Bonjour! Our travels have safely taken us to the beautiful land of Strasbourg, France. If you would like to see photos of our trip so far, look up my instagram account @stocktontia OR find Fibre and Spice on facebook! We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the UK; we made new friends and also took some long overdue time to catch up with extended family.
It was fascinating to be in a culture that is very similar to ours in some respects, and the complete opposite in other ways. Finding those things that you have in common with the community you were discovering, as well as learning their unfamiliar customs, ended up being a great conversation starter and way to make friends. I think of our evening at an Irish pub in London, where we were watching a World Cup qualifying match between Ireland and the Faroe Islands; the adjoining table soon filled up with a group of friends who were all from different countries (and not the US either). With the girl from Australia, we talked about their propensity to abbreviate every other word; with the gent from New Zealand, Tyler discussed gun control and environmental studies and why certain things make the whole issue different in the States than in NZ. With the Irish guy who grew up a short time in Boston, we both geeked out about the most recent NFL season, and expressed our friendly
hatred for I mean banter about the Patriots. It was a fascinatingly fun time and even though they weren’t from London originally, they were still a part of that ever-oscillating and constantly moving community.
Like most countries, the method and form of speaking in England is different, and not just because of the accent; for instance, questions are asked in a different tone which is a bit hard to describe (they ended descending rather than dipping then ascending), and of course the terminology is different. Some examples: a vacuum was a “Hoover”, trucks are “lorries”, RV’s are “caravans”, chips were “crisps”, cookies were “biscuits”, and biscuits were “scones.” I was fortunately able to bake a bit while at Willowford Farm, so I decided that it wouldn’t be very patriotic of me if I didn’t give them a taste of what American scones tasted like.
I used a 70% cocoa dark chocolate; I suppose you can use whatever kind of you want, since the only true form of chocolate is dark chocolate anyway. Mmhmmm. The hazelnuts were raw, but roasted/toasted would be swell as well.
Make sure they are spaced well, since they do get a bit puffy and fluffy.
The new oven turned this batch a bit more brown than I expected…I must have gotten distracted by the adorable new baby and lost track of time (yes, that must have been the case. I’ll blame it on the baby).
Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Scones
– 2 cups all purpose flour (or a mix of white and wheat)
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
– 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
– 1 stick / 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold; place in freezer 5-10 minutes before using)
– 1 large egg
– 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400*. Mix dry ingredients together, including nuts and chocolate. Use a grater to grate the butter into the flour mixture and gently toss together. In a small bowl, beat the egg then add yogurt and vanilla and continue to beat.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry and combine with a fork, and keep mixing with your hands if need be until the dough comes together, but try not to overmix. There is lots of pressing and gentle kneading involved.
Turn out into a floured surface and press into a 7-8 inch circle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 8 pie pieces and place on a baking sheet. If your dough has become warm and sticky, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes; you want the dough to go into the oven relatively cold.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until puffy and a teeny bit brown around the bottom edges. Remove to a cooling rack, and enjoy with a cuppa!