When we were last in Cardiff we made a special trip to Pettigrew Tea Room, a lovely wee place at the entrance to Bute Park right in the middle of town, which specialises in delicious cakes and scones. We’ve been there a few times, having first heard about the cafe on the Great British Bake Off years back. Whilst we’d had their (delicious!) cakes before, but when we were back in town for the Christmas break we were looking for a good brunch option and were won over by the promise of laverbread scones, which proved scrumptious. And so, late that day we stocked up on tins of laverbread at Wally’s and decided to make some of those scones ourselves…
And just 3 months later we’ve finally gotten round to making some.
I’m not usually the star scone baker in the house as Heather is usually in charge of making the wholewheat and blackberry scones that we make a few times a year, using up the stash in the freezer. She has a brilliant sweet scone recipe from my mother in law for those but we don’t really have a reliable savoury scone recipe. I have made mini cheesy scones for the Capital City Roller Derby team, with a version of Delia’s savoury scone recipe, but those aren’t the best I’ve had. I wanted our laverbread scones to be up to Pettigrew or Lovecrumbs standard so started scoping out options.
- 350g self-raising flour
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g lard (yes, lard)
- 1 can prepared laverbread (available online from Wally’s)
- small handful or about 1/4 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, or Granda Padano
- pinch of sea salt flakes
- pinch of white pepper
- Up to 100ml milk
In a large bowl (with very clean hands), gently rub the flour, butter and lard together to form a course breadcrumb texture. Get lots of air in – I tend to rub and lift to get lots of air circulating.
Add the laverbread – just tip the whole tin in – and stir with your hands. The texture of laverbread is quite jelly-like (it is seaweed after all) so you’ll need to kind of rub that in as well, again getting lots of air in if you can. Once everything is well mixed add/grate in the cheese, along with the salt and pepper. Stir quickly and lightly by hand.
You should now have a fairly soft large breadcrumb like texture. Add some milk to mix into a dough, after some gentle mixing add a little milk in as needed. You should now have a soft dough, a bit like biscuit or soft bread doughs. Be very gentle with the dough at this stage to ensure maximum fluffiness.
Place all of the dough on a large baking sheet and very gentle spread by hand so you have a 1.5 inch height roughly round shape. Use a knife to divide your giant scone into an appropriate number of smaller triangular scones. The Guardian/National Trust recipe specify’s this as a recipe for 12 scones but I divided our giant scone into 8 generous breakfast scones.
Bake at 190° C for 15 to 25 minutes until well baked and golden. The scones will have a lovely crisp crust and taste delicious warm with butter, or with bacon and poached eggs. Perfect for St David’s Day tomorrow too!
A random post to share a recipe that made for a delicious dinner tonight…
Thai Chicken and Coconut Salad
4 chicken thighs (boned and skin removed)
Tin of coconut milk
1 fresh coconut, grated, plus any coconut water
Fresh coriander – big bunch
Mint – small bunch
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
4 shallots, sliced thinly
2 lemongrass stalks, thinly sliced
3 dried long chillis, chopped (seeds shaken out and discarded)
4 lime leaves, shredded thinly
Big handle of shelled peanuts
Juice of 2.5 limes
Approx 2 tbls fish sauce
Approx 2 tsps shaved palm sugar
1) Poach the chicken thighs in the coconut milk, topping up with water to cover if needed. Once cooked remove from the pan, leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred.
2) Roughly chop the herbs, combine with shallots, lemongrass, coconut etc.
3) Make a dressing from the lime juice, fish, and palm sugar. Adjust to taste.
4) Toast the peanuts in the oven. Chop roughly.
5) Mix everything together and serve with rice, or with coconut rice (extra yummy if you have all that fresh coconut and coconut water to play with!).
6) If you are feeling really fancy top with ancient chilli and coconut relish (toasted coconut, dried chillis, and toasted peanuts with salt – see David Thompson’s Thai Food).