Me-time is awesome! Me-time is sweet, kid-free solitude that doesn’t come around here much anymore.
So imagine my joy when hubby offered to take bubs out for a couple of hours, leaving me to my own devices. Yes! Time to
vacuum and mop the floors experiment on a new recipe in the kitchen, without worrying about what my baby’s up to or what he’s into, nor thinking about nappies or when he next needs to take a nap. Time to savour and use wisely, so that when they come home again, I’m refreshed and ready to take on parenting duties once more.
So I made these scones for brunch. A friend had kindly given us the last of her home-grown rhubarb, knowing how much I like it, and the idea of these scones (*not* the baby, this time) had kept me awake at night. With a pantry stocked with *almost everything*, and with the shops closed till midday, my challenge was to make something with what I had.
I’d long heard of rhubarb being roasted, and was keen to try it myself. And lately white chocolate has become a bit of a theme around here, with some even now in the fridge. Being summer, it’s really too hot for pudding, and I wanted something we could grab and eat for lunch. Scones are quick and easy, don’t take too long in the oven, and would possibly be ready for when the guys came back from their outing.
With some help from my friends (a.k.a foodie blogs) I sketched out the recipe I’d been dreaming of. And it worked! It took a little longer than anticipated, due to roasting the rhubarb, but was totally worth the wait. If you want to throw something together quickly, I suggest roasting the rhubarb the day before, and storing in the fridge overnight. That way, these will come together in no time. Yum!
For the roasted rhubarb
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (you will need one orange)
¼ cup caster sugar
1 bunch (approx 200g) fresh rhubarb, washed and cut into 2cm lengths
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place sugar in a small bowl, and with your fingertips, rub the orange zest into the sugar. This will infuse the sugar with the orange oils and amp up the flavours.
Place chopped rhubarb in a baking dish/roasting pan that will hold them comfortably. Sprinkle over combined sugar and zest and stir until the rhubarb is coated. Set aside for about 5 minutes, or just long enough for a little syrup to start to form. Cover baking dish with foil and roast in preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Take a peek and if the sugar isn’t almost completely melted, stir the rhubarb, re-cover the pan with the foil and roast a few minutes more. Remove the foil and let the rhubarb roast for another 2 minutes or so, until the syrup is bubbling.
Remove from oven and cool before using. Can be prepared the night before serving and chilled in an airtight container.
For the scones
2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup (50 grams) caster sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons for sprinkling
½ cup pouring cream
1 large egg
¼ cup milk
100g (½ cup) white chocolate, chopped roughly
Pre-heat oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Chop white chocolate into chunky pieces. Set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until a coarse and crumbly meal forms. Add in sugar and the white chocolate and stir to evenly incorporate. Whisk together egg, milk and cream and add almost all of it at once to the dry mix (leave the rest for glaze), cutting it in with a flat-bladed knife, and then with your hands if necessary to thoroughly combine. The dough should be wet, but not too sticky.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead briefly (about 15 times). Shape the dough into a disk and, on a well floured surface, roll dough to a little less than 1/2-inch thickness. It will be thinner than your regular scone dough, because we’re making a rhubarb scone sandwich!
Brush half of the rolled out dough with milk. Arrange roasted rhubarb pieces, in a single layer, across the milk moistened dough. Carefully fold the empty side of dough over the rhubarb layer. Press gently together. Add a bit of flour to your hands and press the edges of the dough in, creating more of a rectangle shape than a half circle shape. Using a floured knife, slice dough into eight rough squares.
Place dough on prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between each scone for spread while baking. Brush each scone with remaining egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake scones for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Scones are best served warm, on the day they’re made. I enjoyed mine split and topped with a dollop of plain, sweetened yoghurt.