Articles

Review: The Garden View Tea Room at The Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World’s The Garden View Tea Room at The Grand Floridian Resort

Afternoon tea is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Walt Disney World. You think of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, monorails, princesses, and Mickey shaped EVERYTHING. I expected that if there were a tea in WDW, it would be a character princess meal catering to the little ones. So imagine my surprise and delight when I learned that The Grand Floridian Resort—one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen—had a traditional afternoon tea! And of course, in Disney fashion, the tea quickly surpassed all previous teas to take the top spot of Favorite Afternoon Tea.

IMG_1573

First Impressions and Service

Pumpkin Spice Shortbread

Scottish shortbread is one of my favorite cookies, which is super bizarre because I am a card-carrying member of the Soft Cookie Club.  But for some reason, Scottish shortbread makes me forget all soft cookies in favor of shortbread’s buttery sweetness. Top it with strawberry jam or lemon curd and I may just choose shortbread over scones (shocking, I know, but it’s a distinct possibility).

Pumpkin Spice Shortbread

Pumpkin Spice Shortbread

The problem best part about this British cookie is the tradition behind it. Quick history lesson? Scottish shortbread is believed to have come from the medieval “biscuit bread”. Leftover bread dough was left out in a low oven to be twice-baked and covered in sugar and spices. Eventually the biscuit bread’s yeast was replaced by butter and supposedly Scottish shortbread is born. 

Why Is There No Real Clotted Cream in the US?

We all know my obsession with authentic, legitimate clotted cream. It’s well documented on the blog! But usually it shows up in the form of me lamenting during a review about some tea house or another’s makeshift clotted cream just not cutting it compared to the British stuff. Sorry if you get sick of those little cry tests.

But it’s a sad, sad, sad fact that the US is lacking true clotted cream.

Am I saying that clotted cream literally does not exist in the United States? No, obviously. I have found some grocery stores that sell Devonshire or Clotted Cream in their dairy sections and know of a few tea houses that import their clotted cream from England in order to be authentic. There are also millions of recipes that claim to make clotted cream, findable with a simple Google search. Yes, many of these recipes mimic the glory of clotted cream–some even come close to matching it–but there is one simple difference that is extremely difficult to overcome here and without overcoming it you cannot make authentic clotted cream. (If you are looking to make Devonshire cream, there are two.)

You have to use unpasteurized milk. Most technically it’s unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk, but for sake of easy argument let’s call it unpasteurized.

Pasteurizing milk heats it to kill off bacteria and other disease causing microbes. Pasteurizing milk became a federal requirement in 1924, aka The Year Clotted Cream Died. I’m not going to go into the long explanation and history of the Raw Milk Debate, so if you’re curious, there are lots of great articles on the Interwebs. Pasteurizing and homogenizing milk changes the structure of the fat globules, which sound disgusting but are the most amazing thing ever because they form clotted cream.

Now over the last five years, many states are legalizing the sale of raw milk again (thank you advances in medical science) so true clotted cream can make a comeback! Unfortunately most tearooms still use a version of glorified whipped cream and call it clotted. Restaurants are not allowed to use unpasteurized milk for “health and safety reasons” so I guess it isn’t really their fault. But still…

So there you have it: the reason clotted cream at tearooms is not real clotted cream has all to do with Federal regulations prohibiting the use of raw milk, false advertising, and if you are looking for Devonshire cream the lack of cows from Devon living in the United States.

Makes you wish we hadn’t declared independence, hmm?

A tearoom review and more scone recipes are coming soon! Plus some fun new featured recipes and topics, so stay tuned and sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss anything!

Review: Steampunk Coffeebar and Kitchen

Welcome to an alternative Victorian age, where the Industrial Revolution has permeated society’s machinery and the supernatural may or may not exist. Welcome to the Steampunk Movement. Originating as a sub-genre of science fiction, steampunk has become an entire culture that combines Victorian styles with accents inspired by machinery and steam-powered anything. Think Sherlock Holmes (not the BBC version with the beautifully voiced Benedict Cumberbatch), The Time Machine, the 1999 Will Smith movie Wild Wild West, and the new stage show at Disneyland “Mickey and the Magical Map”. Oh, and it’s the name of one of my favorite local coffee shops that hosted its first afternoon tea.

