Saturday, 21 February 2009

Tea and Comfort

When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I'm on your side. When times get rough
And friends just can't be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
There is something so soothing about a cup of tea and a little home baked goodness. Times can be stressful, heartaches are real, but a simple gift of a potted plant can lift your spirits. Hubby brought home this little cyclamen that adds a little burst of colour to my kitchen and to my week.
Outside it is bitterly cold, but it is warm inside and the sun is shining through the curtains. This morning I offer up some delicious candied ginger scones. Guaranteed to smooth your furrowed brow, at least for a little while.

Candied Ginger Scones - Cindy Mushet, The Art and Soul of Baking
• 2 ounces crystallized ginger
• 1/4 cup (1¾ ounces) granulated sugar
• 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1¼ cups (10 ounces) chilled heavy whipping cream
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/4 cup (1¾ ounces) turbinado or raw sugar (light brown sugar may be substituted—it will be very tasty, but not quite as crunchy)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in the center. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a thin silicone mat. Place the crystallized ginger and granulated sugar in the bowl of the food processor and process until very finely chopped— the mixture should resemble damp sand. Transfer to the large bowl and add the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt. Whisk to blend well.
2. In the bowl of the stand mixer, or with a hand mixer and a medium bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks, with tips that fold over and barely hold their shape. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to scrape half of the whipped cream into the flour mixture and gently fold in with the spatula. Add the remaining whipped cream and continue to fold until there are no longer any obvious streaks of cream or patches of flour. The dough may seem a little dry at this point—don't worry.
3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead gently a few times to finish bringing the dough together. If the dough seems very wet and sticky, sprinkle it with a little flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and the work surface. Pat the dough into a 7-inch circle. Use a chef's knife to cut the dough into 8 equal wedges. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
4. Brush the tops with a thin layer of the beaten egg. Top each scone with a generous layer of turbinado sugar. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until firm and golden brown. Transfer to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I will comfort you.
I'll take your part.

I will ease your mind.