Sunday, November 15, 2009


At the moment, with my new job which I have just started and the challenge it represents (I'll soon post about it), I don't have much time left to blog or cook/bake. And with the light fading away earlier every day, I don't really have the opportunity to take good pictures, thus making things even more difficult...

Lately, finding an interesting and original recipe that could be prepared in a whizz has not been an easy task. My work obliges me to think about baked goods on a daily basis, so you can imagine that when I come back home, the last thing I can think about (or want to think about, as a matter of fact) is food. When Friday arrives, I have no ideas left!

Anyway, after scratching my head and going through my cookery books as well as every possible site or blog, I have finally found a recipe that is both simple to make, worth the attention and that brings me back to childhood.

As I'm going through a "back to the roots" phaze and want to learn more about my second country of origin's culinary habits and recipes, I decided to blog ab
out a treat that has always held a important place in my heart as it's linked to my English grandparents and to wonderful memories I have of my summer holidays in Belper (Derbyshire) and Stratford-Upon-Avon (Warwickshire).

Spending my holidays in England was the highlight of the year. Not only did I get to see many beautiful places and discover wonderful custums, but it was also the opportunity for me to stay with my grandparents whom I only got to see once a year.

My grandmother has always been a great cook and baker. She loves making homemade meals and refused to buy anything processed. Both my grandparents managed two youth hostels (they were the wardens) and there my grandmother's knowledge as well as skills were very helpful when it came to preparing food for crowds and being the big boss in the kitchen. My grandfather also played an important role. He was a great "sous chef" and peeled, grated and chopped vegetables like a pro. Together they worked like a team.

When they retired, my grandmother decided to join the "Women's Institute" and baked for the WI market which was held twice a week. Then again, both worked hand in hand and they produced astronomical quantities of scones, Bakewell tarts, bread loaves, quiches, fruit cakes, Eccles cakes, mince pies, etc... Seeing them work busily in their tiny cottage kitchen was amazing!

The baked goods they produced were perfect and as good as in any bakery. One special treat I particularly loved (and still do) was "Rock Cake". As a child this name made me giggle and the looks of that "cake" amused me!

"Rock Cakes" are hybrid cookies that contain dried fruits as well as spices and share similarities with scones and fruit cake. Their rough surface makes them look like rocks, hence their unique name. This little treat originates from Great Britain, but is very popular in various parts of the world. As they are very easy to make, "Rock Cakes" can be baked with children or if you are in a rush.

Tany Ramsay's (Gordon Ramsay's wife) recipe is different from the original. With it's spice mix and dried cranberries, this fall/winter version of "Rock Cakes" is terrific and can be made for all occasions, and especially during the end of year holidays (Thanksgiving or Christmas).

This irresistibly buttery, crumbly and soft tea treat is absolutely delightful, regressive to please and so satisfying! I love the simplicity of those "Rock Cakes" and their addictive old-fashioned taste that'll make you go back to the kitchen for more.

~ Rock Cakes ~
Recipe by Tana Ramsay and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Makes 8 Rock Cakes.

225g Plain flour
The zest of 2 organic oranges
50g Light brown sugar
1 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Salt
100g Unsalted butter, softened
55g Dried cranberries
1 Large Egg, beaten
4 Tbs Milk
Ingredients for the frosting:
90g Confectioner's sugar
3-4 Tsp Milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F) and cover the baking sheet with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, zest, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture and add the dried cranberries.
3. Mix the beaten egg together with the milk.
4. Add this liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix to a stiff dough.
5. Using a spoon or a ice cream scoop, make eight mounds out of the dough.
6. Place the mounds onto the baking sheet and bake for 10
-15 minutes until the tops are a light golden brown.
7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the confectioner's sugar with the milk.
8. Remove from the oven, frost them immediately (with a brush) and cool on a rack.

Don't allow the Rock Cakes to overcook, as they will continue to cook slightly when taken out of the oven.

Serving suggestions:
Serve those "Rock Cakes" whenever you want and accompany with tea, coffee or cold milk.


~ Rock Cakes ~
Recette par Tana Ramsay et adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Pour 8 Rock Cakes.