 

Owners of Steampunk

Owners of Steampunk Coffeebar and Kitchen

First Impressions and Service

I’ve been to Steampunk in its usual coffeeshop/delicious brunch incarnation multiple times, so I already knew to expect very talkative, enthusiastic, and friendly people. Even though the tea was put on by an outside company, my expectations were met! All the servers and chefs were dressed in true steampunk fashion. Their costumes were incredible, and almost felt like a Hidden Mickey hunt because so many of them had Disney Steampunk pins as accessories. Steampunk and Disney is a much more common combination than you’d think!

Steampunked Servers

Steampunked Servers

The tea was scheduled to start at 4:30 and I arrived exactly on time. This may have been an event that it was better to arrive fashionably late as they weren’t quite ready for tables to sit yet. A few of the tables in the back of the restaurant were still being used for sandwich assembly. It made it pretty confusing as to where to sit or what to do. There wasn’t a hostess and no assigned seats despite the tea being a ticketed event. Things felt a little chaotic. Easy solution for next time is to preassign tables or have one employee play hostess once people arrive to direct/explain things. Other than that, throughout the two hour event (and after it was officially over but we all stuck around talking) the servers were amazing and engaging and seemed genuinely happy to be there.

 

Décor

Steampunk (if it’s capitalized assume I mean the coffee shop not the style) already has a very distinctive décor every day. The walls are a bright blue that somehow manages not to blind you or be too obstrusive and serve as an eye-catching backdrop for works by featured artists. On a non-tea day the artwork alone serves up hours worth of talking points for you and your friends over Mexican Mochas. The tables are mixy-matchy complete with pipes for legs. Lots of that bright blue, lots of bronze, lots of brass, and lots of fun. There was no added décor for the tea event, but the patrons dressed up in their finest steampunk attire alongside the employees almost felt like extra decoration! It also can get pretty loud in there (all that metal doesn’t really absorb sound) but that actually made it feel more exciting and fun and you can still hold an easy conversation.

Steampunk Coffeebar and Kitchen

Steampunk Coffeebar and Kitchen

Steampunk is very much a coffee shop and café, not a tearoom. But as long as you aren’t expecting a ton of lace doilies and floral arrangements, you will find it a fun location. Remember, this is a themed tea! I’d have been really disappointed if they had broken away from their roots in the steampunk movement.

 

Tea Selection

Chef Justin Bastian (owner and head chef of Midsummer Night’s Confections) creates his own tea blends and served five of them throughout the event. Tea is brewed loose leaf (1 point!) and the servers walked around with fresh pots of all different teas, ready to immediately refill your cup. If the server at your table didn’t have the tea you wanted, they went and got a fresh pot of the one you did! A few times the teas were overbrewed and the servers would tell you it was one tea when it was really a different one (quite a shocker to drink a lemongrass tisane when you were anticipating a raspberry black tea). Those are just kinks that will be worked out at the next event. As for flavor, the teas were all amazing! I tried all five and had a hard time making up my mind as to my favorite. I might have had 12 cups of tea over the meal. Each tea was a unique twist on a traditional tea flavor and were made up of tea leaves, dried fruits, herbs, and other flavorings. Nothing was artificial. Everything was delicious.

