Thursday, 5 January 2012

Baking in America - Cranberry Raisin Scones

Whilst out in America I ended up having to bake twice. Like many bakers I couldn't go two whole weeks without baking. I start getting withdrawal, the symptoms of which include frequent dreams of cakes, reading and re-reading of baking blogs, recipe book shopping, baking equipment shopping and ingredient shopping. As you can tell, the withdraw symptoms can get expensive!

As you can see, my symptoms must have been bad. I returned to the UK with a very full suitcase. I was worried that I might be stopped at customs and have to explain my baking obsession. I thought they may think it wasn't all for personal use!

I noticed that there were often recipes on packets of flour, sugar, raisins and many other store cupboard ingredients. I didn't have to look far for some insparation. I was quickly drawn to this recipe found on a packet of flour. It was for an american style scone. I had tried a pumpkin scone whilst out at starbucks a few days before. It was delicous. American scones are fairly dry in texture, but full of flavour. There is a thin layer of icing that does add some moisture.

I was very excited to be using an american recipe as I was able to bake using cups. It was such a quick and easy way to bake. I dont know why I hadn't tried it sooner.

I forgot to take any pictures as I was going along and only have pictures of the dough after it had been cut up. As you can see, american scones are triangular!

All ready to go in the oven. The recipe said it would make 8 scones and it did. Although the scones were quite large and could have been smaller. They were great as a breakfast scone and were not overly sweet.

Once the scones came out of the oven I topped them with the glaze. I had to add more powdered sugar (icing sugar) than this as I found it to be too runny.

The finished scones, yum, yum!

Cranberry raisin scones
2 cups Self Rising Flour
4 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup Butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup of milk
½ cup each dried cranberries and raisins

Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Add butter and mix untill the flour resembles a course meal.
Add eggs and milk and blend well with a spoon.
Stir in the cranberries and raisins.
Knead the dough on a floured surface untill the dough is smooth.
Divide the dough in half and make two 6inch circles.
Cut into four wedges.
Place wedges 2inches apart on a baking sheet.
Bake for 12-16 minutes. 

Orange glaze

1 cup powder sugar
2 tablespoon orange juice

Combine together in a small bowl.
Drizzle over hot scones, leave to cool.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Visiting Houston.

In September I made my first ever trip to America, and to say I was excited was some what of an understatment. I found everything exciting: the yellow school buses, the huge drains, fire hydrants, newspapers on peoples lawns, the massive roads (for the massive cars), the traffic lights. And the thing I found most exciting....the supermarkets. They were just HUGE and had so much to choose from. Also, there were so many samples to try on your way around the store that my boyfriend and I would go for a free lunch! One time we had orange juice, apple danish, burger and crisps, a stew, and a rice cake. What a feast!
Just look at all the different candy to choose from.

This is a selection of some of the cakes on sale in one of the local supermarkets. The flowers are all made of buttercream. They were amazing.

I was very excited to visit the Oh La La cake shop, It would be my first experience of an american cupcake.
The shop was beautiful and there were so many to choose from. I went for a red velvet, as did my boyfriend. I make my own red velvet cupcakes and they are a definite favorite in my house.

It looked so pretty and was huge. As i was told, everything is bigger in texas!

I couldn't wait to dig in, it looked light and fluffy and I liked the sponge to buttercream ratio.

I could have not been more disappointed. It was dry and pretty flavorless. The buttercream was very light but tasted synthetic. At least I wouldn't be wanting to eat my body weight in cupcakes!

One lunch time we went to Champs, an american sports bar. I decided to go for a blue cheese and bacon burger - it was amazing, the best burger I think I have ever eaten. I struggled to eat it all and ended up with a tummy ache, but it was so worth it. My mouth is even watering just writting about it!

I was in america for 2 weeks and there is no way I could go that long without bakingI In fact I ended up baking twice. I will share the recipies on here soon.