I adore high tea. The whole process of dressing up for the occasion, the elaborate tier when it comes out, stacked with the dainty sandwiches, warm scones and various delicate treats, and the whole procedure of pouring your tea through the strainer and the adding of milk while stirring with your little spoon.
Scones is without a doubt the main feature of any high tea, and the best scones I’ve had were at Cafe Madeleine in Leura. The Sister and I do at least one trip to the Blue Mountains a year, and on our day of arrival, we always make sure to stop by the Leura shops for their stunning high tea before attempting to walk it off with one of the half day hikes at Wentworth Falls.
Studded with dried cranberries and gloriously rich dark chocolate chips, the scones were served with King Island Dairy whipped cream and raspberry conserve. I still have fantasies about those scones.
This was my attempt at re-creating them at home, and I think I did an all right job – if I do say so myself 😉
You will need:
- 2 + 1/2C (375g) self-raising flour;
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar;
- 30g butter, chopped;
- 3/4C (180ml) milk;
- 1/2C (125ml) water;
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste;
- 50g dried cranberries;
- 60g dark chocolate, chopped;
- 200ml thickened cream;
- 2 teaspoons icing sugar;
- Raspberry conserve, to serve.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celcius and line a baking tray with paper.
Sift the flour and caster sugar into a large bowl; rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the chocolate and the cranberries to this flour mixture. Combine the milk and the water in a medium jug, add the vanilla bean paste to this. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and gradually pour in the milk mixture into the flour, stirring with a knife as you do, slowly incorporating the wet and the dry ingredients until a soft, sticky dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, dust with more flour if necessary, then knead gently until smooth.
Press the dough out to a 20cm square and either cut into 16 squares with a floured knife or use a circle cutter if you like. Place the scones, just touching, on the tray and brush with a little extra milk.
Bake the scones for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, beat the cream and the icing sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Warm your raspberry conserve by giving it a quick ding in the microwave.
Serve the warm scones with the freshly whipped cream and warmed raspberry conserve.
With a generous slather of cream and jam, the scones are simply delicious with the bits of dark chocolate melting between your fingers and the dried cranberries lending it a subtle tang that cuts through the sweetness of the conserve. Scones are best eaten on the day they are made, but if you simply do not have the appetite to devour 16 scones in 24 hours, they keep quite well wrapped and frozen.
Enjoy your week, lovelies 🙂 xx