A quick rundown of the teas:

  • Lavendar Grey: Earl Grey Moonlight, Irish Breakfast, Assam, Lavendar, Marigold flowers, a very robust black tea that was one of my favorites. Lavender is a very pronounced flavor in this tea.
  • Gaslight Floral Chai: Pu-erh Tahiti, Chocolate Chai, Spearmint, Hibiscus, Cornflowers, another robust tea, strong chai notes are mellowed out with the spearmint and flowers, excellent with a touch of sugar.
  • Viscount’s Strawberries and Cream: Assam, Wild Strawberry, Cream, Rosehips, another favorite, more mellow black tea, strawberries and cream flavor very pronounced. The chef said some people actually mix the clotted cream into this tea! I wasn’t adventurous enough to try that. Excellent dessert tea!
  • Minerva’s Raspberry Caramel: Ceylon Sonata, Caramel, Rooibos, Jasmine, Orange Peels, Raspberry, an unexpectedly delicious combination, great option for a dessert tea, enjoy as is or with cream and sugar.
  • Chamberlain’s Tisane: Chamomile, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, a good caffeine free option, but I don’t like chamomile so personally didn’t like this tea.

 

Food

IMG_5247When I say everything on this menu was homemade, I mean everything, down to the mayonnaise in the chicken salad. The theme of the food seemed to be “Slight Twist on Tradition” mixed with “What Flower Can I Put In This (insert food item)”. Everything was well balanced in flavor, fresh, and well-portioned. This tea was a set menu of savories, scones, and desserts. All the food was brought out at once and it was up to your discretion as to which order to eat everything.

Sandwiches

Ham and Apple

Ham and Apple

The ham and apple jam on squaw bread was a nice change from the more common pairings of ham-and-cranberry-sauce and ham-and-cheese. The apple jam stood up to the heartier ham slices and the squaw bread was soft with the right amount of flavor. Personally, this sandwich felt too large, but really that is only because it was a pure half of a sandwich instead of two fourths. Mathematically the same, presentation not so much. While tasty, this was the most forgettable item on the menu. It was more of a standard fare that just filled up a slot on the menu.

Cucumber Cream Cheese

Cucumber Cream Cheese

Every tea has to have a cucumber sandwich, right? This cucumber sandwich was perfection. There was the perfect ratio of cream cheese to cucumber; the cucumbers were cut into thick slices so you actually felt the freshness and taste of cucumber instead of those watery shreds so many tea sandwiches use. The bread was a beautiful, thick French bread that had an actual crust to it! Yes tea is supposed to be a light food affair, but sometimes the airy white bread that is normally used with cucumber sandwiches makes you feel like you are eating…well…air. This sandwich had substance and therefore has my approval. Oh and the cream cheese, I could eat it all day. In the flower theme, the cream cheese was a rose-mint cream cheese that wasn’t too floral or too herbaceous or to tangy, just well balanced and not overpowering to the cucumber.

Strawberry Chicken Salad

Strawberry Chicken Salad

Alert the presses because I had chicken salad, with mayonnaise, and LIKED IT. With so many examples of my anti-mayo rants in these reviews, I am as shocked as you that I had no problem with this chicken salad. The mayonnaise is a housemade olive oil-based mayo which probably explains why I liked it. Strawberries added to the chunky chicken salad was an inspired touch, and the fresh basil leaves add that floral plant note more sandwiches should have. The bread was a white bread, but it had more weight to it than a Wonder Bread. It was still light enough to let the chunky chicken and fresh chopped strawberries shine. I would have liked more strawberries though!

 

Brie and Apricot Croissant

Brie and Apricot Croissant

The coup de grace was the warmed croissant with thick slices of fresh brie and homemade apricot jam. I can’t describe the cheesy, tart, sweet, buttery fantasticness (a new word I am coining only for this sandwich) with enough justice. They broiled or baked the croissants before they delivered them so the cheese was all melty and the jam was beginning to caramelize and now I’m craving it all over again. This was the standout savory options by far!

Scones

Currant Scone

Currant Scone

Out of the three courses, the scone course was the weakest, though still better than some of the other places’ I’ve been to that shouldn’t even call what they serve a scone. The first was a small currant scone that was a little overbaked. The bottom was too brown and the rest was a little too dry, but the flavor was spot-on British. There were nice layers to the scone as well. Bake a little bit less and it would be perfect. The second scone was a pretty big lemon-lavender scone that I know my dad would have loved. The lavender was almost too subtle (I really like floral flavors though) and the lemon was robust both in the scone itself and the lemon glaze poured on top.

