Cheese & Chive Scones

There’s a lot to be said for living with others. Particularly if it involves cooking for them. I know a lot of people will say that “oh no, my family aren’t picky and will eat every damn thing that is served to them”, but I know many others will agree with me in saying that sometimes menu planning can be a righteous pain in the arse.

Firstly, I present to you the case of my mother.

Having grown up on a deer farm in rural South Korea after the Korean war, she is incredibly “old school” when it comes to Korean cuisine. Everything should be done by hand and as true to the old ways as possible. It’s probably a good thing that she’ll never meet David Chang of Momofuku fame, or there’s a real chance that she’d box his ears and tell him off for messing with traditional recipes. In her words “what do you think you can do that hasn’t already been perfected by your ancestors??”

Don’t try to talk to her about fusion cuisine. I speak from experience.

Despite this, she has an odd love of sweet cornbread served with jam, as she recalls this being something she received at school during lunchtimes, an offering from the local U.S. army base, so to her this is as much a part of her childhood as is bibimbap or hodduk. And now, after 20+ years in Australia, she’s now also developed a bit of a taste for Western and European cuisine, but is incredibly particular about what she will or won’t tolerate.

Then we have my darling kid sister. She’s actually not as particular as our mother is, but there is still a clear list of foods which are not approved for mastication. She will generally tolerate them if she must and if their flavour can be hidden, but if given a choice she will run a mile. This, unfortunately, includes onions, seafood, and anything that remotely resembles a legume.

All I can say about this is that every time I serve her a bowl of chilli con carne y frijoles, I become equally mesmerised and infuriated by watching her meticulously eat AROUND every kidney bean that might be hiding in the mix.

Last, but not least, is my little brother.

My little brother, who is one of the absolute joys of my life, and yet very clearly insane.

The picture to the left is just a demonstration – invited to a fancy dress birthday party last year, he decided that he would like to go as a character from some computer game, who happens to be a burly, hairy, RUSSIAN wrestler.

The burly my brother could pull of pretty well, but the hairy? Tends not to work so well when you’re from Asian stock. After he enlisted me to assist, the best that we could come up with was to buy some fake fur, cut it into shapes and glue it to his actual body.

Thinking back now, I’m thinking that double-sided medical tape would probably have been a better option, but that’s always the case with hindsight, isn’t it?

I warned him that when it came to fur-removal, that he’d probably want to saturate the fur to try and dissolve the glue that we’d used…but no, in his drunken wisdom, the fur was literally TORN from his body later that night.

Aside from that, because of his obsession with building muscle mass, the diet he maintains most days barely registers as food:

  • green beans sauteed with garlic and lean mince with a little pepper
  • tinned tuna on a plain/undressed salad
  • egg white omelettes
  • and a daily breakfast which comprises of protein powder, water, raw oats, a handful of blueberries and a handful of almonds.

I tell you, it makes the cook in me WEEP!

Taking the above into account, this means that when I’m cooking for the family, I have to try and bear all their restrictions in mind or at least make a few options that will appease them all. Other times, I throw in the towel and think “damnit, I’m going to make whatever the hell I want!” and end up having to give half the food away because I’ve cooked enough for the entire family yet I’m the only one who will partake!

To be honest, when I decided to make these cheese & chive scones, I thought that this would very much be a case of the latter. Chives were not going to please my sister, due to their being from the onion family. The high cheese and butter content was sure to be a deterrent as far as my brother was concerned. And as for my mother, she still struggles with the concept of savoury scones, after only coming around to sweet scones in the past few years.

To my surprise, the family adored these golden beauties, and they went down wonderfully well paired with a hearty spicy pumpkin soup! My brother enjoyed them so much that he wolfed down two in a row and declared them to be “savoury deliciousness!”

Golden, cheesy and perfectly tender, these are wonderful for the chilly weather that is approaching us here in the Southern hemisphere. But even if you’re up north where the days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer, there’s no reason that you couldn’t still make these – perhaps served with an unholy lashing of butter and a slice of cold ham :)

Cheese & Chive Scones

300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
150g grated cheese (I use Tasty)
30g freshly grated parmesan
80g cold unsalted butter, diced
250mL cold buttermilk
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Put the flour, baking soda, salt and butter into a food processor and blitz it a few times to bring it all together. If making this by hand, then whisk together the dry ingredients, then rub the butter in with your fingers till the flour resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Then add the remaining ingredients, but set aside about 1/4 cup of the grated cheese and quickly bring it all together (whether in the food processor or in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon). Work quickly and don’t overmix – it’s alright if the mixture is a little undermixed because working the dough too much will result in tough, flat scones!

