Scones are a big part of Northern Irish baking. To be honest, scones are popular on both sides of the Atlantic, although the American variety do tend to be bigger. These Treacle Scones are a nice variation on a plain scone (recipe here). They are a little sweet and the treacle adds a lovely depth of flavor and color. Best served with a slathering of butter and your favorite jam.
Living in the US means that some of my traditional ingredients aren’t as easy to come by, so I needed to go to a specialist store to get the black treacle required for this recipe, as it’s not available in standard supermarkets over here. The closest equivalent to black treacle in the US is dark molasses (not blackstrap). According to the internet – and my taste test – they are not exactly the same thing, but it’s a pretty good substitute if you can’t find black treacle.
Just to check the difference for myself, I baked one batch of scones with treacle and one with molasses. The treacle batch was darker and sweeter and the molasses batch was lighter and a little more bitter. But either way, both sets of scones were delicious!
As with any scone recipe, this is a simple recipe. But don’t mix it too much, don’t knead it too much and don’t roll it out too thinly. Follow these simple directions and you’ll be rewarded with a light, fluffy tasty scone.
6oz/170g/1½ cups plain flour (all-purpose flour)
1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 tbsp sugar
1½oz/45g/3 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp buttermilk
1 tbsp black treacle (or dark molasses)
1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat your oven to 375F/190C.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
3. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Add the beaten egg, treacle and buttermilk and mix until you have a soft dough.
5. Roll out on a floured surface until the scone dough is approximately 2.5cm/1 inch thick and cut into rounds. I get 7-8 scones from this quantity of dough.
6. Place on a floured baking sheet, brush the tops with milk and bake for 10-12 minutes.
7. Remove to a wire rack to cool for as long as you can hold out. Then break open, butter and enjoy!