100g Beurre non-salé, ramolli
225g Farine blanche
55g Cranberries séchées
Le zeste de 2 oranges bio
50g de Sucre brun clair
1 Gros oeuf
1 CC de Poudre à lever/cake
1 CC de Cannelle en poudre
1/4 CC de Noix de muscade moulue
4 CS de Lait
Ingrédients pour le glaçage:
90g de Sucre glace
3-4 CS de Lait

1. Précahuffer le four à 180° C et recouvrir la plaque avec du papier sulfurisé.
2. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger la farine, le zeste, le sucre, la poudre à lever et le sel. Mélanger du bout des doigts (comme pour une pâte sablée) le beurre pour l'écraser et l'incorporer dans les ingrédients secs, puis ajouter les cranberries.
3. Mélanger l'oeuf battu avec le lait.
4. Ajouter ce mélange au mélange sec et bien l'incorporer afin d'obtenir une pâte assez compacte.
5. A l'aide d'une cuillère ou de vos mains, former 8 tas avec la pâte.
6. Mettre ces tas sur la plaque et cuire pendant 10-15 minutes ou jusqu'à ce qu'ils soient dorés.
7. Pendant ce temps, dans un petit bol, mélanger ensemble le sucre en poudre avec le lait.
8. Sortir les Rock Cakes du four, les glacer à l'aide d'un pinceau à pâtisserie et les laisser refroidir sur une grille.

Etant donné que les Rock Ckaes continuent un peu à cuire une fois sortis du four, ne les cuisez pas trop longtemps.

Idées de présentation:
Servir les "Rock Cakes" accompagnés de thé, café ou de lait froid à toute heure de la journée.


  1. I did not know you had English roots Rosa. :-)

    I really like the galze on your rock cakes they look delicious.

    We call them rock buns too in some parts of the UK. :-)

  2. You have wonderful memories, and your grandparents were a great team in the kitchen! These little cakes look delicious.

  3. Beautiful reflections on your grandparents. What a lucky childhood. I hope the new job is going well. Dont stress but enjoy.

  4. Looks very delicious...
    I'm bookmarking this recipe & will make it this eid al adha...
    wishing you all the best with the new job rosa :D

  5. Ça dont bien l'air bon ces Rock Cakes !! ça doit être succulent à l'heure du thé:)

  6. Your rock cakes remind me of what we call scones here. Good luck with the new job.

  7. itlooks yummt, specially with that glaze on top..

  8. I spent a summer in the Stratford-Upon-Avon area when I was a teen because my God parents lived there. It was one of the best summers EVER.

    I can't wait to hear about your new job, Rosa! I clicked on the link and now I am really intrigued!

    The rock cakes look delicious!

  9. Mmmm... I could go for breakfast with that! Ain't I a bad girl wanting pastries in the morning? Hey, sugar's my middle name!

    Those are very cute Rosa!

  10. Rosa,
    Congratulations on your new job and these cakes are gorgeous...

  11. Merci pour ce partage, Rosa. Je prends, je prends... Et bonne chance pour la suite de tes aventures prof.

  12. Dein neuer Job bringt Dich nahe an dein Hobby. Liebe Grüsse.

  13. My mum used to make rock cakes when I was little. I used to call the currants "dead flies". Your look much nicer with red fruit! Thank you for reminding me of this childhood treat.

  14. Dear Rosa
    Congratulations on your new job.
    I have the same problem over here, as the days are now so short in England.
    You never stop amazing me with your beautiful recipes, they are absolutely awesome.

    P.S. Many thanks for your emails, I am now feeling much better x

  15. I like cranberries very much so...these cakes are for me..

  16. i love the name of these--they really do look like rocks, but it's obvious that their texture is anything but hard. what a treat!

  17. Those look fantastic. I love the glaze on top. Hope your new job is going well!

  18. Love your rock cakes Rosa, look wonderful, I really love the glaze!


  19. Des belles galettes qui me font penser au temps des fêtes avec les canneberges. J'en prendrais bien une avec un bon thé



  20. Thanks for sharing some cherished memories Rosa. I hope your new job is going well!!!!

  21. Good luck with your new job - I can't wait to hear more about it soon. Thanks too for the lovely stories about Derbyshire and your grandparents; you describe everything so wonderfully that I can picture them working away in the kitchen. I haven't had rock cakes in years but now you made me feel nostalgic and I dying to try out your recipe!