3. Pat the dough together into a large round about 2cm thick, then dust your scone-cutter with flour and cut out rounds. Place them on a baking tray close together, then brush the top with milk and sprinkle with the reserved cheese.

4. Once the oven is nice and hot, place the tray into the middle and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or till the scones have risen and are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly, and serve warm with some lightly salted butter.

So, my dear readers – how about you? What strange dislikes or requirements do you find yourself working with when you cook for your household? And how do you work around them?


  1. RT @kitchenwench: New blog post: Cheese & Chive Scones

  2. Ha ha, your brother is hilarious! I can relate, because I have a younger brother and he is absolutely insane too :-). Those scones look gorgeous!
    Sneh | Cook Republic recently posted..Cakewich โ€“ White Chocolate Sandwich Cake With Jam And Cream

    • You’ve totally got to love crazy kid brothers though, don’t you? :) They do make us laugh, after all! And thanks for the comment – the scones were crazy delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Those are beautiful scones! I bet they taste mighty good too.



  4. Ellie, your family sounds just like mine. I feel you are my sister I never had. I recently discovered your blog and have
    been going crazy as I want to make so many of your recipes.I have become
    a huge fan. The recipes I have tried were a huge success. Cant wait to make
    these. Thanks

    • Hi Anisha – thank you so much for the lovely comment! I’m so glad that you have been enjoying the recipes on the blog, that is what inspires me to keep this blog going year after year :) I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as you have the other ones!

  5. haha, parents more or less same as ur mum =P. your brother is hilarious!!!

    mmm if only i could get my hands on these “food-give-aways” ey =P
    Allan recently posted..St Ali โ€“ breakfast in South Melb

    • My brother is an absolute fruit loop, but of course I love him dearly :)

      As for the food giveaways, you’re Melbourne based, right? In which case, it’s entirely possible ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. Oh be still my heart~ These look mouthwatering and if only you could ship me some! LOL! Just found your blog-its wonderful and I will certainly be a regular now. Have a great day and if you get a chance come visit- I would love for you to join my recipe challenge this week (see button on sidebar!)

    • Thanks for the lovely comments! I did stop by your blog but can’t see any reference to the recipe challenge for the week on the sidebar?? :(

  7. I’m drooling at your scones but I just can’t get the image of your lil bro’s torn ‘chest hair’ and ripped flesh. Ouch.

    I think my family is a bit more open than most to foods that are not ‘Asian’ thank goodness but I do have to deal with a couple of limitations; my mom doesn’t eat lamb (while the rest of us absolutely loves it) and my parents has to have their pasta cooked soft because al dente is too hard for their teeth. Oi.

    • Thankfully he didn’t actually rip away any skin, but he had some incredibly angry looking patches on his chest and legs for the next few weeks!! As for the pasta thing – I think mine aren’t far off from that point!! I made a salad the other day which both folks avoided because they thought it hurt their jaws too much (>_<) Aiyah!

  8. LOL at your brother’s costume. He seems like a great and entertaining guy! These scones look amazing. Love savory scones, especially with cheeeese.
    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets recently posted..Baileys- Baileys- BaileysOh! Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

  9. Looks fantastic!! Can’t wait to try them out! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. These look great, thanks for sharing.

  11. My husband is Vietnamese, but adopted and raised by a South Indian father and a German mother. His tastes have traditionally been toward spiced foods, which greatly clashes with my English upbringing of meat and potatoes (and very little taste). I know scones, love scones, and have been drooling over this recipe. I feel compelled to answer your question, though. :) My husband will eat some vegetables raw, and others only cooked. He has navigated around corn in complex dishes, and has left a little pile of peas on his plate after hacking through vegetable korma. He somehow manages to ONLY eat the krispy brown rice in a bowl of Bibimbap, leaving the “bland” rice behind. For me, it’s mainly saltiness interfering with the texture and flavour of foods. I don’t like gravy or anything that masks the flavour of the thing being eaten.

    • Wow, that’s a mix of cultures alright!! But I can’t believe he leaves the peas from a vegetable korma – I’m totally nuts about peas! And I’m with you – I’m not a huge fan of food being drowned in any kind of sauce that ‘hides’ the flavour of the rest of the dish :(

    Twitter: meaneirene

    ELLIE! *GASP* You live in a house full of picky eaters! Look, I could make arrangements so that you can stay and my house and cook FOR ME: I will GLADLY devour ANYTHING you make!

    Having said that, the only hinderance is not my taste in food, but these damned wires designed to align my teeth. It acts like a fun filter, halting the process of food vaccuming.

    (And did your brother lose some skin with the fur removal?)

    • I know, it’s crazy!! And yet, what can I do??

      In my brother’s defense – he actually enjoys all food! He’s just one of those bloody gym obsessives who watches EVERYTHING he eats because he’s watching his BMI and muscle density. SIGH! OH – and he thankfully didn’t actually lose any skin with the fur removal…he just had an angry red patch on his chest for a few weeks afterwards :)

      Hope that you can take the braces off soon! My brother and sister both had them and I remember them saying what a monumental pain in the butt they are when it comes to eating!!

  13. They look great Ellie! I only ever bake Finnish type scones which are much easier to master :-) These look perfect!
    Maria @ Scandifoodie recently posted..Pea and avocado soup with watercress and snow pea sprouts

  14. Oh! so that was the brother you were referring too…. the one with big top and skinny legs… kekekee
    penny aka jeroxie recently posted..Oreos cookies and cream mini cheesecake

  15. Danielle says:

    My family is allergic to pepper….. its like what the hell!!! oh and my dad being a typical italian wont anything Indian, asian, or anything that isnt italian…. sigh.

    • Woah – seriously??? Allergic to pepper as in black pepper, not capsicum (bell peppers), right?? That’s one I haven’t heard before!!

      As for not eating anything that isn’t Italian – my father is the same, except with Korean food! Frustrating when I want to make curries for dinner and then I need to make something different for him!

  16. Danielle says:

    Yeah Black pepper! it gives them stomach cramps. Luckily, the boy im dating loves absolutely everything i cook, so if thetre any left overs he gobbles them up.
    Oh and my nonna wont eat seeds!
    Dads are just weird hehehe love him, but weird!

    • Madness! Well, I guess people have different allergies – that would drive me crazy though, since I adore freshly cracked black pepper! As for your nonna not eating seeds – I actually know a few people who hate seeds/whole grains, so she’s not alone :) And I agree that dads can be very weird ๐Ÿ˜›

  17. O.M.G.!! WOW!! These look so freaking awesome!! I’m making these tomorrow I have too!! =D
    Can anyone help me with converting this to cups? I’ve tried before and it came out horrible when I tried to do it from grams before! So any help would be awesome!!
    Love your blog!!

    • Thanks Tiffani! I agree that converting from grams to cups can be incredibly painful – the next time that I make this recipe, I’ll try and get cup measurements for you :)

  18. Long time follower, first time poster. I’ve made your kimchi recipe among other things and I’ve never been dissapointed. Thank you! At the moment these scones are in my oven and I can’t wait to taste them, I was wondering though, why 200 degrees? That seems so low. They’ve been in for 10 minutes and the cheese on top still isn’t melted all the way, is that normal? I’m a 21 year old college-guy just discovering the joys of baking so excuse me if its a silly question.

    • Hi Blaise – 200 degrees C is a fairly standard baking temperature (actually, most cake recipes are baked at 180 degrees C, and scones are usually baked a bit higher). If your scones aren’t rising and the cheese isn’t melting after 10 minutes, I’d probably invest in an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is reaching the correct temperatures :)

  19. YUM! These look amazing. I’m drooling at my desk right now. :)

  20. Firstly, I love your blog and those scones look so scrumptious!

    To answer your question, my hubby is pretty much adverse to all veggies, well, he thinks he is. But it turns out, if I don’t tell him a particular veggie is in something, or if I make it a different way (gratin seems to be a winner) he will eat it and actually enjoy it. He proclaimed he hated brussel sprouts all his life, and then one day he had a bite of my gnocchi, loved it, asked what was in it, and surprise surprise, it was brussel sprouts. People tend to judge too soon and say they don’t like something, when most of the time, if they gave it a try, they might end up finding out they actually love it.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words :) As for your husband – I think that’s quite funny! And you’re absolutely right, many people have hang ups about particular foods because of misconceptions or a bad experience with them – if they tried that food in a great recipe which is cooked well, I’m sure they would overcome the negative perceptions in their mind :)

  21. These are delicious! For some reason my batter came out kind of wet so I just dropped spoonfuls of it on the sheet instead of cutting out rounds. I’m typing this in between eating steaming savoury bites of heavenly buttery flavourful scone. So good!

    • Hmm, I wonder why that is?? If you’re finding that happens again, I’d maybe use 2/3 cup of buttermilk instead of the full 1 cup of buttermilk and see how you go! :) I’m glad you still found them delicious! ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Love your blog Ellie! Gorgeous food pictures and random musings. I have to say Im craving for a bite of that scones right this very second. Winter comes early in Sydney this year!
    Helena recently posted..Creme Spaghettini ala Kani

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