One of the most popular things to do when you visit Hong Kong is have high-tea at the Peninsula Hotel on the Kowloon side. The Peninsula is the epitome of luxury and many travel from overseas to indulge in an afternoon of tea and scones, surrounded by gold-trimmed ornate ceilings, lush palm trees and sparkling chandeliers, all of which perfectly embody the timeless elegance of the grand room. My family and I haven’t been in a few years so I am putting that on my to-do list when I go back to Hong Kong for Christmas.
I decided to throw my own little tea party in Los Angeles, except we somehow ended up with rosé rather than tea. But lavender scones, strawberry-rose macarons and pistachio-raspberry semi-freddo were still present! With the twinkling lights and the chandelier, the atmosphere was just magical.
Lavender Scones with Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam
Makes 15 large scones
3 + 2/3 cups (440 g) of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/3 cup (80 g) of unsalted butter
1/3 cup (65 g) of brown sugar
2 tbsp. of heavy cream
1/4 cup of dried lavender
1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
7 fl oz (210 ml) of whole milk
A pinch of salt
For the glazing:
1 egg yolk
1 1/8 cup (225 g) of sugar
2 tsp. of gelatin powder
2 cups (375 g) of strawberries
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. of rose water
For the jam:
In a large bowl, mix the sugar with the gelatin powder.
Add the strawberries to a deep pot. Use a hand mixer to puree the fruit. Heat it up on low heat then add the sugar-gelatin mix and the lemon juice. Mix well on medium heat until it starts bubbling and let it cook for 2 minutes.
Transfer the filling to a clean bowl and cover it up with cellophane. Let it cool before putting the bowl in the fridge.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 420°F (220°C).
For the scones:
You will need parchment paper, baking sheet, rolling pin, a fluted round scone cutter (6 cm/ 2.5 inches approx) and a pastry brush.
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl or food processor.
Add the butter and mix well. Slowly add the milk, eggs, cream and vanilla extract. Mix until the dough is soft but still sticky. Add the lavender.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1 inch or 3 cm thick. Flour the inside of your round pastry cutter. Cut in your scones and place them over parchment paper on a cookie sheet or baking tray.
Mix the egg yolk and brush yolk onto each scone.
Bake for 15 min until golden brown. The scones should have risen.
Enjoy with the jam!