Ginger Beer Scones

When I was eight I ran away from home. I walked all the way to my Nana’s place and informed her that I would be living with her from now on. Now I’m pretty sure the only reason my mother was ok, with my change of residence, was because we literally lived next door to our grandparents. It is no wonder my eight year old self would want to live with Nana, she always had biscuits and soft drinks and she was never too busy to play games. Life was good, life was fun and maybe, just maybe, this is where I developed my sweet tooth. From memory, I lasted three days at Nana’s before packing up my doll and making the long trek back over the fence.

One of my favourite treats at Nana’s was scones and I have always wanted to make scones as well as she did. There has long been a school of thought that you either can or you can’t make scones and many a home cook has come undone by this seemingly simple creation. I had always fallen into the latter category and no matter how hard I tried they just never came out right. I was beginning to think I was destined to be, well a ‘rubbish’ scone maker. Of course, when it comes to baking it takes more than a few very average batches of scones to deter me.

It took some time, but I finally managed to turn out a fairly respectable scone. However, to truly master the scone it took many very early mornings getting up at the crack of dawn to go to work in the hotel pastry kitchen to finally perfect my technique.

For a while now, I have been interested in creating a ginger flavoured scone and as I have heard that using lemonade in scones gives them a really light texture I thought I would try ginger beer along with some uncrystallised ginger to give it some extra zing.

Tip: The trick to scone making is be gentle and don’t overwork the dough.

Recipe:

Makes about 20 scones, depending on size of cutter.

  • 400gm self raising flour
  • 50gm butter
  • 50gm sugar
  • 50ml cream
  • 50ml butter milk
  • 100ml ginger beer
  • 30gm uncrystallised ginger (finely chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • egg wash (1 egg yolk, small dash of cream, pinch of salt – whisked together).

Method:

Mix the butter, sugar and flour with an electric mixer, on a low speed, until the butter is completely mixed in and the flour has a breadcrumb like texture.

Add the cream, buttermilk, ginger beer and eggs and beat, briefly, with an electric mixer on a medium speed. Mix until the dough only just starts coming together.

Add the uncrystallised ginger and mix again, briefly. Do not over mix.

Tip: The mixture will still be a little wet at this stage.

Place the dough on a floured surface, sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and gently knead until dough has completely come together into a soft pillowy texture. Do not over knead, as soon as the dough has come together stop kneading.

Roll the dough out to approx. 2 cm width.

Cut out circles of dough with a cutter. Tip: Dip the cutter in flour between each cut.

Place the scones on a baking tray, brush egg wash on top of the scones. Rest scones for a minimum of 30 minutes before baking.

Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes. Turn the tray around in the oven and bake for another 6 minutes or until the scones are golden.

Place the scones on a wire rack to cool.

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