Chilli and Cheese Scones
As my long-suffering flatmates know all too well, I am something of a timid-but-aspiring gardener. Half of our kitchen has been taken over by a jungle of chilli and tomato plants – probably two of the easiest things to grow – as every time I put them out on the balcony they die. I have no interest in growing flowers – if you can’t eat it, I don’t want it. I dream of having a fully stocked kitchen garden which will provide fresh ingredients for me (or some other culinarily-inspired person living with me) to turn into something delicious. If it looks pretty, well that’s just a lucky coincidence.
Finding myself inundated at the weekend with homegrown chillies and not much else, I set about looking for chilli-based recipes. Chilli pesto and chilli oil got rid of a few of them and then, as I’m more of a baker than a chef, I turned to an old favourite to use up the rest – scones. Cheese and chilli scones to be precise, because there’s very little in life that can’t be improved with some kind of cheese.
I used the following recipe from Domestic Sluttery, ‘a home and lifestyle blog for women who have better things to do’, although I doubled the amount of cheese (as I was using 50%-less-fat cheese, it didn’t seem to matter). To be honest, any less cheese and you wouldn’t have been able to taste it, and I think you could get away with less chillies, if you left the seeds in.
You will need:
225g/8oz self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
25g/1oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
150ml/5fl oz milk
3 green chillies
1) Preheat your oven to Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2) Mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter.
3) Chop your chillies, and stir them into the mix with the grated cheese. Slowly add the milk until you get a soft dough.
4) Turn the dough out onto floured work surface and knead very lightly. Pat out to a round 2cm thick. Use a cutter to stamp out rounds and place them on the baking sheet.
5) Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
The finished result was declared delicious by myself and the official taster and, as I had used low-fat cheese, non-fat milk and low-fat butter, relatively guilt free. You can see one of the scones here all buttered up and garnished with a baby chilli which prematurely lost its life just to serve the artistic requirements of the official taster/food photographer.
Update: The official taster’s considered opinion is that he would have liked a little more chilli. I like a mild chilli, so I told him to be quiet and enjoy his free scones.