On Saturday night, our friends John and Heather invited us over to their flat to help finish off the drinks cupboard before they move into their new house next week. Apparently we were just the people for the job, you know, the ones who could be relied upon to drink the place dry. What a nice reputation we have. Before our foray into the depths of the booze cabinet, we celebrated our last night out in Crystal Palace with dinner at a new American-themed burger place on the triangle, Antenna Diner.
There’s no #burgerleague review for this yet, although I may pop back to do one. It’s definitely not the most refined burger I’ve had, but OK if you really can’t be arsed to go into central London in search of one. One thing to note is that they do not sell alcohol. They do make a rather good vanilla and maple syrup milkshake, mind, but it would have been far better with a double shot of bourbon in it. Just sayin’.
Anyway… the scones. When visiting people, I often take them something home-baked. In this case, it was something that could survive the journey on the 363 bus around the bumpy roads of Sydenham Hill, and something that could stay in my bag throughout dinner without slipping, melting or beginning to smell. I have been making a lot of savoury scones lately and have found myself preferring them to the sweeter varieties. These are almost the same recipe as the cheese, chive and mustard scones I made for the January Band of Bakers, but with the omission of the chives and mustard and the addition of some very crispy smoked bacon.
Without meaning to blow my own trumpet, these are the most outrageously moreish thing I have ever baked. The punch of the strong cheddar, combined with the smoky crunch of the bacon creates a salty, savouriness meaning that you both find it difficult to stop at one, and find yourself craving a cold lager. Split and spread with some good butter, these are a wonderful hangover cure after a night of drinking your friends dry.
Cheese and Bacon Scones
- 5 rashers smoked back bacon
- 250g low-fat plain yoghurt
- 25ml whole milk
- 15g caster sugar
- 400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 50g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 200g strong cheddar, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
Start by frying the bacon in a pan until very crisp. Set aside until cooled and then chop or crumble into small pieces.
In a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt, milk and sugar and set aside.
Sift the flour, salt, cream of tartare and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese and bacon.
Using a palette knife, stir in the yoghurt mixture until a sticky dough is formed. Use the moisture in the dough to pick up any loose bits of flour from the bottom of the bowl. Turn out on to a floured work surface and pat into a round approximately 4cm thick – try not to knead the mixture as this will create a tough texture. Cut the scones out using a metal cutter and place them on the baking tray. This mixture should yield about 12 scones, but it will depend on the size of the cutter you use. Brush with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and risen.