Making savoury cheese scones is one of the most satisfying baking experiences as it delivers almost instant results. I often make some scones to go with my leek and potato soup.
Even my 82 year old dad has become proficient at making cheese scones, and the secret is to use good quality flour and strongly flavoured cheese. The recipe below uses gluten free flour, but you can easily substitute wholemeal flour or plain white flour. When cooking lunch for days I am working at home, I like to use wholemeal, but it is all a matter of taste. My dad uses plain flour, cuts the scones into quite small rounds, and serves these with drinks. The last time I was at home, he brought me and my husband steaming mugs of tea and warm cheese scones in bed early on Sunday morning. What service!
Makes 14-16 scones
- 200g gluten free brown bread or gluten free plain white flour, or use regular flour
- 1 x teasp salt
- 1 x teasp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 x teasps cream of tartar
- 1 x teasp dry mustard powder
- 45g butter, cut into small dice
- 75g strongly flavoured Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 50g grated Parmesan
- 125-130ml milk
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7
- Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment
- Sieve the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and dry mustard into a bowl.
- Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Add in the two cheeses and mix well
- Add enough milk to form into a soft, not too sticky dough. You may well need to add a little extra for the second rolling
- Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly to mix
- Roll out the dough to about 2cm cm thick. Cut into rounds using a 5.8 cm/2.25 inch pastry cutter.
- Bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes, until well risen and golden brown
Gougeres are large cheese puffs made of a ring of choux pastry, which is then cut into wedges to serve and hail from the Burgundy region in France. This version is the ideal little snack to serve with drinks, hot from the oven. I recently did a party for 250 in Little Venice and these proved to be the most popular of all the canapes on offer. No sooner had we sent a batch out, then the plate came back empty and another lot popped in the oven. Perfect with a well chilled dry martini or glass of Champagne, they are light as a feather and packed with flavour. A classy, fuss free classic.
To make about 30 mini puffs
- 110g plain flour
- 175ml water
- pinch salt
- 75g butter
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 50g grated Gruyere cheese
- 50g grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
- Sieve the flour and have ready to add to water
- Place the water, salt and butter in a pan over a medium heat
- Bring to boil, remove from the heat and immediately add the flour, stirring continually with a wooden spoon until combined
- Return to the pan and put back on the heat and beat until the mixture is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan
- Remove from the heat and turn the mixture onto a flat plate to allow to cool
- Next add the eggs a little at a time. Make sure that each egg is completely mixed in before adding more.
- Beat until the mixture is smooth and glossy and slightly sticky.
- Add the grated cheeses and transfer to a piping bag and pipe small walnut sized blobs onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
- Sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan on top
- Bake until golden, about 30-35 minutes
These are tasty as they are, but you can add some chorizo bits to the mix after adding the eggs. Cut up the chorizo sausage into tiny cubes, then cook until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and allow to cool.