Hello there! Things have been a little hectic in the Treacle kitchen of late but today I managed to have a little time to bake some of these autumnal beauties. I saw Lorraine Pascale had the inspired idea of decorating the top of her scones with a slice of fig and I thought they looked just beautiful so why not try that idea to jazz up a recipe that I have used for quite a time? It’s a Diana Henry one for hazelnut scones that I have enjoyed making for a while. I have messed around with the recipe, substituting plain for wholemeal flour and light brown sugar for dark. I think the scones can take it. The fig is the first topping and the second is well, a little more whimsical. It’s a coffee icing which also screams autumn I think, but is also a nice foil to the crunchy scone underneath. It’s got a blob of maple syrup for good measure too.
Makes 12 or so , using a 2 inch round cutter
400g fine wholemeal flour, sifted
50g dark brown sugar
1 tblsp baking powder
170g cold butter
60ml milk, plus maybe a little extra if needed
75g roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts (I dry toast in a pan and rub in a clean teatowel to remove the skins before chopping or you can buy them pre toasted and chopped too)
1 egg beaten, to glaze scones
1-2 figs to top (optional)
Coffee icing (optional): note this will ice/drizzle roughly 6 scones generously
70g icing sugar
1 tblsp butter
1 tblsp maple syrup
1-2 tblsp strong coffee
Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside for later. Mix the flour with the sugar and baking powder in a big bowl and then rub the butter in until the ingredients resemble breadcrumbs (or grate the butter in like I do!) Then add the cream and combine with a knife, using the milk thereafter conservatively to bring it all together to form a dough. Add a little at a time – you can’t undo it! Now add in the hazelnuts, working them in without handling the dough too much – this will make it tough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured worktop and flatten it into a circle about 1.5cm thick. Cut out the scones and place on the lined baking sheet.
Brush with the beaten egg and top with a thin slice of fig if desired, pressing it in gently on the top of the scone.
Bake for 15 minutes or so until golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
To make icing: Melt the butter in a small saucepan, letting the nutty flavour develop but don’t let it burn! Add to the icing sugar together with the syrup and one spoon of the coffee and whisk to form a paste, which shouldn’t be overly runny, but should allow you to drizzle. You may need to add a little more coffee or icing sugar to get the right consistency. Drizzle over the scones while still warm on the rack (place some parchment underneath to catch the excess)