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9 am Sunday: chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate

Jimmy springs eternal.
Just when it had started to seem as though we’d exhausted all conceivable possibilities for fatty, sugary breakfasts, Jimmy announced that he was making triple chocolate scones.

One evening, I arrived at my usual Pilates mat class to find a note in Rebecca’s perfect cursive, announcing that “our breakfasts must resume—he’s talking triple chocolate scones, which technically are a breakfast food. Sunday at 9, are you free? P.S. I’m pushing for babies.” Apparently, Jimmy had been eyeing a recipe for chocolate scones, and to make them truly his own—i.e. excessive in every way—he planned to fill them with chocolate chips and douse them with ganache. Rebecca, while in no way anti-chocolate, insisted that so much caffeine would bring her interminable insomnia, so she filed a supplementary request for Dutch babies. As for me, well, I do as I’m told. And so it was that I chased my fat with more fat, my sugar with more sugar, and my baby with a triple shot of chocolate.

When I arrived, the babies were already in the oven, puffing skyward and leaving a smoking pool of butter in their wake on the oven floor. Rebecca’s straight husband John was busy fanning the living room with a pillow, trying to steer the smoke toward the window, while nearby, a rack of artistically and abundantly ganached scones relaxed on the kitchen counter.

“I like to be assaulted by flavor,” Jimmy explained, watching me inspect his silent cocoa-bombs. They were as big as fists, cross-hatched with a shiny web of ganache. A cloud of warm, almost spicy air hovered over them, as did I.

Now, a lemon-sugar Dutch baby is, I’ll freely admit, a nearly perfect breakfast. Until this morning, I might have argued that it was the perfect breakfast—give or take a few buckwheat pancakes, a bowl of homemade granola and yogurt, or the occasional soft-boiled egg with toast, butter optional. But I can now say with the utmost assurance that no breakfast is truly complete without a triple chocolate scone for dessert.

With a texture somewhere between biscuit and cake, Jimmy’s scones have a lightly crisp crust and a moist, tender crumb, and though entirely immoderate when it comes to chocolate, they’re remarkably subtle in sweetness. I’m never one to skip dessert, and true to form, within an hour of finishing my Dutch baby, I had put away an entire triple chocolate fistful—crumbs, ganache smudges, and all. I only regretted it for a minute, until I wanted a second one. Jimmy is clearly onto something: when it comes to dessert, 9 am is a good time to start.

Jimmy’s Triple Chocolate Scones

This recipe makes six large scones, but if you’d like something a bit more moderate, try cutting the dough into eight or ten wedges. With smaller scones, your baking time will be shorter, so keep an eye on the oven.

For the scones:
1 ¾ c unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ c plus 1 Tbs unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
2 ¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (be sure to choose a good-quality chocolate that you’d enjoy eating on its own)
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Drop in the butter, and using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter chunks into the flour until they are reduced to pearl-sized nuggets. Stir in the granulated sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, and vanilla.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips, and stir to form a dough. The dough will be firm but moist, and a bit sticky to the touch. Knead the dough lightly in the bowl about ten times—or, as Jimmy has found, if the dough is too sticky, don’t worry about kneading. It is better to undermix than to overmix.

Form the dough into a 7- to 7 ½-inch round disk on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 6 wedges, and using a spatula, transfer the wedges to a baking sheet. Bake the scones for 17-18 minutes, or until set. Remove them to a rack to cool, and set the rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it is very hot and steamy (not boiling, but close), remove it from the heat, and pour it over the chocolate. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is thoroughly melted. Use a spoon to drizzle the ganache over the cooled scones, and serve. [You will have leftover ganache, which can be refrigerated or frozen; the scones also freeze well and are remarkably good cold.]

Yield: 6 large scones


Blogger Michèle said...

Wow, Jimmy never disappoints does he? I can't even imagine how he will top that next time, but for some reason I have complete confidence that he will. And I think you are equally as awe inspiring for diving in like a brave soldier and only having a mere moment of guilt. Although I'm sure part of Jimmy's magic is to create aromas that eliminate any last ounce of willpower that his breakfast guests may possess. Another very impressive sunday morning!

11:56 PM, June 05, 2005  
Blogger Zarah Maria said...

I want Sunday mornings like that! I love your posts Molly, your writing is superior!

12:07 AM, June 06, 2005  
Blogger amylou said...

I want those. Right. Now.

7:43 AM, June 06, 2005  
Anonymous drea said...

oh my GOD.

Dessert should begin at 9am. My chocolate for breakfast theory is as follows: everyone knows coffee and chocolate are the perfect match.

1:46 PM, June 06, 2005  
Blogger Lex Culinaria said...

Oh wow. I have to give my husband this recipe. How loves making scones. He also loves chocolate as if he were a woman!

4:07 PM, June 06, 2005  
Anonymous Julie said...

