Tag Archives: scones

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones

Every year in March and April, the hedgerows and lanes hereabouts are abundant with wild garlic. When the wind blows in the right direction, we get a gentle whiff of garlic and off I go with a paper bag to collect a few leaves to cook with. One of my favourite ways to use it is in wild garlic and parmesan scones, which go really well with soup, or as a savoury snack with some good butter.

Of course when you’re foraging it pays to know a little of what you’re doing. Wild garlic can look pretty similar to other plants, some of which may be poisonous, but you can generally tell what is and isn’t wild garlic by the smell, which is, well, garlicky.

When you go foraging it’s important not to pick too much of anything. Take just what you need and save the rest for the wildlife or other foragers. If you’re foraging for wild garlic, you don’t need much anyway. It’s pretty pungent and a few leaves go quite a long way. I tend to try to pick the younger leaves in spots where I think (hope) dogs haven’t been. I always wash my wild garlic leaves before I use them anyway. You can find out more about wild garlic here.

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones

These wild garlic and parmesan scones are very delicious. They’re everything you want from a savory scone. I sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on the top which makes them extra delicious. This recipe makes about 8 big scones, though you could cut them smaller if you prefer.

Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones

Ingredients:

125g butter
450g self-raising flour
50g finely grated parmesan cheese
5 wild garlic leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Big pinch of salt
Milk to mix, I used about 1/3 pint
Rock salt

How to make Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones:

Pre-heat your oven to 190° and put a sheet of baking parchment on a large baking tray.

In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the parmesan, wild garlic, bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt and toss together. Little by little add the milk, mixing with your hands until it makes a soft dough.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and pat or roll it until it’s 1.5-2cm thick. I usually shape the dough and pat it down with my hands because it gives a slightly more rustic finish which I like. Cut the dough into rounds, don’t twist the cutter because this can prevent the scone from rising.

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones

Put the cut scones on the baking tray, brush them with milk and if you like sprinkle a pinch of rock salt on the top of each one. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they’re nice a brown and hollow when you tap them underneath.

Serve hot from the oven with lashings of butter, or with soup or a ploughman’s lunch.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like these blueberry and buttermilk scones.

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones

Recipe: Beautiful Blueberry and Buttermilk Scones

Over the weekend we experimented with making our own butter at home. One of the by-products of the butter making process is that you’re left with a jug of buttermilk. Buttermilk is supposed to be brilliant for making soda bread and scones with, though I’d not tried it in scones before. Waste not, want not, so I whipped up a batch of blueberry scones to use up the buttermilk. The result was the most incredible, light as air scones I’ve ever made – even my Nan would’ve been impressed with these blueberry and buttermilk scones!

blueberry and buttermilk scones

Blueberry and Buttermilk Scones

Ingredients
14 oz self raising flour
3 oz caster sugar
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz butter or margarine
8 fl oz buttermilk
100g of fresh blueberries
1 egg (for egg wash)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 220 degrees or Gas Mark 7.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add your softened butter or margarine and rub until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add your buttermilk and mix, the dough will be a bit wetter than a standard scone recipe – this is normal, don’t be tempted to add more flour. Once combined, add your blueberries and gently mix in until fairly evenly distributed.

Roll the mixture out so it’s approx 2cm thick, I did this on a piece of greaseproof paper because the texture of the dough was quite wet.. Cut into 12 rounds and put on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. I brushed the tops of my scones with a beaten egg before baking.

Notes
Serve plain, or with butter, or blueberry jam, or cream, or everything you can fit onto your scone. They’re delicious slightly warm with a little dollop of jam.

To date the picture I look of my luscious blueberry and buttermilk scones has been my most popular images on Instagram. I can’t look at it without feeling hungry and wanting to make a fresh batch.

These airy-fairly light blueberry and buttermilk scones were the best ones I’ve ever made, and I’ve made hundred of scones in my lifetime. They are delicious eaten plain, or lovely buttered or warmed and served with blueberry jam, cream and a pot of tea.

