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Scones or Muffins. What's your pick?

Written by Mr Yum Hugs

A scone is a scone

A muffin’s a muffin

If you think they’re the same

Then you don’t know bout nuffin

Scones and muffins.

What’s the difference and why would you choose one over the other? Today we’ll have a Yum Hugs look into scones: what are their origins, how are they cooked, and what advantages do they have over their cakier counterparts? Is your mouth watering just thinking about it? Mine is, so let’s go.

To clarify what we mean by a scone, we are talking about the English/Australian version, which is quite different to the American style scone. American scones are denser on account of being made from quite different ingredients. Defining the precise difference is a minefield so I won’t even try, but they are more intended to be eaten on their own or with savoury breakfast toppings, whereas we generally eat scones in Australia with jam and cream. So, on we go with our look at the light and fluffy Aussie style scones.

A brief history of the scone:

One theory is that the word scone originated in Scotland in the 1500s, derived from schoonbroot, the Middle Dutch term meaning fine bread. Made from oats, they were formed into a dinner plate sized disc, griddle baked over an open fire, then cut into triangles. The modern tradition of eating them with jam and cream began in England during the 1800s, soon after the invention of baking powder which lightened the texture of baked goods. This is the main difference between scones and bread, because breads use yeast as the leavening agent.

What are the various types of scones we love at Yum Hugs?

Plain scones, pumpkin scones, dried fruit scones, cheese and bacon scones, and date scones. There are many other varieties which haven’t made an appearance in the Yum Hugs kitchen yet, but they are sure to turn up eventually.

Should the jam or cream go on first?

Strangely, most Devonshire teas in Australia would see the jam going on first, followed by whipped cream. This is actually the Cornish method. The tradition in Devon is cream first. But who cares really? It all comes down to personal preference, or maybe what your parents did. The Yum Hugs method is jam first.

What are the advantages of scones over muffins?

-Scones generally have less sugar than muffins, which makes them a healthier option if you're like Mr Yum Hugs and need to limit your consumption of processed sugars. But it obviously depends on what you put on top, because a thick spread of jam can quickly change all that. Cream has no sugar, so Mr Yum Hugs never holds back on the whipped topping. And a dash of vanilla never goes astray. Bon appetite!

-Scones are cheap to make and require pantry staples which should save you a trip to the shops.

-Scones haven’t changed in generations. Everyone loves them with jam and cream, just the way they ate them when they were kids. Don’t they?

Anyway, that’s enough about scones for now. If you want to learn how to cook the best scones you ever ate, consider doing a Basic Baking Class at the Yum Hugs Academy. You’ll be baking homemade treats like a pro before you know it.

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