It is the middle of March and spring still seems to run away from us. In the last couple of days we have had dipping temperatures and a whole lot of snowfall. Again! Ah well! As long as the sun is shining! And yes, on the positive side, at least we are enjoying longer hours of daylight!
Since the last post, yours truly has also become another year older. As for the getting wiser, well, time will tell! Till then, let’s talk about rock cakes!
Unlike their name, rock cakes are not as rocky as you would think. These small cakes or buns, which are somewhere between a scone and a cookie, are very easy to rustle up with store cupboard ingredients and are a delightful accompaniment to your cuppa.
Rock cakes, or rock buns, as they are also called, are full of dried fruit and peel and has a rough looking surface, almost rock like- hence the name. They originated in Great Britain and were very popular during the Second World War, a time of rationing, for they could be made with minimum quantities of sugar and eggs, as compared to regular cakes.
Harry Potter fans might find mentions of rock cakes in the stories- Hagrid’s version of rock cakes do taste a lot like their namesake, but Ron Weasley’s mother, being an excellet cook, rustles up some lovely rock cakes, just like they should be.
The young lady was supposed to make rock cakes in school, and was disappointed when she had to stay back due to her being unwell. So, one afternoon, we made them at home. The traditionl rock cake, as mentioned earlier, is studded with lots of dried fruit, with probably a hint of spice. I had run out of the dried fruits, so added some chocolate chunks to our rock cakes. I also used whole wheat flour and brown sugar. The entire process is very simple too- a bit of rubbing in, mixing, spooning and baking – and you have a wonderful tea time treat. They are best eaten when still warm and at the most within a day.
We were so glad we made them, the warm rock cakes, with their slightly crisp exterior , soft crumb and the still warm and gooey chocolate went down a treat.
The following is my version of a rock cake with chocolate chunks-
1C whole wheat flour (atta)
1 and a 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C softened butter
1/4 C dark muscovado sugar or any other dark brown sugar
50 gms of dark chocolate, chopped
1 Tblsp milk
a little demerera sugar for sprinkling on top
- Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C and line a baking tray with foil.
- In a bowl, add the flour and baking powder and mix well.
- Add the butter and rub it into the flour with fingertips untill the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Mix in the sugar and chocolate chunks untill well incorporated.
- Make a well in the centre of the mixture and break the egg into it. Add the milk and mix with a wooden spoon until everything just comes together into a stiff but sticky dough.
- Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared tray ( I got eight cakes), keeping them quite rough looking.
- Sprinkle a little demerera sugar on top and bake in the centre of the pre heated oven for 15-18 minutes or till risen and golden.
- Cool on a rack and serve warm.
With the hubby travelling, it was just the three of us left to enjoy them. Rengoni and Agastya had theirs with glasses of milk, and I had them on their own. They are all gone now, but I am sure to make them soon!
Have a great weekend!