Lemon Lavender Scone

Lemon Lavender Scone

This texture was better, lighter, and not overbaked—a good combination of dense and light. The clotted cream is the closest thing you are going to find to authentic, British clotted cream in an American kitchen. It was thick, creamy, not sweet, and a perfect accompaniment to the scones though the scones didn’t need it. The chef’s partner is Welsh and wouldn’t let him use the sweetened whipped cream so many teahouses claim is clotted cream. I approve of her, and of his clotted cream. Gold Star!

Desserts

Neapolitan Cupcake

Neapolitan Cupcake

Cutest thing ever was the Neapolitan cupcake baked directly in a teacup.  One of the moistest chocolate-vanilla swirl cupcakes I have ever tasted, swirled through with fresh strawberries and topped with the perfect amount of chocolate-vanilla-strawberry frosting. I have nothing to say about this other than pure perfection that I could eat everyday.

Butterscotch Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting

Butterscotch Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting

The second dessert was a butterscotch shortbread sandwich cookie with salted caramel frosting. The cookie softened over the course of the meal so by the time you bit into it it was soft and firm at the same time. And the frosting wasn’t too sweet at all! In fact, considering the main flavors were butterscotch and caramel, this cookie wasn’t a cavity-inducing sugar high in the slightest!

 

Steampunk and Chef Justin did a phenomenal job with their inaugural afternoon tea event. The food was fantastic, the setting eclectic and fun, and the people were so personable and friendly that I walked out of the tea feeling more like I was family than a customer. I can’t wait to see this event continue to improve and become one of the must-do events of Los Angeles.

Steampunk

Steampunk Coffee and Kitchen

12526 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village, CA 91607

818-508-1276

$25 per person, but prices subject to change with the event’s popularity

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

Don’t judge me for my Easter decorations in photos that are posted after Easter. In my defense, I was inspired by Easter and spring to make these scones and made them and photographed them before Easter. So even if I didn’t post the recipe until after Easter, it is still perfectly acceptable, nay necessary, to have Easter decorations in my photos. I probably intended to post this recipe before or on Easter but was distracted by these. Have you made them yet? If you have, you can’t blame me. You completely understand.

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

I was never a lemon poppyseed person growing up. I think it was a combination of the poppy seeds looking like little things that should not be in baked goods, the word “seeds” being associated with savory in my head, and the episode of Mythbusters that showed that you can fail a breathalyzer test by eating a huge amount of poppyseed bagels. I’m the ultimate good girl so I probably was afraid that of what would happen if a cop happened to pull me over after the one time I would have ever eaten poppy seeds. Still have never been pulled over by a cop though so I’m just being a little overzealous.

Tea Cakes

A couple of the tea houses I’ve reviewed serve a slice of tea cake with their scone course, and it got me thinking (as so many things do) about what exactly is a tea cake. Since it’s a cake and a lot of the mini desserts served at tearooms are little cakes, why is it served in the scone course and not the dessert course? Burning questions!

Well I did some digging. Turns out the answer is as simple as you’d think!

 

Are they cakes?

Tea cake as a cake (no it's not the scone or the muffin)

Tea cake as a cake (no it’s not the scone or the muffin)

In some parts of the world, yes. When a tea cake is literally a small slice of cake (typical of Australian, North America, and India), it is usually a pound, heavy sponge, or spice cake.  Only a single layer, these tea cakes are not frosted, but instead are topped with a dusting of powdered sugar or a light glaze. The spice cake is more common in North America, while the heavy sponge variety is found in Australia or India. When a tea cake is basically a pound cake, it’s just a tearoom’s variation on the slightly more traditional cake served. Tea cakes—when they are cakes—can also contain fruits such as cranberries, blueberries, or apricots.