Once you’ve tried these delicious light as a feather buttermilk scones, you’ll never go back. I promise you’ve never had scones THIS good!

Recipe: Beautiful Blueberry and Buttermilk Scones

Festive Afternoon Tea at Opus One

Now I’m self-employed, I am officially a part-time member of the ladies who lunch brigade. When I was offered afternoon tea for two at Opus One at the Radisson Blu in Manchester, I decided it was high time I treated one of my fellow self-employed types to high tea. So last Wednesday myself and the exquisitely monikered Bobble Bardsley put on real clothes, turned Homes Under the Hammer off and went out for a posh tea at Opus One.

P1000341I’d been there before and had a lovely time, so I knew we were in for a treat. We arrived and were informed they were expecting a drinks party so we’d not be able to sit in the lovely, light and airy space by the window and we were seated in the main restaurant. We thought it’d be a great place for a romantic meal in the evening, but the red lighting was a bit much for daytime, and meant that we couldn’t really see what we were eating. Also, I love Bobble with all of my heart, just not in that way.

There were a few afternoon teas we could choose from but we decided that since it was December it’d be rude not to try the Festive Afternoon Tea. Bobble plumped for a pot of English Breakfast tea and I gave the Ceylon a go. Both were a good brew.

P1000304The afternoon tea arrived and as I’m vegetarian, they’d made a few extra veggie sandwiches for me. I’ll admit in the light it was hard to tell what they were, but we both liked the cheese and pickle and I enjoyed the cream cheese and cucumber. We were both half starved so the sandwiches disappeared in double quick time.

I’d been eyeing up the scones, I love scones, these were prettily presented and the proper, thick, crusty clotted cream had a shard of caramel stuck out of it. The scones were sadly cold, but that could’ve been our fault for faffing about taking pictures. They were however light and beautifully made, just the right size and for me and they are always the highlight of an afternoon tea. If you can’t give me a decent scone then I’m going home.

By this point I was beginning to feel grateful I’d popped an elasticated waist on that morning and Bobble was proudly telling me he was wearing his more forgiving fat jeans. But we still had the grand finale to munch through. We got fresh pots of steaming hot tea and soldiered on.

First up were the mini cream horns. I felt it prudent to start with these because they looked delicious and we needed to get them out of the way because Bobble kept giggling. I’m not overly keen on pastry and I like it wafer thin if I ever do have it, so this was for me a little on the thick side, but (bowing to knowledge passed on to me by Grandma who was a pastry chef) it was perfectly crisp and flaky. It was a good cream horn.

We then tried the fruit cake, which was moist and an excellent example of what a top notch fruit cake should be and it was packed with fruit. We both felt that it could’ve done with a bit of marzipan to make it feel more festive, but it was actually one of my highlights from the tea.

P1000318I was most excited to try the mini chocolate fudge cake which looked beautiful but for some reason photographed terribly. Take my word for it, this was the good stuff. The cake was moist, light and fluffy with a gooey-gooey centre that oozed out. It was plate-lickingly good. I might have rubbed a finger across the plate to ensure no crumbs were left, I might not have, I am a lady after all.

We finished off with the winter berry jelly, sadly we were only issued with one jelly, which we assumed was an oversight as other tables were given one each. So we had to share the little jelly, which felt a bit intimate. It’s been a long time since I shared a jelly with anyone other than my husband. I loved the jelly, full of lovely fresh berries and it was such a zesty, palate cleansing end to the tea.

P1000343In all we’d had a lovely time, we’d eaten some really tasty things, drank some very good tea, put the world to rights and taken a selection of shockingly bad pictures of food. I think it’s the ideal resting point after a hard morning of Christmas shopping and before getting the tram home. The staff are friendly and attentive and the atmosphere, despite the lighting is relaxed and intimate. It’s decently priced too at £18.95 per person.

Opus One Bar and Restaurant is located in the Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester M2 5GP; Tel: 0161 8358904.

Disclaimer: We were invited as guests of the restaurant and were not asked to pay for our food or drink. We did love it though and will be back for more!