Simple Earl Grey & Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones
It is finaaallly Spring (YAY!), so we’re celebrating with some lovely, spring-perfect scones.
Are scones one of your favorite things? Probably not, and that’s likely due to the prevalence of super dry, chalky-as-hell scones. I remember the first time I tried a good scone and it was SUCH a revelation. No crumbled cardboard consistency, no instantaneous, why-didn’t-I-get-a-muffin? regret – It was delicious, and I immediately wanted more.
But the next time I ordered one? DISAPPOINTMENT. Dusty particles of flour flooded my mouth, each slowly choking me to death as I desperately scrambled for water. I stared blankly at my $5 apple cinnamon scone and wondered how something that looked so good could taste sooo freakin’ awful! And also – Why the hell was I spending $5 on scones?
So many questions, so few answers, and yes I bought a $4 muffin to console myself.
Now let’s be clear – I do not have all the scone answers. I am an amateur “baker” who uses salted butter when you’re pretty much almost always supposed to use unsalted, so I basically know nothing. But the few shreds of baking knowledge I do have resulted in these totally moist, wonderfully crumbly, buttery and beautiful scones, so I guess I’m not completely useless.
In my estimation, the secret to scone success lies in the balance of keeping your dough wet while still being dry. I know this makes ZERO sense in theory, but think about it:
If you can barely pull your ingredients together for the dough to take shape, it’s going to taste like garbage. If your dough whips together so easily that it’s sticky and soggy and still not really taking shape, it’s going to taste like garbage. BUT! If you can add enough moisture so that with a little hard work your dough takes shape into a cohesive unit and it’s still dry enough to handle? Then you have dough-making magic.
(also, taste the dough! no real baker would probably ever tell you to do this, but I’m a phony so it’s okay – if your dough tastes good raw, it will taste good baked, every time)
Once you’ve got your dough on-point you can play around with flavors pretty easily, which is why I went the tea-infused route with these. After a successful earl grey pound cake I decided earl grey was my new thang, so I infused it here with heavy cream to fabulous results. The ensuing flavor is wonderful in that it’s both subtle and obvious – You can’t not taste it, but it’s not overpowering either, it adds just the right hint of tea. And matched up against strong-yet-sweet dark chocolate? Perfection!
Mostly importantly, the texture of these hits that moist + crumbly sweet spot – Still dry like a proper scone, but moist enough that you won’t choke. I also made the critical decision of coating these with a thick film of sugar, so please go ahead and do the same.
AND I think they should be served at brunch, with tea!!!, just in case you were wondering how bossy I can be.
Simple Earl Grey & Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones
- 2 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- ½ cup Cold Salted Butter
- 1 ½ cups Chopped Dark Chocolate
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- ½ cup Tea-Infused Cream (see below)
- ¼ cup extra Light Cream for kneading dough (if needed)
- 2 tbsps Melted Salted Butter
- Coarse Sugar
- TEA-INFUSED CREAM:
- ½ cup + 2 tbsps Light Cream
- 4 bags Earl Grey Tea (tea should be removed from bags)
- First, prepare the tea-infused cream. In small saucepan heat cream over low flame until just beginning to warm. Add loose tea to warmed cream and allow ingredients to simmer for 10 minutes, whisking periodically to prevent seizing. When ready, drain tea-infused cream through mesh strainer, then set aside.*
- In large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Next, using a pastry cutter work butter into flour mixture until a crumbly texture is achieved – Some large chunks of butter will remain, and that’s okay. Lastly stir in dark chocolate chunks.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and tea-infused cream until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then stir until dough takes shape. At this step, utilize the extra ¼ cup light cream if needed to bring the dough together.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then lightly sprinkle with flour.
- Transfer dough to floured parchment paper and divide in half to create two 6” rounds. Using a pastry brush coat each round with melted butter, then cover in coarse sugar. Use a pizza cutter or bench knife to slice each round into six or eight wedges, then freeze uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- When ready, bake scones for 20 – 25 minutes until golden and cooked through. Cool slightly, then immediately plate and serve.
* You want to separate as many tea grinds from cream as possible – A few will still slip through, but that’s okay! Cream should be caramel colored at the end of steeping.
>> Do not freeze for more than 30 minutes.
>> Be sure to bake on oven middle rack.
spring + scones = 🙂