How to nab yourself an intellectual in one easy step*

December 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

*Wait, sorry. Two easy steps.


First – become an intellectual yourself. To the library!


All done? Then onwards to phase two – bake some cheese scones.  Seriously. They’re like catnip to the kind of people who like to sit up late discussing the ongoing ramifications of the works of the Second Viennese School on the twin fields of  contemporary art and music – and if you’re fond of my blog I suspect you may also be fond of those kind of people. Maybe it’s how well they go with red wine and coffee. Maybe it’s the fact that they can keep you going when all you’ve been living off is red wine and coffee. Maybe it’s simply the fact that blue cheese still kind of says “I have sophisticated tastes. No, really. Look – eating mould with a smile”. Whatever it is – if you’ve found an intellectual you like, but aren’t quite ready to hit them with the multiple orgasm brownies then I highly recommend you whip up a batch of these and invite them round for a little “I’ll show you my (ongoing literature review for doctoral research) if you show me yours”.


You will need:


  • 350g self-raising flour or 350g plain flour with 3 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 85g butter (if unsalted add a pinch of salt to the recipe)
  • Herbs and spices. I like 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp dried thyme and 1 tsp dried sage. Rosemary is excellent, as are dried chilli flakes.
  • 300ml carton of buttermilk
  • 100g very strong cheddar, grated
  • 50/100g blue cheese – cambozola, gorgonzola, stilton are all good – Saint Agur is my favourite.


1. Preheat the oven to 220C, line a baking tray with baking parchment and clean, dry and flour a surface you don’t mind getting covered with dough.


2. In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour/raising agents until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You need cold fingers for this – and if you’ve never done it before then check this out.


3. Mix in your spices/herbs and grated cheddar.


4. Mix in the buttermilk by hand – you might not need to use it all – you’re looking for a soft and pliable dough, not a stiff one. Resist urge to make double entendres out of my cooking instructions.


5. Press out dough onto your clean, floured surface and cut into scones – use a cutter or a clean glass/mug. This recipe should yield 8-12, depending on how you press out the dough.


6. Transfer to baking tray and press the blue cheese into the surface of the scones. Bake for around 15 minutes.



I'll admit, not particularly appetising yet



7. Best served warm, buttered and to the strains of an “is it bickering or is it foreplay?” kind of conversation. And good luck!


Don't forget the candles. Sensitive eyes from all the reading, don't you know?





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