2teaspoonslightly packed, finely grated zest from 1 medium (orange-sized) bergamot
1/4cupsugar , (preferably organic cane sugar)
2cupsall-purpose flour, (10 ounces)
2 1/2teaspoonsbaking powder
5tablespoonscold, unsalted butter, in 1/4" dice, (2 1/2 ounces)
4ouncessemisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into roughly 1/4" chunks (I use Scharffen Berger's 70% bittersweet), (about 3/4 cup)
3/4-1cupcold heavy cream, as needed (or other dairy - see headnote), plus 2 tablespoons for brushing the scones
1tablespooncoarse (turbinado)sugar, for sprinkling
Combine the bergamot zest and sugar in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachmenand rub with your fingertips (or with the mixer on lountil the sugar is moistened. This helps to draw out the oils and flavor of the bergamot.
Add the flour, baking powder (sifted, if lumpy), salt and butter to the sugar mixture, and work with a pastry blender or your fingertips (or with the mixer on lountil the butter is mostly blended in with some pea-sized bits remaining. Stir in the chocolate, then slowly add the cream, tossing with a rubber spatula (or mixing on low), adding enough to just make the dough begin to clump together and no floury bits remain. Gently knead and press the dough into a ball (you can do this right in the bowthen turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and press it into a round that is 3/4" thick and about 8" in diameter.
Use a lightly floured 1 1/2" biscuit cutter to cut out rounds of dough as close together as possible, placing the cut scones on a small baking sheet in preparation for freezing. Gently press together the remaining dough scraps, and cut out more scones. Repeat until all the dough is used up. Freeze the scones until firm, 30-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425º.
Place the frozen scones two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and stack it atop a second sheet pan to prevent the bottoms from scorching. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake the scones until the tops and bottoms are golden, 15-20 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature. They are best the day they are baked, but will keep for a few days at room temperature in an air-tight container. Re-warm in a toaster oven for best results.
Heavy cream makes the most meltingly tender scones. But if you're trying to save on calories, or simply don't have any, you can substitute yogurt, buttermilk, half and half, whole milk, crème fraîche, or any combination thereof. The amount you need to bring the dough together will vary.The scones hold their shapes best when frozen prior to baking. Frozen scones can be double-bagged and stored until ready to bake, up to a couple of months. If you want scones in a jiffy, though, you can bake them as soon as they have been cut. I like to bake scones on a double layer of baking sheets as it prevents their bottoms from over-browning.These are best the day they have been baked, particularly when fresh from the oven, but they'll keep for a few days at room temperature. Re-warm for best results.Nutritional values are based on one of eighteen scones.