Chocolate scones are for rainy mornings. They are meant for grey afternoons, or for a cozy night, with a cup of tea.
Everything about a scone takes me straight to a winter day. Might be snowing outside, it might even be the coldest day of the year. Whenever I’m faced with such a day, you can almost bet I’m going to bake some scones.
And it was a day like that when I decided to bake these Espresso Chocolate Scones with Walnuts I present to you today.
I make scones quite a bit, from savory to sweet.
That’s because making scones can be fairly easy. All you need is a basic scones recipe and you alter it as you add the ingredients to your liking.
For sweet scones, you can mix in dried or fresh fruits. You can add nuts, spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg. You can make it chocolate, caramel, or anything you love under the sun.
For savory ones, it’s like making an omelet: whatever is in your fridge. Chopped herbs, peppers, different types of cheese, meats, garlic and these sorts of things. Chop it up, mix it in the dough, bake it and enjoy it. My favorites are jalapeño cheddar, or garlic and sun-dried tomato . I’ll eat them with the delicious soup that’ll been simmering on my stove.
The secret for making a good scone is in the little details.
Don’t ever overmix your dough. Knead the scones dough by using a method called pat and fold, which means you will sort of incorporate your dry and wet ingredients in a bowl by mixing carefully with a spatula.
After they have been almost completely incorporated, transfer the mixture to a floured counter and proceed to cut the mixture in half and place one half on top of the other. Press it down gently with your hands. Cut it in half again and repeat this process a few times until you don’t see any streaks of flour in your dough.
This is the safest method for kneading scones and biscuits dough and not ending up with a tough and dry final product.
I like to work with a wet dough for scones. The wettest I can handle.
This is hard and the skill will come with experience.
The more you make scones, the more comfortable you will be handling a wetter dough.
This is important so you don’t end up with a dry scone also. The more flour you have to incorporate in your dough, the drier your final product will be. So I try to work with a very wet dough and flour my hands lightly if necessary, in order to be able to handle it better.
What I really love about scones, though, even more than eating a bowl of piping hot delicious soup alongside with it, is when I make these espresso chocolate scones and have them with coffee. It might be because I’m getting a double dose of caffeine, might be the chocolate drizzle that enchants me. I eat them when they are just cooled. That’s the best time to eat a scone, in my opinion.
Next time it’s raining or snowing outside and it’s a chill winter or fall day, open your pantry, open your fridge, gather simple ingredients and make it a day to remember by baking unforgettable scones!
And if you are looking for more inspirations of delicious sweet breads to eat with your coffee or tea, check out these Almond Orange Sweet Rolls.
Espresso Chocolate Scones with Walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold (8 tablespoons)
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces bittersweet fine quality chocolate chopped you can use chocolate chips, if you will
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1/4 cup half and half
Start by chopping the cold butter into 0.5 inch pieces. Stick chopped butter in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, start to gather the other ingredients.
In the bowl of a food processor, place flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients.
In a measuring cup or a cup with a spout, place egg, beat it slightly. Add heavy cream, vanilla and whisk everything to combine.
Add chopped frozen butter to the food processor. Process about 8-10 times until butter is cut into dry ingredients. The mixture should resemble coarse meal. You don’t want to see really large pieces of butter. If you see pea sized pieces of butter, you will want to process the mixture a few more times.
Transfer this mixture to a large bowl. Add wet ingredients to flour and butter mixture. Fold carefully to combine. Once mixture is more or less incorporated, transfer it to a lightly floured counter. Now you are going to use a method of folding biscuit/scones dough that is called pat and fold.
Cut the mixture in half and place one half on top of the other and pat it down back to its original size. Cut it in half and place one half on top of the other once again. Do this a few times until dough is smooth and you see no streaks of flour. Be careful and gentle when patting and folding because scones dough isn’t supposed to be overworked or you will have a tough final product.
You will have a shaggy and sort of wet mixture. You can lightly flour your hands to better handle the dough, but don’t use too much flour either, because you don’t want to add more flour to your dough or, again, you might end up with tough results.
Pat the mixture into a 8” circle. Use your hands to shape the outside of the circle and try to smooth it out as you pat the mixture.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough disk into 8 wedges, like a pizza. Carefully and with floured hands, transfer each scone to a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or lightly greased parchment paper.
Make sure scones are 2 inches apart from each other.
Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
I usually will stick my scones in the freezer while the oven pre-heats because I want my butter to be very cold once I start baking the scones.
Bake scones for about 20 minutes. You can test if it’s done by inserting a toothpick in the scone, it it comes out clean means it’s baked. Don’t overbake your scones or they will be tough and dry.
Let scones cool down and glaze with chocolate glaze. I like to put the glaze in a piping bag and cut the tip with a pair of scissors, just a tiny hole so I can create a beautiful drizzle.
Mix half and half and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave them together in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until all chocolate is melted.