Saturday, 3 September 2011

Apple and Chocolate Rock Cakes

Rock cakes used to be my main go to recipe when I had to bake something in a hurry or just wanted something to fill the cake tin. I haven't made them in years, I don't know why, they are so easy and really quite delicious. I also grew up with them. My mother used to make them with dates which I particularly liked. But at the moment I have lots of cooking apples that a friend has given me and I need to concentrate on using them up. Regular visitors may start to get bored with the ensuing number of apple cakes I may well be baking!

Anyway, this is what I did this time around:
  • Put 8oz flour (1/2 spelt, 1/2 white) into a large mixing bowl together with 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp cinnamon.
  • Rubbed 4oz unsalted butter into the flour.
  • Stirred in 3oz demerara sugar.
  • Added 2oz sultanas and 2oz 40% milk chocolate drops.
  • Peeled, cored and finely (ish) chopped 1 cooking apple and stirred that in to the dry ingredients.
  • Made a well in the centre, broke in 2 duck eggs and stirred until all combined.
  • Spooned 12 large lumps onto a lined baking tray and baked for 20 minutes at 180C until lightly browned.
  • Moved to a wire rack to cool.
These were just as good as I'd remembered them, firm on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside. This was the first time I'd ever used chocolate in rock cakes and as I'd guessed, it worked really well. The sweet bits of sultanas and chocolate made an excellent contrast to the sharp and flavoursome apple pieces. They were destined for friends where we were going for supper. However, I managed to snaffle one for myself, save one for CT and rush down the road to my local bookshop with two of them on a saucer, where they were gratefully received. We are lucky enough to have an independent bookshop in our small town. It is a marvellous place which somehow manages to keep going whilst many shops are closing around it. They always give excellent service and are friendly and knowledgeable. They may be small, but CT hasn't found a book yet that they haven't been able to order for him and he orders some rather obscure items. Surprisingly, for such humble cakes, these had rave reviews from all who ate them.

Cheekily, I'm linking this to Vanessa Kimbell's lovely idea to Practice Random Acts of Baking. Vanessa, I had a much more random and kinder plan that this in mind, but the bakes were a disaster and I had to abort - I will relate all at a later date.

I am just about to leave on a week's holiday - hoorah! It is two years since I had a proper holiday and it feels very much needed. We are not going far, we're off to the Lizard and I can't wait!

22 comments:

  1. I haven't had rock cakes in years, in fact I had forgotten they even existed. Adding chocolate sounds like a good plan.

    Have a good holiday, even if I cannot begin to guess where Lizard is :)

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  2. Do you know I've never made rock cakes (intentionally that is, some of my attempts at scones have result in said item though!)
    I'm baking my act this weekend, all shall be revealed, but what a lovely treat to share and pass on. Have a lovely holiday my friend. Relax and enjoy, you deserve it!

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  3. They sound great. I think I made rock cakes once, years and years ago and haven't revisited them since. Must have a go!

    Have a lovely holiday, relax!

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  4. I've never been a huge fan of rock cakes, like scones, which, in my opinion, you have eat them almost right away or they don't taste the same. However, I do like the idea of the apple pieces and of course chocolate would improve pretty much any recipe. Maybe you will start a rock cake revival!

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  5. I haven't had rock cakes for years, ever since I left the UK, I think! The ones I ate never even had chocolate in them, how sad... that's why your cakes 'ROCK'!

    Enjoy your break at the Lizard, wherever that is!

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  6. Rock cakes remind me of school, and so I have avoided them for years - these sound so delicious that I will just have to put my prejudice aside!

    Wonderful idea to make your local bookshop staff the beneficiaries of your ramdom bake of kindness, we lost our independent bookshop this year and I miss it so much.

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  7. Weirdly I was looking at a recipe for rock cakes in one of may recipe books only yesterday and thinking about how I needed to make them for the children as they were a big part of my childhood. I very much like the combo of apple, raisins and chocolate. Have a lovely break. Hope the weather behaves.

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  8. I haven't had rock cakes in a long, long, time and these look so good!

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  9. I am a scone and rock cake fan and that is a brilliant idea to add apples and chocolate! Love the look of them, they look not so rock like!
    Karen

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  10. I think I had too many dry and hard rock cakes as a kid and hated them but I have since had nicer rock cakes and understand why people make them - this flavour combination really appeals

    Enjoy your holidays - hope you get the break out you need

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  11. they look sooooo good... I love the added chocolate chunks, that just makes them so extra special... I too have fond memories of grandma's rock cakes... have a great holiday xx

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  12. Have a lovely holiday! Your bookshop sounds great.

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  13. These sound delicious and I love thier humble appearance. I find these much more attractive than plain scones. They make you want to dig right in. Have a lovely holiday

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  14. I've never baked rock cakes before, Choc, I think the name has always put me off! Good to know they're delicious - I'll have to give them a try. Thanks!

    Have a great holiday! :)

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  15. Enjoy your holiday, we left Brittany bathed in sunshine, hope the weather's good for you:-)
    The rock cakes look yummy!

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  16. ooh - I've never had a chocolate rock cake before. It's years since I've had a rock cake - used to love them!
    Love your combination of apple and choc

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  17. so delicious and so perfect for september. I love them! And loving the idea of a chocolate masterpiece for this month's we should cocoa! <3

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  18. I've always wanted to try rock cakes. This combination sounds (and looks) delicious! X

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  19. Everything looks gorgeous as usual, I can only imagine you find the time to be so prolific by not taking a holiday. This sounds like a well-deserved rest in one of the best bits of Britain, have a fabulous time

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  20. Rock cakes were a staple of my childhood and best eaten the same day they are baked so I'm sure your book shop keepers were very pleased. Hope the shop continues as these little pockets of literary sanctuary are very rare indeed. Can't wait to join RBOK myself next time.

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  21. Rock cakes seem to have touched a cord - strange how so many feelings (good and bad) are attached to these humble cakes. Although these cakes were all eaten fast, my memory of them is that they do keep well and don't dry out like scones.

    Thank you all for your comments and your good wishes too. We had a good relaxing break an even got the odd glimmer of sun!

    Chele - do give them a try.

    BVG - that's tough, I am amazed ours has managed to hang on this long. Will just have to cross fingers and use it.

    Oxslip - the Lizard is one of our favourite places. Unlike the bit of Cornwall we live in, it's relatively flat so makes for much easier walking too.

    Sally - Everyone likes the idea of a local independent bookshop, but when it comes down to it, cheap books via Amazon are very tempting.

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  22. These cakes are sooo easy to make and delicious - highly recommended.

    We used pear instead of apple, no cinnamon (cos we didn't have any) and dark chocolate broken into bits instead of milk choc drops.

    Lovely

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