Friday, 3 June 2011
I've been doing the happy dance these past couple of weeks because it is strawberry season over here. It's been a bit early this year, due to the warm and sunny April we had, and right about now the shops are absolutely bursting with oodles and oodles of those lovely gorgeously sweet English berries!!!
English Strawberries and Asparagus are the BEST in the world. I know . . . I've not really tasted strawberries ALL over the world, but when I take into consideration all the ones I have tasted . . . I'm putting my money on English Berries . . . so sweet and juicy and . . . well . . . strawberry-ee!!
You cannot beat a fresh English berry, ripe and still warm from the sun, with straw still clinging to it . . . no sugar needed, the fruit tastes fabulous just as it is. We are so blessed to have some in our garden, and whilst there are not enough to satisfy my total indulgences at this time of year . . . there are certainly enough there for Todd and I to enjoy a handful or two, fresh from their canes and warm from the sun.
I thought I would make some delicious Strawberry Shortcake Rock Cakes with some that I picked up yesterday at the shops, for only 99p a punnet!
What is a rock cake??? It is like a cross between a cookie and a scone. Crisp on the edges, softly indulgent and rich on the insides, they are Harry Potter's favourite thing. Ordinary ones, stogged full of raisins, cherries and dried fruit are really scrummy, but I thought I would try some filled with chopped berries.
Oh my, what a tasty idea that was! These are wonderfully fruity and soft and crunchy from the sugar sprinkled on top before baking. Two of these, warm from the oven with a nice cold glass of milk went down a real treat.
Only one thing you need to know. Rock Cakes always taste best on the day they are baked . . . so you'll need to eat them up quickly.
So NOT a problem!
*Strawberry Shortcake Rock Cakes*
Makes about 3 dozen
Tender, sweet and chock full of sweet strawberries! As with any rock cake, they are best eaten on the day, but will keep in an airtight container for up to one day.
12 ounces fresh strawberries cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 2 cups)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
9 TBS granulated sugar, divided
8 1/2 ounces plain flour (2 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine seasalt
6 TBS cold butter, cut into small bits
5 1/2 fluid ounces double cream (about 2/3 cup)
demerara sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Stir together the diced berries, lemon juice and 2 TBS of the sugar. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Drop in the butter and then rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cream just until the dough begins to come together and then fold in the berry mixture until combined.
Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets by heaped tablespoons, leaving some space between each one. Sprinkle with some demerara sugar.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before eating. Your family will love you.