24 hours with a guest of honour – Scones

Against all odds, our distinguished guest has arrived safely and in good time. No matter how erroneous the indications he had been given, how unreliable his sense of direction, how tricky the London subway can be…

We figured it was a good omen, the day ahead was promising, and a decent brunch could only fuel us with the needed energy.

Scones
Recipe from the River Cottage Handbook on bread, my new bed stand book.
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
A good pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter at room temperature
50g caster sugar (I find it too much especially as I added raisins soaked overnight in Rhum) 40g should do
1 medium free-range egg
1 tsp narural vanilla extract
120ml double cream
A little milk for brushing

Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, butter cut into cubes, and sugar. The mixture should resemble fine breadcrumbs.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg, vanilla and cream together.
Then add to the first mixture to form a soft dough.
That’s when I add the raisins as well.

Turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead briefly to make smoother. Then gently roll out to a thickness of about 4cm. More flour might be needed to avoid the dough to stick to the rolling-pin.

Cut out the scones, ideally with a pastry cutter. A clean cut gives it a better chance of rising straight up.

Brush the tops with milk. I added grilled almonds as well.

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Bake for about 15 minutes depending on the size of your scones. Serve warm.

Traditional etiquette requires scones to be served with Cream. We somehow felt slightly rebellious and dared to do otherwise : we served them with fresh figs, quickly roasted in honey.

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After that we were more than ready to go see the world. Battersea Park felt like and interesting place to see. Off we went, and the day was like a journey through the various stages of life :

1. Childhood
Don’t deny your old man a tour of bumper cars.

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2. Respectable adults
A cocktail on a roof top, amazing view over the Tames. Equally interesting drunk women specimen in the room.

3. Grown Ups
Debating about French politics over a juicy flat-iron steak.

4. Teenagers
To close the day, last stop in an underground bar, heavy music, sticky tables, grinding neighbours…

Time to call it a day!