Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Whoops, sorry. Couldn't help it. I've not had nutella in such a long while, I almost forgot how heavenly it tastes. I nearly died when I spooned some warmed nutella into my mouth. Mmm...
And what better way to pay tribute to this spread-from-the-chocolate-gods by making nutella scones? It's definitely not a new thing- it has been made gazillions of times by other bakers (Google it!) and who can blame them? Just about everyone would weaken at the sight of nutella-anything.
I had really high hopes for this recipe, partly because it's from Baked Explorations, one of my favourite cookbooks. The smell of freshly baked nutella scones was so intoxicating that I felt like slapping on some sliced banana on one and devour on the spot. At that time I also wondered why there is no such thing as banana jam in the market. Because I would totally buy it to shorten the time between that scone sitting there and that scone in my mouth. It's strange how I always scoff banana and nutella? Boring! but once that smell assailed my nostrils, I knew that they went together and I had to have them together. And after this whole drama, I realized that I didn't have any bananas hanging around. Pity.
So there was lots of anticipation and drool, but when I finally got to taste it, it was bitterly disappointing. The scone was dry and crumbly and there was barely enough chocolaty-ness. I sort of predicted that would be the case. In conclusion, scones should be left untouched in their plain, buttery glory. Don't mess with them. But I did like the little rivers of pure nutella running through the scone. It added moistness and much needed flavour, which the scone was sorely lacking.
Most bloggers had a problem with the dough being too dry so they modified the original recipe to include an extra cup of cream. I went with the original amount first and I found that the dough came together nicely so I didn't add any extra. And I thought that the baking time specified was kinda off. My scones didn't take 18-20 minutes, much less in fact. And my oven was at the right temperature. So I suggest checking on them at 12 minutes, just to be safe.
Personally, I felt that these scones weren't the best way to showcase nutella but I'll thank them for re-igniting my love for nutella.
adapted from Baked Explorations
makes 6 to 8
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Nutella, divided
Preheat oven to 375F and place a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the butter to the flour mixture and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the butter is pea sized and the mixture is coarse.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until the mixture comes together. Gently and briefly knead the dough with your hands but don't overdo it! Add the toasted hazelnuts and knead gently to incorporate them. Flatten the dough into a rectangle approximately 6 by 12 inches long (no need to be precise) and spread 1/4 cup of nutella in a criss cross pattern. (I did away with the pattern and just slathered it on.) Roll up the dough and make a cylinder about 6 inches long, turn it on its end, and gently flatten into a disk about 1 3/4 inches high. Do not overwork the dough.
Cut the dough into 6 or 8 wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely. Trust me, the scones probably won't get a chance to cool halfway. Place the baking sheet under the wire rack. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup Nutella in a microwave until pourable, about 10 seconds on high. Pierce the tops of the scones a few times with a fork. Use a spoon (or two spoons- one to scoop, one to scrape) to drizzle the warm Nutella onto the scones. Transfer to the fridge to set for 5 minutes, then serve immediately. I didn't bother with the chilling. I like warm nutella, thank you.
Best eaten the same day as baked, although these would last till day two provided that you wrap them tightly. Store at room temperature.