  22. Ils ont l'air trop bons. Bon dimanche.

  23. Those beautiful time with your grant parent are memory to cherish.

    Lovely cake, interesting name for it too.

  24. Tea time. Y'a pas à dire, ils sont doués en cuisine Chez Les Ramsay.
    Je comprends mieux maintenant d'où tu tiens ce talent inné pour la cuisine et la pâtisserie Rosa. Tes photos sont très belles comme d'habitude. Ah! Strafford, je me souviens de cette belle ville. J'avais eu le plaisir d'assister à la représentation d'une des pièces de William Shakespeare "the tempest".
    Bises et bonne fin de week-end

  25. Merci pour ce joli souvenir d'enfance, ces rock cakes me font très envie, je note ta recette. Et bon courage pour cette nouvelle semaine. bises

  26. hyummmmmmmmmmmmmm

    je prend

    bon dilache

  27. ultra tentants , et trop jolis, merci pour cette recette !! Bonne fin de dimanche :-)

  28. Je te souhaite tout le bonheur possible dans ton nouveau job.
    Je note la recette de ces gâteaux.
    Les photos sont très belles comme d'hab.
    Bon dimanche Rosa.

  29. Ciao Rosa ! Allora : wonderful imagining your dear grandparents working together and great recipe too ! I'm very curious about your job ??? Auguri !!

  30. Rock cakes are a favourite here in the Caribbean where they usually have coconut in them. Your pictures of this lovely treat are yummy indeed.

  31. Congrats on the new job...and I so feel you about the fading light, or shall I say I did till I discovered my stove-top light was giving me good enough results....though I see that I've slowed down with the fading light of day

  32. Congrats on the new job!!

    Thanks for giving us info on your grand parents & your food & culture memories!

    These rock cakes do look so delectable & i must make them soon,....

  33. Congrats Rosa!

    This is beautiful.. & would want to have some with my tea right now!

  34. Congratulations on your new job! Love the memories you shared and those little cookies look amazing. They do look a bit like cookies we have here although not sure if the flavor would be the same!

  35. Lovely! Perfect for tea time.
    Congrats on your new job!!

  36. Interesting name for the cakes. I enjoyed reading about your grandparents. Congrats on your new job.


  37. Can't wait to know more about your new job!!

    I've got a pic with Tana Ramsay & me from last year :) She's really nice! I haven't tried any recipe from her, not yet ;)

  38. I loved reading a little bit more about you Rosa! And thanks for sharing these delicious looking rock cakes, they do remind me of childhood. My grandma made rock cakes too but she wasn't English :)

  39. I grew up with Rock Cakes, too. I agree, they are quick, simple and delicious. I didn't realise you had a British connection?? My parents are English, and moved to Australia.

  40. Something as English as English can be when it comes to tea time ;) I've been to the summer holidays you mentioned and will never forget my 'English roots' too because I have a 'Godma' that is from Birmingham.

    Despite your busy time you blogged...that's fantastic Rosa and thanks for being the first to comment as usual.

    Cheers :D

  41. These are really gorgeous!! I will definitely try making them!! thanks Rosa!!

  42. Ot's wonderful hearing people reminisce about their childhood years...yours sound like a lot of fun, especially with your grandparents. We have rock cakes here in Australia too but I love yours with the addition of spices and that yummy glaze...thanks for sharing.

  43. Ils doivent etre bons ces petits gâteaux avec les cranberries!

  44. Tes photos me font très envie !!!
    Tu commences très bien la semaine avec ces petites gourmandises !
    Bisous, Doria

  45. Elles me plaisent beaucoup ces petites gourmandises ;)
    Bonne semaine à toi Rosa.

  46. Rosa,

    This has got to be one of the best looking treats I've seen in my naked eyes. SOOO SOO darn good and looks sooo delicious.

  47. English grandparents very interesting yes rock cakes are very popular in Australia. Yours look wonderful and a great glaze you have on them. And a new job cannot wait for the post on this. cheers from Audax in Australia.

  48. Tes jolis souvenirs font de bien jolis gateaux. Et felicitations pour le nouveau job.

  49. tes photos ont une température de couleur magnifique !

  50. Love this post, Rosa.
    You call them rocks, I call them scones or biscuits. Under any name, I love them. Great recipe!

