My father in law, Big Rocket, used to enjoy his cooking and one of the things I loved were his cheese scones. I am not a baker, lacking the ‘precise gene’ needed to truly excel at proper cakes etc. That said, I enjoy a ‘bake up’ from time to time, especially making breads so I don’t rule it out altogether.
As Big Rocket passed some years ago now taking with him his delicious scone ‘know how’ we didn’t have his expertise to call upon. So, we just roughly adapted a Mary Berry recipe, and decided to add the Berkswell cheese (made by Stephen Fletcher in the Midlands) and some fresh chilli as our flavourings.
When eventually sat to eat our lunch, we also enjoyed another cheese purchased from the market and it was quite simply scrumptious so it is equally worthy of a mention. It’s from the Sharpham Creamery in Devon and was stunning.
I realise that I constantly link food to memories, perhaps it’s a greedy gene….or maybe it’s that smell is so evocative…
I can literally taste the scones Big Rocket made, not to mention the cheese straws … If I close my eyes for just a moment, I can still hear his voice…a slight Suffolk lilt.
So we thought we would make these chilli cheese scones and have them ploughman style with some celery and chutney. Now,if you are going to make some scones, you’d feel robbed if there weren’t any sweet ones filled with billowing pillows of cream wouldn’t you? I would….
When we took the scones warm and golden from the oven, I hoped my father in law would have thought we’d done a good job on them… but maybe he wouldn’t have liked the green and red flecks of chilli running though? Rocket said that he thought he would have grown into things like that later in life, that he would have enjoyed the warmth of the chilli….
225g sifted self raising flour
A level tsp baking powder
55 g cold cubed butter
½ tsp salt
1/2 tsp of english mustard powder
3 grinds of black pepper
¼ pint of milk
1 tsp finely chopped red chilli – seeds out
1 tsp finely chopped green chilli – seeds out
60 g good mature flavoured hard cheese – finely diced, except a little grated for the top.
A little egg and milk for glaze
Add the baking powder, pepper and salt to the flour and rub in the butter until it looks like fine bread crumbs.
Now stir in the cubed cheese, mustard powder and chilli, make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in a little of the milk. Mix with a knife and only add enough of the milk to bring everything together in a soft dough.
Now cut out the scones and pop them onto a baking sheet – either greased/ oiled or if you have them, the silicone sheets are just brilliant.
Brush the top of the scones with the egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake in the top half of the oven for about 5 minutes – depending on your oven.