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Cheddar and chive scones

October 20, 2010

Having had a go at using the leftover scone recipe from last post’s Beef and red wine cobbler, which incidentally turned out to be more similar to very edible, but ultimately non-sconelike, cheesy biscuits, I turned back yesterday to Delia for help in all things sconey [yes this is now a word]. So yes, the scone topping we had leftover will make great oatcake-like savoury bites, but I would advise for a true scone recipe to follow me following in Madam Smith’s footsteps. I like this recipe because it highlights the mark of an inspirational chef – the addition of something random and unintuitive that somehow really works. Here, the cayenne pepper she suggests to throw in a pinch of adds just enough kick to upgrade a pretty standard scone to something a bit cheesy, a bit fiery, and a bit…um…gone. Converting everything to gluten-free seems to end up in me being so excited about the lack of stomach ache I eat far too many at once. Turns out gluten-free is sadly not indigestion free…bummer.


Adapted from Delia Smith’s buttermilk and cheshire cheese scones, here. This is for normal, wheaty scones; just follow the * for gluten-free.


Makes about 6

  • 3 tbsp buttermilk (or I used natural yoghurt, thinned with a dessertspoon milk)
  • 100g cheddar
  • bunch chives, chopped finely (with scissors)
  • 175g self raising flour*
  • ½ level tsp mustard powder / 1 tsp english mustard
  • ½ level tsp salt
  • a good pinch of cayenne
  • 25g butter
  • 1 large egg

* I made these gluten-free by using the same weight of plain gluten-free flour with about 2 tsp baking powder [I never really can remember how much to use, I assume – perhaps wrongly one day – that a “bit” generally works. So far ok]. Or find some gluten-free self-raising flour to be safe. As you probably know, you might need to add a bit more milk to make the dough come together.



Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 (220 oC) and line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment. In a bowl, sieve together the flour, cayenne, salt and mustard powder (or add the mustard). Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, then add 3/4 of the grated cheese (saving the rest for the topping). Next, beat the egg lightly and add to the bowl along with the chopped chives and mix everything with a spoon, then as it comes together,  by hand. Add the milk as you go until you have a soft dough that isn’t too sticky. Turn out onto a floured work surface and roll out to about 1 inch thickness (with as little working of the dough as possible, to keep them light). Use a cookie cutter (about 2 inch diameter) or glass to cut out rounds, re-rolling if necessary. Pop them onto the baking tray, brush with a little milk, then sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 20 mins, until they’re golden brown on top. Don’t overbake, or they’ll be dry. Serve warm fresh from the oven or microwaved for 15-25 sec or so, with butter. A great accompaniment to soup. To store, freeze or use within a day or so, or they’ll dry out a bit.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 20, 2010 12:54 pm

    Yummy! Few things are more delicious than a cheese scone!

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