A scone has the power to heal my soul. Even more so when it’s part of a decadent afternoon tea at a fine hotel, but also on its own, with its favoured companions, strawberry jam and clotted cream.
To me a scone means leisure. It means choice in what I’m doing. Freedom. And definitely no guilt.
It means being idle and enjoying life. It means it’s 4pm and there’s nothing better to do BUT devour a scone.
So up early yesterday morning to learn how to make these delicious creatures myself. I’m all for accessible luxury you see!
In Tokyo, chef Mark Peterson runs scone-baking classes at his bakery, Notting Hill Cakes.
Part of me thought of all the better things I could be doing with my time on a Sunday morning – er, sleeping mainly – but the promise of being in close vicinity to an oven (I live in a cooped up shoebox in Shibuya) was too enticing. My hostess archetype wanted to come out and play.
And the result? Hands down the best scone I’ve ever had. [Second if you’re interested was the oatmeal and raisin scone at the now closed Flâneur Food Hall in London; third the green tea version at The Peninsula in Bangkok.]
I won’t give away the secret of the recipe suffice to say the measurements were incredibly exact – 3g baking soda, 6g baking powder – and what I think was the secret ingredient, yoghurt. Or maybe it was the chilled butter???
The class also learnt how to crack an egg with no shell remnants (break the egg against another egg), and how to achieve the natural break in a scone (fold the dough in half onto itself before using the fluted round cutter).
As we tucked in to enjoy our morning’s work, Mark advised us to break the scone open with our hands and to only dab the cream on the part of the scone we were placing in our mouths.
I’ve always been unable to control myself from slathering the whole scone at once with cream, but as they were hot from the oven, a dainty bite proportioned with the right amount of jam and cream, meant the perfect melting moment in the mouth.