Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nutella Scones-Leave your Link

How long ago did you discover Nutella ?  Sad to say I didn't discover it until about 10 years ago and I can't imagine how I lived without it all that time. Nutella, pronounced "new-tell-uh" has been around since the 1940's . It was created by Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. According to the history of Nutella , during the 1940's chocolate was in short supply due to World War II food rationing.  So Chef Ferrero used hazelnuts to extend his chocolate supply. Don't you love the combination of  roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and  just hint of cocoa? Check out the Nutella website , doesn't Pietro Ferrero look like James Dean ?

And if these Nutella Scones don't satisfy your Nutella cravings  head over to World Nutella Day site (which by the way will be 5th February 2011) and bake your heart out with all the Nutella recipes they have listed .

BAKED Explorations has a Homemade Nutella recipe on page 198 of the book-did you buy your Nutella or make your own for this recipe ?

I have a confession to make-I chose this recipe knowing I was heading to Oregon before this posting date and would have access to fresh picked hazelnuts !  I loaded up on them for my holiday baking and set aside some just picked,freshly roasted hazelnuts for this recipe. I can't wait to see everyone's results . Post your link and any comments under this post.

And a huge thank you to Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito for letting us post the recipes here. If you haven't done it yet, BUY THE BOOK - BAKED EXPLORATIONS-Classic American Desserts Reinvented

Yield: 6-8 scones

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark sweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts,coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Nutella

Baked Note
Matt & Renato's advice: Do Not Knead Too Much. Stop working the dough the minute it comes together and don't worry if there are a few dry bits scattered throughout.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the rack in the center.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined.
Add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub it into the flour until the butter is pea size and the mixture is coarse.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. 
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just comes together.  Gently and briefly knead the dough with your hands. 
Add the toasted hazelnuts and knead gently to incorporate. 
Flatten the dough into a rectangle approximately 6 by 12 inches. ( it doesn't need to precise) and spread 1/4 cup of the Nutella on top in a criss cross pattern. 
Roll the dough up to make a cylinder about 6 inches long, turn it on its end, and gently flatten it into a disk about 1 3/4 inches high. Do not overwork the dough.
Cut the dough into 6 or 8 wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.  Do not over bake.
Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely.  Place the baking sheet with the parchment still on it underneath the rack.

Assembling the Nutella Scones:

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup Nutella in a microwave until pourable, about 10 seconds on high.  Pierce the tops of the scones a few times with a fork.  Use a spoon ( or two spoons-one to scoop, one to scrape) to drip the warm Nutella in a zigzag pattern over the tops of the hot scones.  Transfer them to a refrigerator to set for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

Most scones have a lifespan of 24hours or less; however, these scones taste pretty darn good on day two provided you wrap them tightly and store them at room temperature.

Helpful Hints for Scones
Break up your butter in small cubes and then freeze them-helps prevent your butter softening/melting before you have your scone dough formed.
Let your scones be crumbly. Barely mix the cream into the butter and then press the dough. Remember the scone mantra-Don't Overwork the dough.

Monday, November 1, 2010

BAKED Sunday Mornings

Have you bought this book yet ?  If you haven't , you must-you are in for a treat.  Especially if you love old fashioned recipes but with a twist.  Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito have taken your mother's recipes and made them hip. Kind of  like what Mad Men has done for the advertising world.  As a matter of fact these recipes would be perfect for Mad Men.  Can't you just see Joan baking the Devil's Food Cake with Angel Frosting and bringing it in to the office !  But I digress,as soon as I got this book I sat down and read it from cover to cover in one evening.  When I finished reading I wanted to start baking.  And after reading some other blogs I could see my fellow bakers felt the same way.  So I thought it would be fun to form a group that would bake it's way through BAKED Explorations.  I hope you join me at BAKED Sunday Mornings . Check out the RULES and join the group.
Email your blog link to me at seattlepastrygirlatgmaildotcom and I will add you to our list of Baked Bloggers.
Come and join the fun and Get Baked !