Saturday, 26 March 2011

Blueberry and Cranberry Rock Cakes

Blueberry and Cranberry Rock Cakes 

Rock Cakes are quick and simple to make, but many get them wrong, overcooking so they are like stones or under-cooking at the wrong temperature so the outside is brown but the inside is uncooked. They should be similar in texture to scones but with a crisper outside and shaped like a pile of rocks. Often flavoured with spices they can be plain or with dried fruit added. Some sprinkle with sugar for an extra crisp outside. In the 70's it was popular to add a glace cherry on top of each rock cake  :)
Tip - Heat the oven to the correct temperature before adding the rock cakes this helps to avoid the over/ under cooking problems.
Best served warm with a little butter.
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark6

  • 8oz/ 200grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3oz/ 75grams butter
  • 2 heaped tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mixed spice (or depending on dried fruit used change mixed spice to cinnamon or ginger)
If you want to add dried fruit you can add approximately 3 oz/ 75grams (traditionally currants or sultanas but I don't like them so often use dried apricots, blueberries or cranberries)
I used approximately 2 tablespoons each of dried blueberries and dried cranberries

Sieve the flour, mixed spice, sugar and baking powder into a large baking bowl.
Add the softened butter and rub together with fingertips (I use this pastry blender makes quick work of blending the butter with the flour) until this pasty the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add dried fruit and blend together.

Add the egg and 2 tablespoons of the milk, mix to create a stiff dough. If the mixture is to dry add another tbsp of milk, I do make my rock cake mix slightly wetter (I just prefer the texture that way) so tend to use the full 3 tablespoons  
Pile approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture into heaps on to a greased baking tray. I used Yorkshire pudding trays the mixture made 8 rock cakes

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
Serve warm cut in half and butter.

This post is linked to:
Sweets for Saturday

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Petit Pois Cupcakes

I popped into Selfridges Oxford Street on Wednesday (I have been looking for the new baked and delicious magazine still can not get a copy) plus Petit Pois Cakes were launching their new healthy cupcakes range.
With half the calories and fat of ‘normal’ high-street cakes they are gluten and lactose free. They replace the butter with vegetables using grated pumpkin, courgette or beetroot which soften rather than stiffen over time (how has the power to keeps cupcakes for long and resist not eatting them?), meaning the cakes stay moist longer.
I tried a sample of a vanilla cupcake, the sponge was light & moist with a nice texture, they have a thin layer of icing with a marzipan pea on top (I was wondering what the peas were made of when I first saw the cakes) I think the only downside was the price tag £5.00 for 2 cakes maybe if they get them into more places the price will go down.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Quick and Easy Apple Tart

Ingredients :

Un-roll if bought or roll our if home made the pastry and use to line a prepared baking tray (I use non-stick sheet)
Score (to score make a shallow cut, don't go all the way through the pastry) about 2.5cm/ 1inch all around the pastry, this will make walls of the tart.

Wet the corners of the pastry and fold each one together.

Spread the apple compote onto the pastry (I usually use cool apple compote but experiment and used it warm as the tart was going straight in the oven after adding the the sliced apple with no problems)

Peel the apple, and slice thinly. Add on to compote as shown on the picture, sprinkle with cinnamon or vanilla sugar (or spice of choice).
Preheat oven at 200 - 220°C.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry's cooked and golden.

You can eat this warm or leave to cool completely and store in fridge until you're ready to eat it.

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Friday, 11 March 2011

Apple Compote

  • 2 Large cooking apples (I used a brambley and a granny smith)
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 25 grams/ 1oz Caster sugar(you can add more if your apples need it)
  • 25 grams/ 1oz Butter
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Peel and core apples, dice the apple into pieces are small even pieces and add to a frying pan (or saucepan)

Add water, sugar and lemon juice to the apples, cook slowly on a low- medium heat until apples are soft and tender (approximately 5 - 10 minutes)
Dice butter and add to apples stir until mixed
You can further flavour with vanilla or cinnamon to taste
Remove from heat and blend briefly to obtain desired consistency or longer for a smoother consistency.

I used a potato masher to blend my apples as I wanted to keep a little texture, you could also use a ricer.
Leave to cool and transfer to a jar or other container.Keep in the fridge, in sealed container.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day and what could be better than a traditional pancake simply served with lemon and sugar.
  • 220gms/ 8oz Plain flour
  • 1 pint/ 560 ml Milk
  • A pinch salt 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon and caster sugar  to serve
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre. 
Break the eggs one at a time and pour into the well, add half the milk and beat, gradually adding more milk little by little (you may need a little more or less of the milk) until you have the consistency of thin cream, continue beating to make a smooth batter.
Leave to stand for approximately 1/2 hour.
Heat the frying pan or griddle adding a little oil (don't use butter it burns) and pour enough batter to cover the area needed (a little less is better adjusting for the next pancake), tilt and rotate pan from side to side to coat the mixture evenly.
Cook until the top is dry, carefully lifting the edge of the pancake to see if it's browned, turn the pancake over or if you don't mind getting burnt toss the pancake in the air to flip over (I confess I am a chicken or maybe I just don't enjoy cleaning the floor, ceiling, walls and whatever the pancake ends up on as I nearly always miss the flying pan!). 
Cook the other side until brown.
To serve squeeze and sprinkle with lemon juice (lime juice is good also) and add sugar to taste, roll up. Eat while hot. Yummy!
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