Make no mistake — these scones are ugly as sin but believe me when I say they were delicious. I’ve been battling this lately, the notion that all food photos have to be beautiful and awe-inspiring, sometimes unrealistically so. We’re drawn to the pretty and the perfect; our hearts covet the things that we see. We crave the idyll, we’re voyeurs who love to pore over photographs of the contents of someone’s home, closet, pantry or wallet. This is also why you’re seeing a slew of bloggers talk about “keeping it real” in 2013, how they want to show the boring, unseemly sides of their lives to give some color to the carefully-honed “reality” they architect in their online spaces.
Make no mistake — I’m a victim of this need for perfection just like anyone else. I held back posting this recipe for a month because every time I looked at the final scone shots I found myself shaking my head, thinking: This is too ugly for type. This is a scone only a mother could love. And the excuses piled on.
However, this morning I woke up and started thinking about the imperfect, and how that is so much more beautiful than the artificial stuff we see in movies and magazines. In the mess lies the passion. In the misshapen lies the devotion. Nothing is every worth it if there is no struggle, if it’s too easy, too pretty, so with that I hit the publish button and here you go.
Yummy, semi-frightful looking, scones.
INGREDIENTS: Adapted from Karen DeMasco’s The Craft of Baking
1 3/4 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cups plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbsp (85 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (84 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp Demerara sugar
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the butter. Put the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. Then beat the mixture on low speed until the butter is broken up into pebble-sized pieces, about 3 minutes.
Add the chocolate chips. With the mixer on low speed, add 1 cup of the cream and mix just until the dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the mixture in the bowl to bring the dough completely together.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 7-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 wedges (8 if you like bigger pieces), like pieces of pie.
Place the pieces on a baking sheet, spacing them 1/2 inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes or chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. While the scones are chilling preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Brush the scones with the remaining 2 tablespoons cream and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Bake the scones, rotating the baking sheet once, until the baking tray once, until they are golden on the edges and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. The scones are best served the day they are made, but they will keep in a airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.