Chocolate Cherry Scones

Chocolate Cherry Scones
by Amy Guittard
Antonis Achilleos

These fruit-and-chocolate scones make a regular appearance at my potluck brunches. Three kinds of chocolate—semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, and cocoa powder—ensure a serious chocolate flavor that’s balanced by the tart bite of dried cherries. These scones can also be served for dessert with a dollop of Whipped Cream or crème fraîche. For light, fluffy scones, start with very cold butter and don’t overmix the dough.

3 oz [85 g] Guittard Semisweet Chocolate Baking Bars, broken into pieces
1/2 cup [85 g] Guittard Choc-Au-Lait Baking Chips (white chocolate)
1/2 cup [50 g] Guittard Cocoa Rouge (Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/2 cup [85 g] dried cherries
1/2 cup [100 g] sugar
2 1/2 cups [300 g] all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp [85 g] unsalted butter, chilled
1 large egg
3/4 cup [180 ml] full-fat buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400ºF [200°C]. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a food processor, pulse the semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa powder, cherries, and sugar until the chocolate is finely ground, about 30 seconds.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and use your hands to mix well. Cut the cold butter into 1/2 in [12 mm] cubes and add to the mixture. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the mixture until the mixture resembles wet sand.

In a liquid measuring cup, lightly beat the egg with the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and blend with a hand mixer until combined.

Lightly flour your hands and transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Form the dough into a mound and divide it into three equal portions. Flatten each piece of dough into a 5 in [12 cm] circle about 1 in [2.5 cm] thick. Cut one circle into quarters to form four wedges. Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet so there is 1 1/2 in [4 cm] between them. Repeat with the two remaining circles of dough.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the scones are puffed and cracked on top. Using a spatula, immediately move the scones to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days; or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 2 months. To defrost, move the wrapped scones to the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a 375ºF [190°C] oven for 3 to 5 minutes.

Excerpted from Guittard by Amy Guittard, photographs by Antonis Achilleos (Chronicle Books, 2015).

Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: Makes 12 scones