Clove, cardamom, black peppercorn, cinnamon, ginger, fennel, star anise and black tea - this chai infusion is combining teatime with scone time and we love it!
- 375 ml (1½ cups) milk, plus extra, to glaze
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 800 g (5⅔ cups) self-raising flour, plus extra, to dust
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 orange, zested
- 170 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- butter, to serve
- 15 whole cloves
- 15 green cardamom pods
- 10 black peppercorns
- 4 cinnamon quills, broken
- 10 cm-piece ginger, peeled, thickly sliced
- 3 tsp black tea leaves
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 5 star anise
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make chai infusion, using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind all ingredients until coarsely ground.
Place milk, honey, vanilla and chai infusion spices in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain, discarding solids, and set aside.
Meanwhile, sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add ½ tsp salt, sugar and orange zest. Using your fingertips, rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, use a food processor.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in milk mixture. Using a fork and working quickly, bring flour into the centre until a soft dough forms. Using floured hands, form dough into a soft ball.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently shape into a disc. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough out until 2.5 cm thick. Using a 5 cm round pastry cutter, cut out 18 rounds; do not twist the cutter or the scones will not rise.
Place scones on a lined oven tray, almost touching, and brush with milk to glaze. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and scones sound hollow when tops are tapped with your fingers.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve scones spread with butter.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 13, pg101.
Photography by Armelle Habib