“I know several couples who are perfectly happy. Haven’t spoken in years.” Relationship advice from Dowager Countess of Grantham’s on Season 6, winner of The Gardian’s #17 Best Quote of the 2015 year in television.
After 5 captivating years of Downton drama, the final season is upon us this side of the pond. It is a bittersweet night. I am joined by millions of ardent fans in not wanting Downton Abbey to ever end. The final season opens in the mid 1920s with rising hemlines, shorter bobbed and bejeweled tresses and ongoing Upstairs/Downstairs intrigue. Who exactly is The Dowager Countess addressing above? Is it cousin Isobel who turned Lord Merton’s marriage proposal down last season or Lady Mary who spurned Lord Gillingham after spending a week in sin with him last season and is now warming to Henry Talbot? Or will she choose to be independent and stay single? Lady Mary has requested tea be brought to her chambers so she can ponder her future. There are changes ahead at Downton but some things remain quintessentially the same: scones! After making traditional cream currant scones for Season 4, and Lemon Ginger scones for Season 5, I whipped up a batch of very modern Dark Chocolate~Cherry scones. This is after all a final season! With Anna Bates charged with murder, who will deliver tea to Lady Mary: Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Carson or nasty, scheming Thomas Barrow? Stay tuned!
I made my scones with frozen cherries, thawed and drained. They took an extra 10 minutes to bake. If you are using dried cherries, the scones will bake in 17-20 minutes. Adding the finishing dark chocolate drizzle takes these over the top. I used Dove Dark Chocolate. If using a very dark chocolate without much sugar, increase the sugar by 2-3 tablespoons.
Dark Chocolate Chunk~Cherry Scones
2 c flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c sugar, more if your chocolate is not very sweet
1 oz dark chocolate, chopped in rough pieces
4 T butter to brush
1 c of cherries, quartered, and drained in a colander
1 oz dark chocolate, melted, to drizzle
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cream and mix until just blended. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the cherries and chocolate until just blended. Using your hands and working on a floured surface, mound the batter in a round shape. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Score into 12 pieces. Brush with the butter. Bake 17-20 minutes if using dried cherries or 30 minutes if using fresh or frozen and thawed cherries. Let cool 10 minutes then drizzle with the melted chocolate.