Many years ago when I was just starting my career in fashion, I took my first of many trips to London. It was on that first trip I discovered the culture of high tea and scones. I also vividly remember my embarrassment when I ordered scones for breakfast , only to be told that they are only served in the afternoon at high tea. Well, it’s many years later and well we live in a culture where we can have any food we want any time of day or night. So with that I do like the luxury of a nice scone on a quiet, leisurely weekend morning. This is my favorite go to scone recipe. This recipe has evolved over the years and my latest twist is soaking the currants or raisins in Earl Gary Tea enhancing subtly the sweetness of the currants. You’ll be surprised how easy this recipe to prepare scones this delicious.
From by the bay wishing you high tea anytime food memories!
Earl Gray Tea
a blend of India and Sri Lankan black teas which are flavored with the oil of bergamot. This tea is named after the mid- 19th century British Prime Minister Earl Charles Grey.
Earl Grey Tea has several health benefits. As many traditional teas, Earl Grey tea leaves come from the tea plant — Camellia sinensis — and contain compounds called flavonoids and flavanols which are natural chemicals. These tea components are potent antioxidants which with regular use may help with protection from digestive cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Earl Grey Soaked Currant Cream Scones
Makes approximately 8 sconces
1 Earl Grey teabag
3/4 cup dried currants ( or raisins)
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2 large eggs
1 cup chilled heavy cream, plus more for brushing
Demerara or raw sugar (for sprinkling)
In a small bowl add currants and teabag. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes. Remove teabag and strain the currants. Set currants aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and whisk together. Add butter and blend with fingertips until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix in currants. Whisk cream and eggs in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined do not overwork. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat to 1 inch round. Cut out rounds using 3 inch cookie cutter. Gather dough to cut additional rounds. Transfer scones to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake scones for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until golden brown approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature. Scones are best eaten same day.
My mother’s favorite breakfast treat is cheese danish. She can brutal in her commentary on cheese danish from various bakeries, so it was with some trepidation that I tried this recipe one Sunday morning, especially since this recipe uses frozen puff pastry. I used a little Greek yogurt in my cheese mixture as a tribute to my mother’s greek heritage. Maybe it was the greek yogurt that won my mother over, but she loved her cheese danish and that it the ultimate testament! Wow your family this weekend with this easy recipe!
From by the bay, wishing you easy food memories!
Easy Cheese Danish
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1⁄4 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus additional for dusting
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 (2 sheet) box frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg (beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl use a fork and mix until smooth. Add the egg yolks, yogurt, vanilla, salt, and orange zest and mix until just combined.
Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry on the parchment sheet roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Try not to cut the parchment sheet. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Then fold the other two corners in, until you have a square again. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Dust the danish with confectioner’s sugar. Serve warm.
Being in the fashion industry over all these years, I had the privilege to spent time in the greatest cities in the world – and the center of that fashion world is Paris. It is one of the most beautiful and extraordinary cities and of course for anyone who loves food- it’s perfection. I would love to wake up early in the morning and stroll the quiet streets and meander to one of the many exquisite patisseries – filled with all kinds of confections. One of my favorite breakfast treats would be a croissant along with my cafe au lait. So on a cold blustery morning here by the bay when I reminisce about the streets in Paris and the warm patisseries, I decided to create a little bit of Paris by the bay by making a quick and easy almond croissant. All it takes is a package of puff pastry, some frangipane – which is an easy to prepare smooth almond cream that fills the croissant with more richness and texture and few blanched almond slices. You can transform any ordinary morning into a dreamy romantic one. The aroma alone will intoxicate you!
From by the bay wishing you the most romantic food memories!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. You will have 2 sheets of puff pastry, take the first sheet and roll out. Divide into 4 squares. Cut each square on the diagonal and to make 8 triangle pieces.
Spread on teaspoon of the frangipane on each triangle. Then starting from the widest end of the triangle roll to the point of the triangle. You will have a long croissant , seal the dough and shape into a crescent and place on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. In a small bowl add the egg and water and whisk. Brush each croissant with the egg wash and top with a few almond slices. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry. Place croissants into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve.
1/2 cup ground almond meal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted softened butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons flour
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy.