Monday, October 21, 2013

Chocolate Orange-Raspberry Scones

       During college, I never felt comfortable saying, "I am a baker." I would explain I was an English major, and I really liked to bake. As for my plans after college, they were a loose "ehh, find my way" kind of thing. However, the generic response was not because I did not know what I wanted to do, but rather because I was scared of saying "I want to bake."
      Now, when an English major gets asked what they plan to do when they graduate, most people expect them to respond: "I am going to teach." However, I had that area covered. I knew I was not going to be a teacher and I was ready and armed with the feeling of being comfortable that I simply studied what I enjoy.
      Instead, the fear of saying I wanted to bake stemmed from wanting to avoid the phrase "I am a baker." I was afraid after college the dream of being a baker would not come to fruition, and I did not want people to know that I did not achieve what I had set in my mind as the ideal life. 
        After a whirlwind of change in my life, I finally worked up some damn hutzpah and I told some people. It started with one of my best friends, then my boyfriend, my parents and onward: the phrase "I want to bake" was finally permissible in my mind.
        However, it still took until about 4 months ago, after I had graduated and I could no longer hide under the comfort of saying, "I am student" that I started saying, "I am a baker." The moment it rolled off my tongue I was filled with an almost ecstasy of excitement because good-golly y'all, I freaking love what I do and you better bet your bean-eatin' tootin' self I am one.
        I had three moments of confirmation of this in the past week, and I am sure that more are still on the way. The first was I when was getting dressed one morning and I pulled on a sweater I had not worn in about 2 weeks. As it turned upside down, a teaspoon fell out of the pocket onto my bedroom floor. I have enough measuring sets I had not noticed it missing. Baker's moment #1. A few days later I was hanging some artwork in my room with a nail. I did not have a hammer, so I went for my heaviest, thickest book, The Culinary Institute of America's textbook. Baker's moment #2. Today as I went to grab the snowbrush out of the back seat of my car in preparation for the morning, the brush knocked an old cookie cutter out from under my passenger seat. Baker's moment #3. So world: I am Maisie, I am Boulder Butter, and I am sure as hell a baker. Today I made scones: bitter chocolate, sweet raspberry, bright orange, flaky, crumbly, yet moist breakfast awesomeness-scones. 
Inspired by the America's Test Kitchen's "Baking Illustrated" Cream Scones with Currents

Oven Temp: 375 F

9 ounces all-purpose flour*
1 ounce cocoa powder*
1 TBSP baking powder
3 TBSP sugar
1/2 TSP salt
5 TBSP cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 C macerated raspberries (recipe and ingredients below)
1/4 C chocolate chips
1 C + 1 to 2 TBSP heavy cream

*If you do not have a scale, this should be 2 C of fluffed/sifted flour total. So if you wanted to convert it, do 1 3/4 C +1 TBSP all-purpose flour and 3 TBSP cocoa powder. 

Macerated Raspberries:
Place 1 C raspberries, 1 TBSP sugar, the zest of half an orange, the zest of half a lemon, 1/8 TSP vanilla extract, and 1/8 TSP orange liquor in a bowl and let them sit for 30 minutes. You can use left overs for oatmeal, on top of ice cream, ect. 

1. Preheat the oven and combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the dry ingredients together until they are combined. 
2. Add the butter and pulse again in about 12-one second pulses until the butter is mixed into the flour, but still has larger pea sized pieces.
3. Add in the raspberries and chocolate chips and pulse two more times. Transfer the flour mixture into a large mixing bowl.
4. Slowly add the heavy cream, mixing with a rubber spatula until the mixture comes together.
5. Dust the counter with cocoa powder and turn the dough out onto it. Finish gathering it together, knead it slightly into a ball, and then gently pat it out into a square. 
6. Roll the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick and cut with a sharp ring mold, pastry cutter, or knife.
7. Transfer the scones onto a prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with course sugar.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the scones are set and the tops have just slightly darkened.
9. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly on a metal rack and enjoy warm or at room temperature. 
They were absolutely delicious, and then they were gone.

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