
Mix together the first 5 ingredients using the rubbing in method (or an electric mixer if you prefer), but don’t rub in too much, handle lightly and stop before all the fat has disappeared into the flour.
Add the other ingredients, keeping back a little of the egg (1 tsp or so), and mix until combined.
Pat the dough out lightly (you could roll it using a rolling pin but this may stop the scones from rising as much) on a floured surface to about 1 inch thick and cut out using a scone cutter, or shape the scones into whatever shape and size you want.
Put scones onto a baking tray and brush with most of remaining beaten egg. Lay marzipan strips across scones and brush with any leftover egg.
Bake for anything between 10 minutes (wee scones) and 20 minutes (very big scones), depending on the size of the scones.
(I made 5 from this amount and cooked them for 16 minutes. If you’re not sure how long to cook them for, you can use the cake testing method of sticking a skewer in one to see if it comes out clean, or you could pick one up and see how it feels. When cooked the scones should feel light (assessing this might take a bit of practice, I just discovered this test for myself after baking quite a lot of scones with varying degress of success).)