• 135mls milk
  • 1 scoth bonnet
  • 90g salted butter, very cold
  • 300g plain flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 1 egg yolk

There are so many things I just won’t take advice on. Or warning. Labour is a classic example. Despite many a friend who had done her hard labour time warning me it was painful, I simply refused to believe it. “Pah!” I scoffed, “we’ll see about this labour malarky… these other women clearly have low pain thresholds! I however am made of sterner stuff. I will laugh in the face of pain relieving drugs! Come on labour, do your worst!” And… I totally couldn’t hack it and cried like a baby. Or rather a labouring baby.

Parenting. There’s another one. My friend Wise Annie warned me that I would start to dislike people I previously adored once I was a parent, purely because I didn’t approve of their parenting style. “No I won’t!” screamed my internal voice, “I shall remain open minded about parenting styles and remind myself that variety is the spice of life.” Oh dear. Epic fail. It’s my way or the high way.

Reusable nappies. I faithfully bought them, washed them, laid them out ready for my precious first born to use. My mother in law dared to comment that perhaps we might be a bit busy what with having a new baby. Perhaps we might not have time to wash and dry. Perhaps we might prefer to use spare time to sleep. “No siree! I am super woman” said my inner voice silently, “I shall use cloth nappies and I shall breast feed and I shall prove them all wrong.” We don’t talk about my husband being sent out to buy Pampers and Cow & Gate at 3am. We just don’t. And we especially don’t talk about it to my mother in law. For then she would have been right and we all know my parenting ideas are perfect, see previous paragraph.

So please, please, please, you’re going to have to trust me on this when I say that I know you’re thinking that scotch bonnet scones aren’t for you… I thought that too. And I bloody love chilli. But they are for you! Honest they are. This is one thing I am right about. Ignore the evidence above to the contrary. These are light with a tiny hint of an after taste of chilli, barely discernable. In fact, if you’re a chilli fiend then may I suggest that you add in some flaked chilli, or stir some chopped chilli into spreadable cheese to pop on the top of them. Or just eat them with a chilli chaser.

Comments, as always, welcomed!

One year ago: Baileys chocolate fridge cake truffles  and Experimental banana loaf

Two years ago: The perfect brownie search and Peanut brittle

Gentle infused scotch bonnet scones

Makes 6 or 7, but you don’t want any more as scones don’t keep… so make a batch and eat them. Then tomorrow do the same. Whatever you do, do not keep them. They are dry and not nice at all.

Ingredients:

  • 135g milk (yes, grams!)
  • 1 scoth bonnet, cut in half with scissors whilst wearing washing up gloves
  • 90g salted butter, very cold
  • 300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 15g baking powder
  • 1 egg yolk

Pop the milk in a saucepan and add the scotch bonnet being very very careful not to touch it with your hands or any skin whatsoever. These babies hurt you. Then bring to a simmer on the stove, stirring the chilli about. Take off the heat, leave to cool and then pop in the fridge to get it icy, icy cold.

Once it’s very cold take the butter and cut into 1cm pieces, then pop the flour and the baking powder on the top. Stir with a knife then wash your hands in cold water before rubbing the butter in. If you have very warm hands and have managed to melt the butter, put the whole bowl into the fridge to re-firm up. (You can use a pastry cutter instead which I have to say I prefer but I know they’re not something everyone has or wants to buy.)

When you have a breadcrumb like consistency take the milk from the fridge, strain through a sieve and chuck away the chilli, then re-weigh. If you have lost any volume add more milk until it’s back to 135g. Then pour over the butter and flour mixture and bring together with a knife. It will be a little dry, then use your hands to pull it together. May need a few squeezes. Wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 mins.

Pop the oven onto the hottest setting and check the rack is at the top of the oven. Mine goes to 200C but 210C would be better. Flour your work surface, then pop the scone dough down. Pat out to about 3cm thick then use a cutter dipped in flour to cut straight down, don’t twist or turn it. Then place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all the scones dough is used (you can re-squidge it but it won’t be as tender once you’re at second squidge stage.) Then brush the tops of the scones with the yolk (none down the sides please, stops a good rise!) then place in the fridge, uncovered until the yolky topping is dry. Once dry paint with yolk again and then bake immediately for 10 – 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the scones are well risen. Serve warm with cheese or chilli butter.

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