Triple Chocolate Scones - 'Nuff Said!
Scones are a delicious and versatile treat. Savory or sweet. Fruit, nut, spice, herb, cheese. The possibilities really are endless. Scones also have the added benefit of being super-easy to make. You don't even need to use a mixer! Today, we're going for chocolate. Yum!!!
Triple Chocolate Scones. The first time I saw this recipe on King Arthur Flour's web site a couple of years ago, I saved it and put it into my "gotta bake these" file. Do you have a file like that? A place where you collect recipes that you come across in the newspaper, a magazine or online? Recipes that sound so good that you clip them or save them with the intention of making them someday?
It took me a while but I eventually worked my way to the recipe for triple chocolate scones last fall. All I have to say about that is, "Wow! Why did I wait so long??!!" So what makes them triple chocolate? A chocolate dough, studded with chocolate chips, and chocolate ganache on top. Yet for all of this chocolate, these scones are amazingly light. You can skip the chocolate ganache if you think it is too much. But when it comes down to it, why skip it? If you are going the chocolate route, go all the way, I say.
So, here is what you need to make these scones. AP flour and white whole wheat flour, Dutch process cocoa powder, granulated sugar, espresso powder, baking powder and baking soda, salt, butter, chocolate chips, egg, milk and vanilla. (For the full recipe, go to King Arthur Flour's web site). Espresso powder? Yes, espresso powder. Trust me, you won't taste it at all. What you will taste is enhanced chocolate flavor. Espresso powder is optional here so if you don't have it in your pantry, don't worry. But if you do have espresso powder, I recommend using it.
Okay. In a large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients. Use a whisk to thoroughly blend the dry ingredients together. Then, cut in the butter using a pastry blender or a fork or your fingers. The dry ingredients will still be, well, dry after cutting in the butter. However, the mixture will be more crumbly in texture. Add in your chocolate chips. Here's what your dry ingredients should look like.
In a separate bowl or a large liquid measuring cup, mix together the milk, the vanilla extract and one large egg. Pour the liquid ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir together until everything holds together.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together 3 tablespoons of 10x sugar and 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder and sprinkle it on the parchment paper. This sugar/cocoa mixture will help keep the scones from sticking. Divide the dough in half and put both pieces of dough on the baking sheet. Pat each piece of dough into a square or circle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut each piece of dough into six scones using a floured bench knife. Flour the bench knife between each cut and press firmly to shear the dough cleanly. Do not saw and wiggle the knife. Clean cuts will allow the scones to rise higher. These scones really rise and expand when they bake so I like to divide each scone in half again for a total of 24 scones. If you can do it without smushing the scones, separate the scones. If the scones are too soft to separate at this point, don't worry about it.
After shaping, put the baking sheet with the scones in the freezer to firm up before baking. In my opinion, scones are best eaten the day that they are baked. So, I usually like to mix and shape the scones on the day before I want to serve them. I then store them in the freezer over night and bake them the next morning. In fact, unbaked scones freeze so well, I usually have some in a zippered bag in the freezer. Anytime I feel like a scone, I just take out what I want and bake it.
When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. I like to preheat my oven at least 30 minutes to be sure that it is at the proper temperature for baking. Slide the baking sheet with the scones into the oven and bake the scones for 18 to 23 minutes, depending on their size, until they lose their moist appearance and a toothpick inserted into the middle of scone comes out clean. If your scones rested overnight in the freezer, you don't need to thaw them before baking. Just add a few minutes to the baking time. When the scones are done, slide them while still on the parchment paper onto a rack to cool. Can you see how much the scones rose and expanded during baking?
When the scones have cooled, prepare the ganache, if you are planning to use it. Put 2/3 cup of chocolate chips (either semisweet or bittersweet; your preference) and 1/4 cup half and half in a microsafe bowl. Heat the mixture until the cream is hot. The hot cream will melt the chips. I usually heat 1 minutes at 70 percent and then check. You don't want to burn the mixture. You know your microwave oven so adjust the time and power setting as needed. Stir the cream and chips together until you have a smooth, creamy glaze. Spread the glaze over the scones.
That's it! Your triple chocolate scones are ready to serve. Don't they look luscious? Don't do what I did and wait to make these scones. Go make a batch right now! You'll be SO glad that you did!