Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Stilton, rosemary and walnut scone

This almost-cakey slab of savoury carbs is really easy to knock up and the kind of thing I'm likely to bake when I need a supply of snacky stuff to nibble on when I'm working, or as the basis for a lazy supper on a tray in front of the TV.

What you need:
250g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
45g cold butter, cut into small chunks
150ml milk or soya milk
150g stilton, cut into cubes
A sprig of rosemary, leaves stripped off and very finely chopped
6-8 walnut halves, chopped
Parmesan cheese

What to do:
Heat the oven to 200C.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers - it should look like breadcrumbs. Add the milk and work it in gently until it forms dough. If it is too dry to take up all the flour, add a little more milk. If it's too wet sprinkle in a little more flour. Add the cubes of Stilton, walnut pieces and chopped rosemary. Knead the dough so everything is well distributed.

Line a baking sheet with a piece of baking parchment. Put the scone dough on to it, shape it into a round then flatten it very gently. Score the top into eight and grate a little parmesan over it. Bake for 25 minutes or so - it should be risen and golden.

Cook's tips:
Any blue cheese works really well here - try some gorgonzola or bleu d'Auvergne. Blacksticks Blue is especially tasty here but if you're on a budget a Danish blue is just as good.

I like to tinker with the additions - any good melting cheese can replace the blue. I sometimes add some chopped raw bacon or lardons instead of walnuts. A little very finely diced onion adds a good blast of flavour (sprinkle a little on the top too). Chopped fresh thyme or sage can take the place of rosemary. Sliced black olives also work.

I like to make it in a big round as you can break off as much as you want (keep the rest in a tin or wrapped in foil for later) but you could make individual scones with a cookie cutter - adjust the cooking time to 20 minutes then check on them!

The recipe doubles up really easily, just up the cooking time to 30-35 minutes.