I'm beginning to think we all could use a Jimmy in our lives. In the meantime, until mine appears, I'm very grateful to you, Molly, for sharing the wealth. These scones are going to be calling my name softly and seductively until I finally break down and make them -- soon, I think.

8:25 PM, June 06, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Michele, Jimmy is most certainly a magician, a regular bag o' tricks. If only you could see all the things he makes and bakes that *don't* appear in Orangette--from baby Bundt cakes of every variety to mini cheesecakes and Rebecca's favorite "pink cookies." If any of those items appear at 9 am Sunday, I will let you know. And as for guilt, well, moderation is for the other six days of the week.
Or so I tell myself.

Zarah Maria, thank you! Maybe Jimmy would like to visit you in Denmark? And bring breakfast?

Amy, I hope you weren't eating Cheerios when you read this. I know how you hate that.

Drea, your theory is brilliant. Perfect!

Lex Culinaria, I can't wait to hear what your husband thinks of these. And as for men who love chocolate, honestly, those are the only kind of men I like.

And Julie, don't fight the urge too hard. Mmmm, scones...

4:07 PM, June 07, 2005  
Anonymous Becca said...

I gained weight just reading this post! what did he say, "assaulted by flavor?" ... love it.

8:12 PM, June 07, 2005  
Anonymous Viv said...

Those babies sure look wonderful, Molly! I would not mind having one for dinner right about now. ;-)

5:58 PM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Becca, Jimmy is deadly serious when he uses the word "assault." And I love him for it.

And Viv, if I hadn't eaten the scone I had in the freezer, I'd run it over to you right now...

8:58 PM, June 08, 2005  
Anonymous Karin said...

Amazingly yummy looking! It's at a perfect timing... it's close to graduation and a senior in my school's highest choir sometimes makes scones and I felt like making scones for her before she left... and these will be perfect! I love this site, I've been lurking for far too long to not comment!

4:31 PM, June 09, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Karin, thanks so much for piping up and commenting. What a lucky friend you have! I hope the scones turned out well and that she found them as luscious as I do...

6:46 AM, June 14, 2005  
Blogger tara said...

My goodness. I had promised myself the next thing for which I turned the oven on would be dinner. Now it seems that it is scones. Ever since I read this post, I can't seem to get these gorgeous babies out of my mind ... shall I give into Jimmy's wiles?

11:11 AM, June 15, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Oh tara, I don't think you have a choice. You MUST give in. That's how Jimmy works, you see.

3:57 PM, June 16, 2005  
Blogger tara said...

With Father's Day this weekend, I can claim altruistic reasons for whipping up a batch ... I believe Jimmy may have broken me again. Must head to the store for some chocolate chips. I will report back on my success!

11:01 AM, June 17, 2005  
Anonymous maria said...

i'm just catching up on my blogs ... what a great post! yum yum. i love reading your words!!

5:55 PM, June 23, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Thank you, mav! After ten days out of town, I've been catching up on port2port lately too, and the photos are gorgeous, as always. Plus, I have a weakness for anything resembling a letter, so reading the exchanges between you and arc is always a highlight of my day.

10:23 PM, June 23, 2005  
Blogger Zarah Maria said...

Mmmm, made these today, they were wonderful! And if Jimmy ever stops by Denmark, he would most certainly be welcomed - with or without breakfast!:-)

7:22 AM, July 17, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Zarah Maria, I'm so glad to hear that the scones were a success! I'll pass the message on to Jimmy...

9:52 PM, July 18, 2005  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

Is there a statute of limitations on comments?! It's 2 years after you posted this and I am only now making these scones. Delish. The girls at work are gonna love 'em.

By the way, al the best on your wedding day! Congrats!!!

7:49 PM, July 17, 2007  
Blogger fallen tree said...

I've been a sporadic reader of your blog for a while now, but never dared to try any of your recipes. ... as much as it would enlighten my solo cooking adventures, it just never occurred to me. ... until now.

A bakery here sells delicious chocolate scones, at a price that's just slightly too dear for my student budget. So, intending to cut my costs, and hopefully up my enjoyment, I set out to comb the internet for recipes. This one jumped out, and I thought "Oh, Orangette, I would be a fool not to try these."

And fool I would have been. They are amazing, though next time I shall cut them into smaller pieces, since the 8 I did cut them into are FAR TOO BIG even for a lazy Sunday breakfast. Absolutely delicious, and I can guarantee I shall be trying more of your recipes in the future.

10:33 AM, February 24, 2008  
Blogger eye.heart.chocolate said...

These were a hit with my family and friends. I never got to thank you for it. I've posted a picture of a plate of them on my blog. Thank you! They are a bite of heaven (and a little bit of naughty hell).

1:29 AM, March 31, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the delish chocolate scone recipe...I added orange extract and fresh orange peel to the ganache and they are dreamy....the vitamin C helps cancel out some of the calories, no? ;)

8:59 PM, January 16, 2012  

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