- Tried & Tasted -

Monday, 7 December 2015

Quick Mixed Berries and Cheese Scones

Mixed Berries Scones
Cheese Scones
I have just returned from a family year end vacation. A lovely trip to Australia's Port Macquarie, NSW and Gold Coast, QLD. We Spent a total of 2 weeks between the 2 places. Yes, it is a lot of time to spend in just 2 places. My husband likes to take self drive trips to enjoy them as a traveler rather than a tourist. Just to see how the locals live and eat.

We had all our thrills and shopping in the theme parks and outlet malls in Gold Coast and near to nature experiences, off the beaten path, in Port Macquarie. We started our 2 weeks stay with a 5 hours drive south from Gold Coast to Port Macquarie after we landed. We were blessed to be able to stay in a beautiful, well furnished bungalow with a fully equipped kitchen. And the kids enjoyed the loft space in the house that they got to play and sleep in. A 'kids only' enclave for them.

The baker in me was thrilled when I saw a handheld mixer in the kitchen drawers. When we visited the local farmer's markets and supermarkets, I was amazed with the array of fresh produces. To be able to experience the home cooked farm to table meals were a treat. An oyster farm was just stone's throw from where we stayed.

At the local farmer's market
It was my first time baking on a vacation. The reason being that the sun rose very early during our stay (Summer). The sky started to brighten at 4.40am and that was the time I was awoken (also by the 'laughter' of the kookaburras) and had lots of time at hand to get something done before everyone wake up. To keep things simple, I used the ingredients that we bought for cooking our meals and improvised a bake. I got butter, fresh milk (tasted way better than in Singapore), cream, sugar, flour, farm fresh free ranged eggs (you should see how orange the yolks were), cheese and frozen mixed berries. The frozen mixed berries was also used to make homemade jam for breakfast.

These scones will be ready in less than 40 minutes. I was unable to use a weighing scale to measure the flour and remembered a trick my Home Economics teacher taught me long time ago in school. A heaping table spoon of flour is approximately 25g.
Mixed Berries Scones
Mixed Berries Scones
(makes 8 wedges)
350g self raising flour (14 heaping table spoons)
85g butter, cold (guesstimate using the markings on the butter wrapper)
150ml milk or cream, cold (1/2 - 3/4 cup of a mug) 
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
50g frozen mixed berries, frozen
1 egg
1 Tbsp sugar for sprinkling on the scones

Steps to scones:   
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Measure out flour into a large mixing bowl, add sugar and salt. Stir the mixture to combine. 
  • Rub in the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Toss in the frozen berries until evenly distributed. 
  • Add in the cold cream/milk and mix till the dough just comes together. Gather the dough into a round shape and press it into a round of 3cm thickness. Using a knife, I cut it into 8 wedges. 
  • Glaze the top with an egg wash and sprinkle sugar over the egg wash. 
  • Space the wedges 5cm apart on a baking paper and bake for 25 minutes or till golden brown on top and the edges.
To make cheese scones:
Omit the frozen mixed berries and add in 100g aged cheddar or any hard cheeses, crumbled using a fork. Stab the fork into cheese and twist it to break the cheese into small pieces. 
Cheese Scones
There were many firsts on this trip. We got to celebrate my nephew's birthday and his mum assembled a fresh berries pavlova for the occasion. Happy 16th birthday, J! May God continue to watch over you as you grow to be a great young man for His purpose.

Other first:
  • meeting leeches during one of our hike. Ewww...do they looked disgusting (shudders as I am typing this).
  • riding a horse thru the woods! I've got a hungry horse who kept fidgeting and nibbling while I tried my hardest to keep it under control as we strode along.
That's Sugar.

  • Go-karting. It was a thrilling experience to race with my family.
  • Pat a koala.
  • Teppanyaki dinner at a hotel. It was a rowdy eating experience but I enjoyed it.
  • hand dug clams as dinner entree. My nephew managed to dig quite a few clams, on the beach that we played on, for dinner.  

Thank God for His protection over us throughout our trip and allowing us to enjoy family time. I will always remember the merciless summer sun, beautiful beaches and lighthouses and the many meals of freshly cooked fish and chips that we enjoyed - battered, crumbled and grilled. ;)
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