Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Weekend Baking

I have been getting a lot of these honey apricots lately. They are sweet, ready-to-eat snacks for my kids. I don't have to spend time cutting the fruits and unlike juicy fruits, I have no worries of my boy dripping juices all over the couch ;)

My younger child finds it a joy eating these tiny, peachy scented fruits. To him, it is a great accomplishment being able to split the apricot butts into halves with his bare hands.

Weekend mornings are the best time for me to indulge in some freshly home baked scones.

Having baked some apricots square cakes with canned apricots, it is hardly surprising that I started experimenting baking with fresh apricots. The firm texture is certainly a plus point to include them in my weekend baking repertoire.

I prepared the 'dry ingredients' the night before...cutting the butter into the flour mixture before leaving it in the fridge to chill overnight. The following morning, while the oven was preheating, all I needed to do was to add in some coarsely chopped apricots and the liquid ingredients to mix up the dough.

I have a batch of scones baking in the oven in no time. It was a luxurious morning, for me, to be engulfed in the wonderful buttery aroma of scones baking in the oven while I went about rounding up everyone for breakfast.

The fruity flavour of the honey apricots lends a subtly sweetness to these awesome breakfast treats. I usually have my scones plain. I believe homemade scones are delicious without having to load it with any jam or clotted cream. However, this time, I spotted some leftover yuzu syrup in my fridge and it went really well with the scones, giving a nice tangy touch.

There is nothing like having a basket of warm-buttery scones on a Sunday morning. It is a great way to kick start the day...enjoying tender, fluffy scones with a cup of steaming hot tea or a mug of coffee.  I could almost imagine myself sipping tea in the Cameronian Valley...

Apricot Scones

(makes about 6 scones)

220g cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
30g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
80g unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
3~4 fresh apricots, wash, pitted and coarsely chopped
110g egg yolk and milk mixture (combine 1 egg yolk with enough fresh whole milk to make up amount)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

  1. Sieve cake flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add in caster sugar, salt, whisk to combine. Place cold, diced unsalted butter into mixing bowl. With a fork or a dough scraper, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. (It is important that the butter be cold so when it is cut into the flour mixture it becomes small, flour-coated crumbs. If the butter starts to melt away during this process, stop and place the mixture in the freezer for 10-15 mins to prevent the butter from melting further. Continue the process when the mixture is well chilled.)
  2. Add in chopped fresh apricots. Mix to combine.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add in the yolk and milk mixture and vanilla extract (if using). Fold with a spatula just a few times to make the mixture comes together to form a shaggy mass. 
  4. Gather up the mixture and place it on a lightly floured surface. Dust hand with flour and give it a few light kneading (not more than 10 seconds) so that it comes together to form a dough. Do Not over work the dough. (Only mix the dough until it comes together. Too much kneading will cause gluten to develop, and the resulting scones will turn hard and chewy. Knead only until the ingredients come together into a combined mass.)
  5. On a lightly floured surface, dust your hands and the dough with some flour and pat the dough to about 1 inch thick (avoid using too much flour). Cut out the dough with a lightly floured 2.5-inch biscuit cutter (I use a drinking glass). Press the cutter directly down and lift it straight up without twisting. Dip the cutter into some flour after each cut. Gather scraps together and repeat until all the dough is used. (For easy cleaning and to prevent sticking, I lined my work surface with cling wrap, it is also easier to lift up the scones after cutting.)
  6. Place scones on baking tray (lined with parchment paper).Brush the tops with some milk.
  7. Bake at preheated oven at 200 degC for about 25~30 mins or until they are well risen and the tops are lightly brown. Serve warm.
Recipe source: adapted from Okashi sweet treats made with love by Keiko Ishida


The Experimental Cook said...

I like your work process. Making scones for breakfast without starting 'from scratch' makes you look like a domestic goddess!

Rumbling Tummy said...

Yes this season apricot is really sweet and juicy. Just love it and incorporating into scones is a brilliant idea.

ann low said...

I seldom make scones at home but definitely love to try it with apricots. Look so easy to make and yummy.

Victoria Bakes said...

these looks very good!!

Maria said...

Your scones look wonderful, as do those apricots!

PH said...

It is a lovely bake!

Little Joy Factory said...

Thinking of making scones theses days, your recipe looks good, as always!

CY said...

Hi HHB sorry been a while since I left a comment! Glad to see more of your delicious posts! Would you recommend using canned fruit as it's not stone fruit season here in Australia yet... Thanks! :)

Happy Homebaker said...

The Experimental Cook....I'm more like a domestic ah soh than anything ;)

Edith, I have also used it to make bread buns!

Ann Low, scones are easy to make, but do read up more on the preparation to avoid making scones that are hard and dry.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi CY, good to hear from you :) I am also guilty of not leaving comments and spending less time on blog hopping as well. You can used canned fruits or dried apricots...but the canned apricots I bought was rather tangy, hope those in Australia are sweet.

Happy Homebaker said...

小悦工坊, looking forward to read about your scones :):)

Unknown said...

This will be a wonderful treat for me on Sunday. I like fruity flavour and will give it a try as I haven't much experienced with deserts recipes and desperate for sweet dishes.

Anonymous said...

simple pleasures are the best. Nothing like coffee and fresh baking on the weekend! The scones look great!

Jake (from Canada)

Sush said...

hey ya, lovely posts, i happened to chance upon your blog but i think i ll be coming back for more.I would like to know which oven do you use? and which one would you recommend for home baking, Thank you tc :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sush, I am using a Bosch oven (HBN331E2J). I am not able to recommend as it really depends on your budget, kitchen space, how often you will be using the oven, what kind of bakes you will be making very often, etc. You can choose from a build in oven or a table top oven. I was using a Tefal small 20 litre tabletop oven before I changed to this Bosch built in unit 2 years ago.

gint said...

Hi Happy Home Baker, I happen to chance upon your blog and is very interested to order some of your mini bunny mooncakes for a special event. Realise I do not have your email address here. Not sure if you can shall with me your email address or contact?


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Gint, thanks for your enquiry, I am not a professional baker I don't sell my bakes. Hope you can find someone to make them.

Unknown said...

hai,,nice share