Storing at Room Temperature. Cheese Scones re-done & A reminder

>> Saturday 3 October 2009

Room temperature is a term used often in the preparation and cooking of certain foods, but what exactly does it mean? It is not a precisely defined term. A definition familiarly used is that room temperature refers to the general level of comfort in a room in which people live. While this definition is true, what also is a fact is that this level of comfort varies, depending on the individual and various other factors such as geographical location. Therein lies the rub, when we are instructed to store and bring something to room temperature. Your level of room comfort may not be my level of room comfort. Click here to continue reading this week's column.

I've been re-testing my Cheese Scones recipe and I've managed to get it to suit my taste - light, not dry, highly risen and cheesy good. I hope that you'll give it a try too. I like to eat cheese scones as is, without the addition of butter or so. I added a tablespoon of chopped fresh dill to this recipe but generally, I make it without. Try it and let me know what you think.


Yield: 8 large scones


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 oz cold butter, cubed
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (preferably English, New Zealand or Australian)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (optional)
2/3 cup whole milk, cold
1 egg & 1 tablespoon water for egg wash


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
  3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and mix thoroughly
  4. Cut or rub in butter to flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs (a food processor makes quick work of this)
  5. Stir in cheese (and dill, if using)
  6. Make a well in the center of mixture, pour in milk and use a rubber spatula to gently bring the ingredients together. Turn the mixture (it will be loose/crumbly) on to a floured surface and with your hands, bring it together. Do not knead!
  7. Pat dough into 1-inch thick round and cut into wedges (or cut with a 3-inch cookie cutter)
  8. Place on baking sheet, brush with egg wash and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden
  9. Serve warm

Hey, it's already October and if you have not yet set your fruits, please do so now. For a true Caribbean Christmas Cake, the key to the texture and moistness lies with the blended fruits being allowed to mascerate over an extended period of time and the longer the better. I have 2 sets of blended fruits, one set has been "soaking" for 2 years and the other for 1 year. Click here for my post on blending and soaking the fruits.

Finally, my lime pickles are ready! Gosh my mouth watering at the thought of them. Click here for the recipes from Manisha's Blog - Indian Food Rocks.

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