Friday, November 12, 2010
These are good my friends. Really good. Lovely, crumbly scone texture, bites of crunchy hazelnuts with a pure Nutella ribbon running through them - and of course a little on top too. This recipe came from one of my newest cookbook obsessions, Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented. This is the second fabulous baking cookbook from authors, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito who are owners of a famous Brooklyn Bakery called Baked. They provide a fresh, hip, kinda retro take on baked goods with spectacular results. This recipe was the first (of many) that called out to me. Must. Make. Nutella. Scones. Right. Away. I made 2 batches of these, I baked 4 scones right away to taste, and flash froze the rest of the dough to bake at a later time (see note below).
Origin: Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented
On Freezing: Scones freeze beautifully. Freeze individual portions of uncooked dough by placing the uncooked scones, in a single layer, spaced apart, on a baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour. Once frozen they can be packaged together and wrapped well for longer term freezing. When ready to bake your scones, place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake from frozen, adding a couple of minutes to the original baking time.
On Baking: The key to producing good scones is to work with cold ingredients and to not handle the dough too much. Read over the recipe until you are sure of what you are doing and then work through the recipe quickly. As soon as the dough comes together, stop kneading.
On Ingredients: Good quality, dark cocoa powder adds huge flavour to your baked goods. Try seeking out a decadent brand such as Valrhona or Callebaut at a specialty food shop.
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the center position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together until combined. Add the pieces of butter and use your fingers or a pastry blender (my preferred method) to work the butter into the flour until you have pea sized pieces of butter and the mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a separate bowl mix together the egg and cream. Slowly pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until it starts to come together. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and add the hazelnuts, briefly knead the mixture so that the hazelnuts are mixed throughout and the dough comes together. Flatten the dough into a rectangle about 6 x 12 inches. Spread 1/4 cup of Nutella in a "X" pattern across the dough. Roll the dough up into a cylinder, turn it on it's end and flatten in into a disc about 1 3/4 inches thick. Do not overwork the dough.
Cut the disc of dough into 6 or 8 wedges (I cut them even smaller for a brunch) and place them on to the prepared baking sheet. Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes (15-18 minutes if smaller and 20-22 minutes if frozen), rotate the baking sheet halfway through. The scones are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Transfer scones to a wire rack to cool completely. Place the baking sheet with the parchment on it, underneath the cooling rack for the next step.
Heat remaining Nutella in a small saucepan until pourable. Use a spoon (or two spoons) to pour/drip the Nutella in a zig zag pattern across the top of the scones. Alternatively, place the Nutella in a small resealable plastic bag and warm in the microwave for 10-20 seconds (watch it carefully), then snip a small whole in the corner of the bag and squeeze Nutella onto the scones.
These are best eaten the day they are baked, but they will still taste good the next day if they are wrapped up overnight. See freezing note above to save scones for a later date.