Looking for something different to serve your sweetie as part of breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day? Give your loved one a piece of your heart with these chocolate scones from Chocolate Queen Alice Medrich.
“For breakfast or for tea,” she says, these are “the quintessential chocolate scones to nibble with barely sweetened whipped cream or crème fraîche and jam.”
Raspberry jam was my first thought, though apricot or black currant would also work well. And a little extra whipped cream could be served atop that cup of coffee on the side. When I tried the recipe, I got two more scones than Medrich called for, which meant my dough was pressed out a little thinner than hers and as a result baked more rapidly; so check the scones while baking.
Also, when Medrich wrote this book, Hershey’s Cocoa Powder was strictly Dutch processed. Nowadays, the powder is a mixture of Dutch process and natural, so I halved both the baking powder and the baking soda called for. It worked for me.
If you want to save some time, you could do all but bake the scones the night before. Cover the baking sheet and refrigerate, then remove about 15 minutes before baking.
The recipe is included in Medrich’s “A Year in Chocolate,” which is out of print but is still available from a number of sellers.
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder if using Dutch process cocoa or a scant 1 teaspoon baking soda if using natural cocoa
1/4 teaspoon slat
10 tablespoons ( 1 1/4 sticks) melted unsalted butter, hot, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch process or natural
1 egg, cold
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, cold
Barely sweetened whipped cream (optional)
Crème fraîche (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
To make the valentines: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix the hot butter and cocoa until smooth. (I used the pan in which I melted the butter.) Stir in the egg and milk. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients. Fold gently with a rubber spatula, scraping the ingredients from the sides of the bowl to the center. Just until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Do not try to make a smooth dough.
Place the dough on a sheet of wax paper and pat into a 10-by-5-inch rectangle (premark the wax paper, if you can’t imagine this) — assuming your heart-shaped cutter is 2 1/2 inches. Chill the dough for about 15 minutes to firm it up slightly.
Cut out 8 hearts. Use dough scraps to form 2 more hearts. Transfer the hearts to a baking sheet. Bake until the tops are dry and cracked and the bottoms have begun to color, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serve with barely sweetened whipped cream or crème fraîche with jam or fresh berries. Or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Makes about 10 scones.
From “A Year in Chocolate” by Alice Medrich