 

Are they bread?

In some parts of the world, yes. A tea cake is more akin to a bread when served in the United Kingdom. A small, sweet, yeast-based bun often containing dried fruit, a tea cake is typically split, toasted, and buttered to be served with tea. The most famous tea cake is served in Bath, England and is known as a Sally Lunn. Top it with cinnamon butter and be prepared to die from deliciousness overdose.

Bread-like tea cakes are also served in Sweden where they are a sweetened wheat soda bread served with butter and jam.

 

Are they cookies?

Tea cakes as a cookie (photo credit foodsofourlives.com)

Tea cakes as a cookie (photo credit foodsofourlives.com)

In some parts of the world, yes.  Cookie tea cakes are dense cookies made with sugar, butter, eggs, flour, milk, and additional flavorings.  Common flavors are nut-based like almond or hazelnut.  They are very dense and crumbly, and can be quite messy as they are usually coated in a layer of powdered sugar.  When they first crumbed into the world, they were an accompaniment to bitter teas; the sugar both in the cookie and the coating were meant to balance the astringency from black tea.

Now a cookie tea cake by any other name is still a cookie tea cake, but they are also commonly known as Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cakes/cookies, polvornes, or butterballs.

 

Hmmm…with all these different answers for “what is a tea cake” I may have to do a recipe series for you so you can try them all!

Tea in Other Languages

royal-baby-cambridge-2British baby fever has hit! Quick, grab your thermometer, your fuzzy sweaters and woolen socks, and let’s sweat this fever out of our bodies before Kate Middleton gets pregnant with baby #2.

With what seems like the whole world utterly obsessed with the British Royal Family right now, I have a hunch that afternoon tea parties will have a brief flaring of popularity. After all, everything British is fashionable for the next few minutes and what is more British than afternoon tea?

So no matter in what country you find yourself partaking of afternoon tea, here is how to at least pronounce your favorite beverage in their native languages:

  • Afrikaans: tee
  • Albanian: caj (pronounced chai)
  • Arabic: chai or shai
  • Armenian: te
  • Azerbaijani: caj (pronounced chai)
  • Basque: tea
  • Belarusian: harbatu
  • Bengali/Bangla: cha
  • Bulgarian: chai
  • Catalan: té
  • Chinese (Cantonese): cha
  • Chinese (Mandarin): cha (second tone / pronounced with the “a” in a rising tone)
  • Croatian: caj (pronounced chai)
  • Czech: caj (pronounced cha-i)
  • Danish: te
  • Dutch: thee
  • English: tea
  • Esperanto: teo
  • Filipino/Tagalog: tsaa
  • Finnish: tee
  • French: le thé (masculine)
  • Galician: té
  • Georgian: chai
  • German: der Tee (masculine; the “T” is capitalized because all German nouns are capitalized)
  • Greek: tsai
  • Haitian Creole: té
  • Hebrew: teh
  • Hindichai
  • Hungarian: tea (plural: teak)
  • Irish: tae
  • Italian: te (pronounced teh)
  • Icelandic: te
  • Indonesian: teh
  • Japanese: o-cha (o- is used as a prefix meaning “honorable” and -cha is used to mean “tea” in various tea names, such as matchasencha and hojicha)
  • Korean: cha

