Allow me to tell you the story of my mock GCSE Technology exam.
I’d only been at this particular school for less than six months, and when we moved I had to change my GCSE options thanks to my new School being a Technology specialist. This meant starting a new subject half way through the course. A new subject that was very important to the school and one that I had very little knowledge of.
Since I arrived in the September I’d been taking part in the woodwork classes, trying to get some sort of practical project done to hand in for my coursework that May. I made a clock out of MDF and dowel with a few bits of lathed brass for decoration. It lasted well actually; it hung on my Mum and Dad’s wall for years.
Anyway, that exam. It was in the January; an incredibly cold January actually – the rest of the School were sent home one afternoon while we sat our exam (not sure if it was this one, but one of them) because they couldn’t get the School warm enough. I was very nervous; I’ve never been very good at examinations and it had been very difficult to prepare as I knew it would include all sorts of questions I would have no idea how to answer. I remember two of the questions vividly, I can see them written on the paper in front of me just as well as I can remember the chair and desk and hall and pencil. The first was about how a roller coaster carriage attached to the track. We were expected to draw a diagram of the mechanism and label the parts. The second: How do you make scones?
Having completed my detailed diagram of how I imagined a carriage/track system worked on any one of my favourite roller coasters, I sat and looked at the page about the scones, trying to think. I reckoned I’d last made scones in Brownies. Or maybe it was in Primary School. We did Home Economics at my previous school but I don’t remember making scones. And before you question whether I would cook with my Mum – she offered regularly but I was more interested in playing outside so that was my own fault.
But I had to write something; so I searched the deepest parts of my brain in the hope that there was something there. I wrote about flour and butter and the rubbing in method and dried fruit and sugar and kneading and rolling. I wrote in very general terms – no measurements except “a pinch of salt” – and no temperatures apart from “a hot oven”. I made some suggestions on how to serve them, pointing out they are best eaten with clotted cream and strawberries on a sunny afternoon served with Earl Grey tea in a bone china tea cup. Ok I didn’t say anything about Earl Grey or the weather, but I figured the serving suggestion might go in my favour!
Thankfully I must have been right. With both the roller coaster (anyone need an engineer?!) and the scones. I totally passed that exam, and went on to do well in the real thing too. Ha! It’s funny what you remember.
How Do You Make Scones?
Scones are so easy to make and only take ten minutes in the oven so they’re super fast too. I’d not really thought about making them myself for years until the other day when I was looking in the cupboard for inspiration. That mock GCSE exam came flooding back and (checking the recipe from a list my mum gave me when I left home) I made a batch of fruit scones. While I know they’re not perfect they tasted great, so I thought I’d share the very simple recipe here on my blog.
- 225g Self Raising Flour
- A pinch of salt
- 50g Butter – I used Flora Buttery
- 25g Caster Sugar
- 50g Dried Fruit eg Sultanas or Raisins
- 1 Medium Egg
- Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter til it is like fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar and fruit.
- Beat the egg in a mixing jug and add enough milk to make up 150ml liquid. Add this to the mixing bowl a little at a time until you have a nice soft and spongy dough – you’ll need something like three quarters of the liquid.
- Roll the dough out to about 1-2cm thick and cut into rounds – I used a 6.5cm cutter and got ten scones from my mixture.
- Place the scones on a lined baking tray and use the remaining milk/egg mix to brush the top of each scone.
- Put in a hot oven (220 C or Gas Mark 7) for ten minutes.
- Cool down a little on a wire rack before eating – just enough so the fruit isn’t nuclear!
Scones are perfect to serve for lunch or supper with a little butter and/or jam. Of course they are best served with clotted cream and strawberries on a sunny afternoon along with some Earl Grey tea in a bone china cup… Enjoy!