Student food blog:Lemonade date scones

Hello strangers! I haven't forgotten about you. However, it seems I have gotten a little caught up in the "real world''.

So while I may not be a student anymore, somehow even with a salary I still manage to have no money at the end of the day. I also live in Auckland now (don't hate me) and so therefore have even less money (oh hey $2.17/L for petrol).

So I am still constantly seeking new ways to eat well on a budget.

One of my unofficial duties at my new job is to make scones on Tuesdays. Scone-day Tuesday! Somehow everyone seems to be amazed by how quickly I can whip up a batch (or two or three).

I have discovered that the best way to make new friends at work is to provide everyone with delicious baked treats.

Throw that old Edmond's recipe out the window (as much as it pains me to say it). Who has time for rubbing butter into flour and sugar? This recipe requires only four ingredients (excluding the dates). All you need is plain flour, baking powder, lemonade and cream.

The original recipe calls for self-raising flour but you can make that yourself by sieving two teaspoons of baking powder into each cup of flour you require. So really there is never a reason to buy self-raising when you can just make it as you need it.

Add the cream and lemonade in equal parts. Depending on the humidity you may need just under a cup of each.

For those of you new to the scone-making scene, here are Mummy Edmonds' four scone commandments:

- Do not overhandle the dough. You will overwork the gluten and make the scones tough and chewy. The heat from your hands also does the dough no favours.

- Use a knife to mix the dough ingredients. This prevents overhandling and just works really well.

- Place the scones close together on the baking tray. This will prevent them from drying out too much and will make them rise up rather than out.

- Pat the top of each scone with a bit of milk just before popping in the oven. It makes the tops all nice.

So give these a go one afternoon and brace yourself for all the instant friends you will make (unless, of course, they don't like dates).

Lemonade date scones
Makes 16 large scones

4 cups plain flour
8 tsp baking powder
1 cup of cream (approx)
1 cup of lemonade (approx)
1 cup dates, chopped
Juice and zest of one orange
Extra milk for the tops 
Extra flour to roll the dough

Soak the dates in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain then squeeze over the orange juice. Orange and date is a great flavour combo.

Preheat the oven to 180degC on bake and line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl, sieve together the flour and baking powder. Stir through the dates soaked in orange juice (don't drain out the juice).

Start with half a cup of cream and lemonade and use a knife to bring the dough together. Add the liquids in equal parts until a slightly sticky dough results.

Tip dough on to a floured bench and pat into a fat rectangle or circle shape about 2-3cm thick. Use a flat-edged blade to slice the dough into squares or wedges. Transfer to a baking tray, making sure there is less than 1cm between each scone. Pat with milk and sprinkle over the orange zest.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the sides don't look raw and doughy.

Serve hot and fresh with jam, cream and whatever else your heart desires.

Enjoy!