  • Latvian: teja (pronounced tay-ya)
  • Lithuanian: arbata
  • Luxembourgish: Téi (like in German, all nouns are capitalized in Luxembourish)
  • Macedonian: chaj (pronounced chai)
  • Malay: teh
  • Maltese: te
  • Norwegian: te
  • Persian: chay (pronounced chai in most areas)
  • Polish: herbata
  • Portuguese: cha (pronounced shah with a Brazilian accent)
  • Romanian: ceai
  • Russian: chai
  • Serbian: caj (pronounced chai)
  • Sinhalese (Sri Lanka): thé (The word for teapot is actually a Dutch loanword. It is theepot.)
  • Slovak: caj (pronounced chai)
  • Slovenian: caj (pronounced chai)
  • Somali: shaah
  • Spanish: el té (masculine; pronounced tay)
  • Swahili: chai (pronounced cha-i)
  • Swedish: te
  • Taiwanese: de (boba naicha refers to Taiwan’s popular “tapioca pearl tea”)
  • Tamil (Sri Lanka): tea
  • Thai: chah (chah yen refers to Thai iced tea)
  • Tibetan: cha or ja
  • Turkish: cay (pronounced chai)
  • Ukrainian: chaj (pronounced chay)
  • Urdu: chai
  • (North) Vietnamese: che
  • (South) Vietnamese: tra (sometimes pronounced cha or ja)
  • Wolof: achai (pronounced uh-chuy)
  • Welsh: te
  • Yiddish: tey
  • Zulu: itiye

So drink up me hearties, yo ho, no matter where in the world Carmen Sandiego is!

Let’s blame that close out on sleep deprivation shall we?

Recipe: Cream Scones

Let’s take a one week break from creative combinations and untraditional flavors. Eventually (meaning once I’ve had my fill of experimenting) I am planning on doing a whole series of plain or sultana/currant scone recipes. Every book about tea or scones has its own version of the basic scone. So I have a lot of recipes to try out to find the perfect and most authentic plain British scone!

And for consistency’s sake, I also have authentic British scones in my freezer to compare during this eventual series, courtesy of Ye Olde King’s Head.

IMG_3654But for now, let’s take this week easy and laid back. These cream scones are one of my current go-to recipes for trying new mix-in as they lend well to sweets with their slightly salty taste. They are also hands-down my plain scone recipe known to convert non-scone lovers to willing-scone eaters. When giving these scones to tasters used to American scones, though, be sure to express the caveat that these are more like British scones, less sweet and more vehicles for clotted cream and jam.

Of course if you serve these with authentic clotted cream and jam, even the pickiest scone eater won’t be able to resist.

Sometimes we just need an easy scone, a simple scone, and in those moments reach for this four ingredient recipe and relax in the perfect blend of flour, sugar, and cream.

Cream Scones

Cream Scones

Cream Scones

Ingredients

  • 200 g self rising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 50 g ultrafine baking sugar
  • 150 mL heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 220°C (450°F). Place rack as high as possible in oven. Sift flour and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the sugar and 150 mL cream then work in by hand by rubbing in the cream trying to incorporate as much air as possible until fully mixed. DO NOT OVERMIX. If the mix is too dry, now add one tablespoon at a time of extra cream until the dough is wet enough to hold together.
Place dough on a heavily floured surface and knead a couple of times until relatively smooth. Dust top with more flour and pat down to desired height (we did 1 cm). Cut out 5 cm circles with a crimped circle cutter and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. HINT: dip the cutter in flour before cutting out each scone. Knead the extras back together and repeat until most of the dough is used up.
Bake for 6-8 minutes (we did 8) until they have risen and are slightly browned around the edges and on top. Serve with clotted cream if you are lucky enough to be in England or have made it out to Santa Monica, but with red fruit jam no matter where you are.IMG_3650

Which Comes First? The Jam or the Cream?

It’s a variation on the age old question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? But of course, since it concerns scones and clotted cream and jam, it is a way more important question than that concerning poultry.

When topping a scone, do you layer cream and then jam, or jam and then cream? Does it truly matter? Which way is the traditional or correct way to top a scone?

Well, there is actual an old rivalry that is still raging today over the proper way to top a scone with clotted cream and jam (though everyone does agree that the jam should be a homemade strawberry for the most authentic delight). And the two epicenters are the same places that battle over their superiority in clotted cream.

