Bacon, Ginger Beer & Fennel Scones
- 1 fennel bulb, cut into very thin wedges, fronds reserved
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 6 rashers streaky bacon, cut into lardons
- 3 cups (450g) self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 cup (250ml) ginger beer
- 1 cup (250ml) thickened cream
- 2 tbs milk
- 1 tbs fennel seeds
- butter or goats cheese, to serve
- fresh baby rocket leaves, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Arrange fennel wedges on one prepared tray, drizzle with oil and season with salt flakes. Roast for 20-25 minutes until golden and tender, and set aside to cool completely. Once cool, reserve 12 small roast fennel wedges to top your scones, and roughly chop the remaining roast fennel.
Heat a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add bacon lardons and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy (about 5 minutes). Drain on paper towel.
Combine flour and a pinch of salt flakes in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the ginger beer and cream, then the bacon and chopped roast fennel. Using a butter knife, stir until the mixture just comes together - like any scone recipe, you don't want to overwork the dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently and quickly, then shape dough into a 2cm-thick, 22cm x 26cm rectangle. Cut into twelve triangles (the easiest way to do this is to slice the dough into thirds and then cut each portion in half, leaving six equal squares; then halve each square diagonally) and place on remaining prepared oven tray. (Note: You don't need to leave room for spreading, having the scones close together will encourage them to rise nicely). Brush with milk and top each triangle with a piece of reserved fennel, pressing down gently. Sprinkle with fennel seeds and roughly tear over reserved fennel fronds.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked through (a scone should sound hollow when tapped on the base). Transfer to a rack to cool slightly, and serve warm with plenty of butter or goats cheese, and a bowl of baby rocket on the side.
Recipe from chef Darren Robertson, co-owner of Three Blue Ducks