Throughout university, or at the very least towards the end of it, on those long nights of sitting in the library rather than going out like everyone else seems to be, the 9-5 life sounds pretty perfect. Evenings to yourself, not having to work over dinner, and long weekends with lie-ins, afternoons in beer gardens, and, well, freedom. You sort of forget about bills, washing up, and truly dull tasks like washing the shower curtain.
A lot of my friends are now finishing uni, terrified of the current climate for graduates and desperate to tackle adult life head on, away from the family home. Others have recently broken into the job market, having graduated last year (three cheers for the competitive nature of journalism!), while many more are still juggling internships and work experience with earning a living.
I wish I’d taken a step back to really appreciate those last few months at home as I planned my future. To soak up the family meals and laying on a trampoline with my best friends. If I could give year-ago me some advice, it’d be “don’t wish it away”. And make sure that every now and then you thank your mum for dealing with the insane amount of washing you generate.
As the saying goes, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. I think what I’m trying to say is, life is what happens when you should be writing about cheese scones. There’s been a lot of life lately. So here are some scones, to balance things out a little.
I’m not totally sure I have a signature dish. In terms of views on this blog, salted caramel layer cake is the one. But in real life? I think it’s probably cheese sauce. That’s not even a dish. It’s a lasagne topping; or a pasta sauce. But damn, it’s good.
The secret to a phenomenal cheese sauce is, of course, loads of cheese. But mustard is to cheese what speculoos is to a spoon. They are a match made in heaven.
As much as I’d love to, though, you can’t make a meal out of cheese sauce. These scones are the taste of a great cheese and mustard sauce made into a warm, carb-packed delight.
Adapted from BBC Good Food
200g self-raising flour
40g butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 tsp salt
25g Wensleydale cheese, grated
70g cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
100ml warm milk
1) Preheat oven to 180c and line a baking tray. In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, and salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
2) Transfer to a large bowl and stir in 3/4 of the grated cheeses, along with the mustard powder and cayenne.
3) Add the wholegrain mustard to the warm milk and stir with a fork. Gradually add this to the dry ingredients to form a soft dough. Resist over-kneading!
4) Pat out onto a floured surface to about 3/4 inch thick. Cut out using a 2 inch round cutter, transfer to baking tray and brush the tops with milk. Bake for 10 minutes, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for a further 5 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with butter.