The Cornish Way. Photo credit www.hungryhinny.wordpress.com

The Cornish Way.
Photo credit www.hungryhinny.wordpress.com

In Cornwall, they believe that the scone should be topped with the jam first followed by the clotted cream. Some cheeky reasons from the Cornish? “Because we are proud of it, Devonians are slightly ashamed of theirs so they cover it up with jam” says one grandfather. Whether or not that’s true, the Cornish all agree that the jam goes on first and is then topped with a dollop of Rodda’s Cornish cream. If it isn’t Rodda’s, it’s not Cornish.

The Devonshire Way Photo credit www.newcastleeats.co.uk

The Devonshire Way
Photo credit www.newcastleeats.co.uk

Devon, on the other hand, tells the Cornish to stick with their pasties because the jam definitely goes on top of the cream. Otherwise, they insist, clotted cream will end up on your nose and they also compare it to bread. In their logic no one puts jam on top of bread and then butter on top of the jam, so why would one do that with cream and scones? Both sides make a fair point, but neither side is going to budge their position any time soon.

I personally follow the Devonshire way of cream and then jam, but I don’t pretend that this is some statement on authenticity or tradition. It’s more of habit and I think it looks prettier than anything else. What about you? Are you a Devonian or a Cornish person?

Recipe: Beer and Cheddar Scones

Let’s talk savories for a second.

Who said scones had to be sweet? Yes it’s more common to find a blueberry scone or a cherry scone than a beer scone or a cheddar scone, but it certainly isn’t unheard of. The very first scones might actually have been savory, made with a simple dough of wheat flour, baking powder or baking soda, butter, milk, and eggs. How the sweet scone became more common or more popular than the savory scone is a question for the historians, but we here at Once Upon an Afternoon Tea refuse to follow the hoards!

So we made some savory scones for you :)

Beer and cheddar scones to be exact. The perfect “Man Scone” for convincing the menfolk that scones are not only for girls and afternoon tea. Made with a strong English white cheddar and an Irish ale, these scones are very…moreish…and sure to be a hit amongst the sporting men in our lives.

Smithwick Irish Ale and English Coastal Cheddar

Smithwick Irish Ale and English Coastal Cheddar

Just don’t call them scones until after they’ve demolished the batch.

The beer lends the scones a surprisingly tasty yeast flavor (after all beer is made using yeast), and the hints of beer blend perfectly with the hints of the strong white cheddar. Beer and cheese are a common combination at Super Bowl parties–think of the guys on the couch drinking a brew with some deep fried cheese appetizer in front of them and the television–so it was only natural that they complement each other in scone form as well.

These savory scones are obviously not going to be topped with clotted cream, but eating them alone may be too salty for some. A few fun ideas for uses that we came up with: spicy hot links and make sausage sliders using the scones as buns, accompanying a red based soup like tomato, chili, or stew, butter, an ice cold beer. Oooo! Lightbulb! Gastropubs should serve these scones as a bar appetizer! They can be made bite sized and are the perfect munchies for sophisticated beer pairings. Cheese goes with wine, why not Beer and Cheddar scones with beer? Let’s make that happen.

Beer and Cheddar Scones

Beer and Cheddar Scones

Beer and Cheddar Scones

Ingredients

  • 200 g self rising flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 80 g white English cheddar (we used Coastal White Cheddar from Costco; in England look for something similar to Cern Abbas)
  • 120-140 mL beer (we used Smithwick Irish Ale)

Preheat oven to 220°C or 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Sift together the flour and salt. Grate the cheese with a small grater. Add to the flour mixture.
Add in enough beer to form a dough and knead until smooth.
Turn out onto a floured work surface and pat down to desired thickness (as usual, 1 cm). Cut out with a scone cutter (5 cm) and place on baking sheet. Knead the scraps back together and repeat until the majority of the dough has been turned into scones. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until cheese is oozing out and tops are beginning to brown.
I’m sure that any combination of beer and cheddar selections will work together well; we just happened to have Coastal cheddar around the house and chose a beer from the British Isles to keep in theme. Feel free to experiment.
These smell amazing and yeasty coming out of the oven. Serve these, and you’ll have men begging you to invite them for tea!
    %d bloggers like this: