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Opinion Post – Week 3 #RomBakeOff

Scones and strawberries on a plate accompanied by cranberry curd, lemon curd, hot tea, cream, sugar, and honey. Place matt accented by a lemon and a group of five fresh cranberries.
Tea Time
Welcome back to my adventures in #RomBakeOff. We had a formal two-week break but anyone who saw my Twitter/Instagram knows I probably did more baking during those two weeks then I normally do. Thankfully, one of those bakes gave me inspiration for what I created this week to accompany my scones but I didn’t have any sous chefs at my disposal since mine postponed his visit for a day. His loss *grin*. So the object was to make Mary Berry’s Tea Time Scones but like always I had an additional challenge. I needed to make mine Gluten Free (GF) and I also wanted to make them as Dairy Free (DF) as possible. I ended up with a mixed bag of results. My scones didn’t rise nearly as much as I wanted but I really liked the taste and texture AND I think I know what I did wrong for next time. As a result, I am counting this as a success.

Recipes and ingredients laid out on the counter
All, well most of my ingredients
America’s Test Kitchen has a series (two volumes so far) of GF cooking and they have a scone recipe I tried once in the past. I wasn’t entirely happy with how they looked or their texture. But I thought it was a great starting point. I compared their recipe with Mary Berry’s and decided to kinda mash them up. I am also not a huge fan of plain scones so I thought I would add some flavor.

Bowl of bright red cranberry curd.
Finished Cranberry Curd
A few days before I started my holiday vacation I was browsing the New York Times (NYT) looked at their recipes for things I wanted to make while with my family and found a recipe for GF Cranberry Curd Tarts. Having experienced success with my Tartes au Citron, I thought we could make these using the same crust I used before. We did and they were good but we wanted to decrease the amount of butter in the Cranberry Curd by half. Since I have been on an Orange-Cranberry kick since Thanksgiving I thought the curd would be a great accompaniment for my Cranberry-Orange Scones so I made a half batch cutting the butter and really liked the results.

Cutting board with measuring cup, dried cranberries, candied orange peel, knife, and some already minced orange peel.
Time to mince
Then it was time for the scones. When it came to my mental math about how much baking powder to use I am pretty sure I goofed. One recipe called for 9oz of self-raising flour and the other for 7.5oz of GF Flour blend. Both called for additional baking powder. I added what I thought was the right amount because I didn’t want it to taste like baking powder but I failed to take into account the additional amount of flour so I should have added more. This came into play during the baking *plays sad trombone*.

Bowl of Scone Dough resting
Resting Dough
I decided to chill and then cut in the butter instead of rubbing it in by hand. I also decided to use Cashew Milk, which I had on hand, instead of Sour Cream. After mincing my add-ins I combined them with the dry ingredients and butter then added my egg and milk very cautiously trying not to get the dough too wet. Then I had to be patient and let the dough rest for a while to allow the different flours and starches to fully hydrate and bond together.

Finally it was time to shape and cut the scones. I think I was a bit to vigorous in my dough handling here and I caught myself a few times twisting the cutter instead of just going straight up and down. More things I need to fix with my technique for next time. I popped them in the oven and kept checking on them expecting them to turn into this nice puffed up fluffy things. While they did rise, it was a very sad rise and they took much longer to bake then I expected.

Cooking racks with thin scones cooling
Finished barely risen scones.

Scone missing a bite.
Trying it plain first.
Remainder of scone with cranberry curd on top and dripping down the side
Testing the scone with the Cranberry Curd
I had some serious concerns about these scones and even entertained the notion of chucking the entire batch in the bin as they were not rising and starting over but I thought I should at least give them the taste test. I was very pleasantly surprised by how my scones tasted. The texture, flavor, and color was really spot-on I just need to work on the rise and I think I can fix that.

Scones and strawberries on a plate accompanied by cranberry curd, lemon curd, hot tea, cream, sugar, and honey. Place matt accented by a lemon and a group of five fresh cranberries.
Tea Time

If you are interested in other results check out the #RomBakeOff hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. You can also see my recounting of Mini Victoria Sponges, Week 1, and Tartes au Citron, Week 2.

P.S. I did remake the Mini Victoria Sponges and after breaking my batter the first time so we had Strawberry Shortcake they turned out lovely without muffin tops the second time for my sister’s birthday.

By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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