Cranberry, Ginger and White Chocolate Rock Cakes

Saturday 3 August 2013

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Oh boy . . . is it hot.  It seems we are in for this hot sticky weather for a while yet.  Not going to complain . . . not going to complain, but it sure is putting a damper on my baking mojo!  I usually like to bake something scrummy at the weekend, but not wanting to have the oven on for long.

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These delightful rock cakes are the perfect thing for that.  They cook in under fifteen minutes, so in a reasonably short time you can have something decent on the table to have with your break time cuppa.  And . . . if you do it early in the morning before the sun really gets up too high in the sky, your kitchen won't get overly heated.   I did these early in the morning while the back of our house, where the kitchen is, was still well shaded.   It was quite cool in the kitchen with the door open.  I barely broke out in a sweat!

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Rock cakes are a little bit hard to define . . . they are not quite cookie/biscuit or scone . . . but something in between.  Buttery and short . . . they're also known as Rock Buns and are one of Harry Potter's favourite tea time treats!  

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You could split them and spread them with butter, but I am quite happy nibbling on them just as they are.  This recipe here today is stogged full of sweet/tart dried cranberries and chunks of white chocolate, along with tasty little nibble-y bits of preserved stem ginger.  (I just love ginger don't you?)

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Altogether they make for a really morishly tasty tea time treat.  Your kids will love these . . . the big ones too.   They also make perfect little cakes to take on a family outing or picnic.  Bring on the ice cold ginger-beer!

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*Cranberry, Ginger and White Chocolate Rock Cakes*
Makes 15
A rock cake is kind of like a cross between a sweet drop cookie and a drop scone.   This version is quite scrummy, with nice chunks of white chocolate, dried cranberries and lots of moreish bits of preserved ginger root! 

175g unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
350g of plain flour (approx 2 1/2 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
pinch salt
175g soft light brown sugar (1 cup packed)
125g of dried cranberries (3/4 cup)
1 bar of good quality white chocolate cut into chunks (I use green and blacks.  You will want
about 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks)
2 balls of preserved stem ginger, cut into small bits
1 large free range egg
2 to 3 TBS milk
1 TBS syrup from the stem ginger bottle
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.  Line a large baking tray with baking paper.  Butter the paper.  Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt into a mixing bowl.  Cut the butter into bits and drop it into the flour mixture. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your finger tips until the mixture  resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Stir in the ginger, cranberries and chocolate chunks along with the brown sugar.  Whisk together the egg, milk and syrup.   Add this to the mixture a bit at a time and mix in using a round bladed knife.  You should have a mixture which is quite stiff and just holding together.  You may not need all of the liquid. 

Place heaping dessert spoons of the mixture evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet.  Using a fork, rough up the edges a bit.   Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the buns are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the centre of one comes out clean.   Remove from the oven.   Allow to stand on the baking sheet for about five minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.  These will keep well in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.  They also freeze well.

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