S for Scones - Pesto Parmesan Cheddar Scones - Day 19

A scone is a single serving of quick bake/bread usually sweet and served at tea. It can be flavored with fresh fruit or made plain with the rich goodness of cream. I chose to make a savory scone using two of my favorite cheeses- Parmesan and Cheddar and to take it up notch on flavor I added in a few tablespoons of my home- made Basil Walnut Pesto for good measure. It felt good to bake something savory after a week of sweet bakes. 

S for Scones  - United Kingdom (UK)

The original scone was round and flat, usually as large as a medium-sized plate. It was made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle, then cut into triangular sections for serving. Today, many would call the large round cake a bannock and call the triangles scones. In Scotland, the words are often used interchangeably.

When baking powder became available to the masses, scones began to be the oven-baked, well-leavened items we know today.Modern scones are widely available in British bakeries, groceries and supermarkets. 

Baking scones at home is often closely tied to heritage baking. They tend to be made using family recipes rather than recipe books, since it is often a family member who holds the "best" and most-treasured recipe.

Scones have a light crumbly texture and are quick to make. I scoured through plenty of recipes and almost all of them were made using all-purpose flour and eggs, but there was one recipe I came across that used cake flour. Cake flour is nothing but all-purpose flour with cornstarch added to it. I use it often to make my cakes which results in a lighter, tighter crumb in cakes. I've made savory scones before with only all-purpose flour and they are denser in texture. These were incredibly light so the cake flour does make a huge difference. I would recommend using it and I've provided a very easy way to make cake flour at home. You don't have to buy a huge pack of Cake flour just for this recipe. 

Cake flour:

1 cup All-purpose flour
2 tbsp Corn flour/Corn starch

Measure out a level cup of All-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and add the 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Sift to combine and use as needed. 

Pesto Parmesan Cheddar Scones
You will need: 
Makes: 8 Scones 

3/4 cup cake flour
6 tbsp All-purpose flour
3/4 tsp Baking powder 
1/8 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper 
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces 
1/4 cup Grated Cheddar
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan 
1/4 cup cold buttermilk 
2 tbsp Prepared Basil-Walnut Pesto 

1 tbsp butter melted to brush tops

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl combine the flours, salt, pepper, baking powder and baking soda. Add the cold butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the shredded Parmesan and Cheddar. Combine.

In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk and pesto. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until it forms a dough. Turn it out onto a flat surface and knead just until it comes together. Don't overwork the dough. Shape the dough into a disc and cut into 8 triangles. 

Brush the tops with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown along the edges. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve while still warm.

The cheeses, the pesto, the butter all beautifully came through in this scone. They didn't last long, but leftovers can be kept in air-tight container for a day or two. 



R for Rigó Jancsi - Day 18

I had a long list of bakes lined up against this letter and I had quite the hard time picking just one. I finalized on a bake that has an interesting, scandalous story attached to it :D


Rigó Jancsi is layers of rich chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with a layer of rich chocolate whipped filling and then topped with a chocolate glaze. Its chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate..every chocolate lover’s dream. It is typically served as a 2”x2” square. Of course there is no restriction on how many of these squares you can eat ;)


The story goes that there was a famous Hungarian Gypsy violinist, Rigó Jancsi who seduced and married Clara Ward, the wife of a Belgian Prince. Clara and Jancsi met in 1896 while Rigó played violin at a restaurant in Paris where Clara and her Prince husband, dined. The cake is named after Rigó Jancsi and in honor of their love story. Their marriage was written about extensively in newspapers back then.  

Sources do not agree about the origin of the pastry. Some claim that Rigó created the pastry together with an unknown pastry chef to surprise Clara. Others claim that Rigó Jancsi brought this pastry to Clara and the confectioner named it Rigó Jancsi afterwards.

Whatever the story, the cake is a must try. It is often made with Rum in the filling, but I left that out so my boys could enjoy it as well..which they did..plenty of these squares! 

You will need:
Makes: 20-24 2” squares
Recipe adapted from here

For the Chocolate Sponge cake:

¼ cup All-purpose flour
1.5 tbsp Cocoa powder
4 tbsp Unsalted butter
3 oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1/8 tsp salt

For the chocolate glaze:

4 oz Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Corn syrup
½ tsp Vanilla extract

For the Filling:

1 tbsp Cocoa powder
¼ cup Powdered sugar
4 oz Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 cup Heavy cream
½ tsp Vanilla extract

2 tbsp Apricot Jam

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12x16 or 9x13 inch sheet pan with parchment paper. Brush with melted butter and set aside. 

Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips and heat in 10-second bursts until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.

Separate the egg whites and yolks. Beat the yolks with the whisk attachment on medium high speed until pale yellow and light. Gradually add in the half of the sugar while beating on low. Increase speed to medium high and continue whipping until the yolks fall in ribbons form the whisk when lifted. Transfer to another bowl.

Rinse and dry the mixing bowl and add the egg whites. Beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar and the salt. Beat until the meringue forms stiff peaks and is very glossy.

Combine the cooled chocolate-butter mix to the beaten yolks. Fold in gently, don’t over mix. Now add 1/3rd of the meringue and fold. Add the remaining meringue in two additions and fold gently until no streaks of white remain. Sift the flour and cocoa and fold into the beaten mixture.

Pour into prepared sheet pan and bake for 12-15 minutes. I baked mine for 14 minutes.

The sponge cake is very fragile. Once baked, remove pan from oven. Line a rack with parchment paper and place over cake. Flip the pan carefully and lift it off the cake. Peel the parchment paper off taking care not to rip the delicate sponge. Place a clean kitchen towel on the sponge and flip again onto another rack. Peel off the other parchment and allow the sponge to cool completely. Once cooled, cut the sponge into half.

Make the Glaze:

Prepare the glaze by combining all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, except for the vanilla extract. Heat the bowl on full power at 20-second intervals, stirring in between until fully melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and pour over one half of the cake and spread evenly with a spatula. Rest for an hour until glaze is set. Cut into 2” squares, cleaning the knife between each cut. This ensures sharp clean cuts. You can chill the pieces while you assemble the rest of the cake.

Make the Filling:

Stir together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Melt the chocolate until smooth and let cool. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then add the cocoa and powdered sugar. Whip until stiff and the cream holds shape when lifted. Don’t over beat It will turn into butter. Fold in the melted chocolate.

Apply a thin layer of apricot jam on the other cake layer. Spread a thick layer of filling evenly, using a spatula over the cake.

Line up chilled chocolate cake squares over the filling and chill for 30 minutes. Slice into squares following the cut squares as a guide.

Keep chilled until ready to serve. This one is for all the chocoholics out there!Grab a fork and dig in :D



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