Sunday, July 29, 2012

Campfire S'mores Scones

During my recent trip to Los Angeles, my mom and I rented bikes and hit the streets, biking to Venice Beach and Abbott Kinney Street. Parking the bikes, we ate our way down the street, starting with GTA (Gjelina Take Away). We sampled their brown sugar-blueberry scone. I loved the contrast of the crunchy scone exterior with the soft bready inside. The rich flavor of brown sugar not only topped the scone, but permeated throughout.
Continuing to walk, luckily the clothing shops were closed or I would have been greatly distracted, we happened upon a long line of people at what looked like a small cafe. The sign on the wall read Intelligentsia. Curious, I asked a man standing nearby who told me that this was the best coffee shop and by the way, it also had the best pastries. Of course, we couldn't move on after hearing this, so we joined the crowd outside. While standing in line, we took in the atmosphere. It was very much an earthy, industrial feel. Outside the small glassed entrance were concrete walls; greenery extended up one wall, flanked by earth friendly wooden slatted benches and tables. After arriving at the front of the line, I placed an order for a latte and a campfire s'mores scone. The pastries looked familiar to ones I had seen at Short Cake cafe/bakery located in the Farmer's Market at the Grove. My suspicion was confirmed by the barista who told me how their pastries were provided by Short Cake.
I watched as "my friendly barista" ground the beans for my latte and after brewing then poured the espresso. Lastly, she slowly added the Straus Family Creamery's cream forming a beautiful design in front of my eyes.
It was definitely worth the wait. It was the best latte I have ever had; the smoothest latte without a bitter aftertaste. The accompanying scone was really good also, different from GTA'S in shape and texture. It was round, a common shape for British tea scones, whereas GTA's was more triangular. The s'mores scone's texture was crumbly to the fingers, soft and moist to the tongue, with chunks of chocolate and a sticky marshmallow topping.

Last night as I was watching the Olympic's women gymnastic competition, I had a hankering (Southern slang word for craving/desire) for something sweet. I thought about that wonderful s'mores scone I had in LA. I knew that I already had a great scone recipe that I developed after returning from South Africa. By tweaking that recipe, I could create a s'mores scone. For the graham flavor, I processed enough graham crackers to equal 2/3 cups. My original scone recipe http://whitneymillermc.blogspot.com/2012/06/sweet-memories-from-south-africa.html calls for 1 2/3 cups so I thought I could get enough graham flavor with the two-thirds.

I removed my scones from the oven and then thought about how I would toast the marshmallow topping. Without really thinking it through, I dolloped the topping on the scones; then returned them to the oven to broil. I peered through the glass of my oven to see the marshmallow topping melt off of the scones. I quickly retrieved the scones from the oven. Oh no! I hope I didn't ruin my scones. I tried to wipe away the excess melted marshmallow topping before my scones became too soggy. To repair the ones that were damaged, I placed them back in the oven on bake to hopefully evaporate the moisture. Thankfully, it worked! I made more maple marshmallow topping and this time pulled out my handy dandy blow torch to toast the tops. *You can also take store bought large marshmallows, halve them, top the scones and broil in the oven. Because they are more of a solid, they should toast before the marshmallow melts. Then enjoy the ooey gooey deliciousness!
Campfire S’mores Scones
Scones:
About 8 graham crackers
1 cup self-rising flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter cut into cubes, cold
2 ½ Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg (egg wash), beaten
4 Tbsp. buttermilk
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Maple marshmallow topping:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Process enough graham crackers, in batches, in a spice grinder or food processor until the texture of flour, to produce 2/3 cups. Pour graham flour into a large mixing bowl.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the graham-flour mixture with your fingers until it is the size of breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk until combined.
Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Then using your hands, lightly knead the dough together to form soft, slightly sticky dough.
Place the dough on a floured surface and shape into a sphere then pat down about ¾-1 inch thick. Using a floured 2-inch cookie cutter, quickly push the cutter down through the dough and lift without twisting. Cut out scones, reshape dough, and repeat. Creates about 12 scones.
Place the scones on the greased baking sheet and brush the tops of the scones with the beaten egg.
For the maple marshmallow topping: Sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup cold water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until dissolved.  Add the maple syrup. Mix well, then heat over medium-high heat until it almost comes to a boil.
Pour the warm syrup into a deep mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer beat on high speed for 6 minutes.
Place the scones in the oven and bake for 7 minutes. While the scones are baking return to mixing the marshmallow mixture for another 6-7 minutes or until doubled in volume and forms soft peaks.
Transfer the scones immediately to a wire rack to slightly cool.
Once scones have slightly cooled, spoon a dollop of maple marshmallow topping on each scone. Using a hand torch, toast each marshmallow topped scone until browned.
Serve slightly warm.
Makes about 12 scones

3 comments:

  1. Hi Whitney!
    My name is Agnese and I live in Italy: I love your simple but very "power" recipes and I hope to realize my dreams as you've done.
    Tonight (the only moment during the day when my kitchen is ONLY mine) I'll try your scones and... I hope well!

    A big hug and big whishes for your future!

    Agnese

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  2. Hi Agnese! I hope you enjoy the scones as much as my family did. I love s'mores and it is fun creating different renditions of it.

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  3. Hi whitney
    I have no idea how to cook but watching you cook,and bake on masterchef 2010 was great..i wish i get to meet, you someday ..

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