  51. Congratulations for your new job! Et ces biscuits sont d'un gourmand, je les sens presque croustiller :-) Bises

  52. what lovely memories! I'm in the new job mode too, although I'm a techgeek, so I have to think about computers all day... and I kind of loathe sitting down at the computer when I get home. Very bad behavior for a blogger, to be sure. I love the name of the treat, rock cakes sounds like something I could make! Beautiful photos, as always.

  53. These sound so good with cranberries! I can't wait to make them!

  54. des petits rocs qui sont tres tres gourmands et faits pour moi

  55. Hi Rosa, I can imagine how hard to keep up your blog and at the same time with your new job.

  56. De vraies gourmandises, ces rock cakes, merci pour ce partage et surtout bonne chance dans ton nouveau job
    Bonne soirée

  57. Je craque complètement sur ta première photo ^^
    Ils m'ont l'air tout à fait délicieux ces cookies !
    Bonne chance pour ton nouveau job !

  58. They look fabulous!!! I'll be in Geneva this week-end, maybe I could drop by your place and have some of these?? ;)

  59. MARION: Thanks! It's a pity I have to work this weekend :-(... Otherwise, I'd love to make some for you.

  60. Jolis petits rochers comme on aime en croquer pour le thé... come toujours qqs douceurs si joliment présentées... Bises Agnès

  61. These are so pretty, and I love the cranberries in them! The perfect treat for this time of year!

  62. Ohh Rosa very good luck with your new job!!

    Only cheesecakes in Switzerland or a lot of desserts? :))
    Adore your rock cakes! I'm sure that are equal or much better than a bakery !!

    All the best,


  63. GERA: Thanks! We will offer cheesecakes, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, cookie bars, chocolate bars, marshmallows, bagels, salads, etc...

  64. @Rosa's Yummy Yums
    Rosa, this will be the heaven for me! Hope you'll make international deliveries ;-)

  65. GERA: Maybe even better if Cheesecake & Co expands ;-p!!!...

  66. I don't know how some people can blog every day. Would be impossible for me. Enjoy the new job.

  67. Tes biscuits sont très appétissants:))
    Bonne chance dans ton nouvel emploi et j'ai très hâte d'en savoir plus!
    Bonne journée!

  68. These look like some sweet tender treats that belie their offbeat name. ;)

  69. Wow you are so lucky..i wish i could get involve in a job where i can bake ....recipe sounds awesome, bookmarked!

  70. What wonderful memories and what a lucky girl to have grown up watching your grandparents cook together like that. It is so romantic! And these rock cakes look fun and tasty - I like spice and dried cranberry version - my version for Autumn of anything! Beautiful!

    And congrats on the new job! how exciting!

  71. Great stuff Rosa. You know in Turkish we say: "eline saglik" which means, health to your hands, when someone makes food. And good luck with your new job.

  72.!!du nouveau pour ma belle Rosa!!!!!bonne chance ma chère Copinaute..

    ..en attendant salivons;)

    ~nancy xx

  73. This is definitely an original and interesting recipe.

  74. These do look very good and very tempting!

  75. Tes gâteaux sont tout simplement magnifiques !!!!

    Bonne journée, Claire

  76. Interesting name for a treat that looks so light and delicious!

    Good luck in your new job Rosa. And spill, when you get the opportunity.

  77. Ils sont gourmands à souhait, je n'ai qu'une envie, y goûter..!!!
    Bises, bonne soirée

  78. They look just like scones, and the flavor must be undeniably good.

  79. Ces petits gâteaux sont incroyables de beauté et de gourmandise! Et ouah tu te lances dans une très belle aventure. Je ne doute pas que cela réussisse!! C'est génial et ça me donne envie d'aller visiter Genève! Ca ouvre quand exactement?

  80. rock cakes were the first thing i ever made! :) these are beautiful Rosa


  81. hum très appétissants ces petits gâteaux !

  82. Wow that really looks heartwarminly delicouious! good luck with ye new job! :)

  83. Ils sont Fabuleux ma Chère Rosa;)xxx

  84. It looks delicious, but it needs a better name than rock cake :)

  85. Eh bien malgré toutes ces contraintes, ils sont tout beaux et bien appétissants, tes biscuits !
    Bisous et bonne journée

  86. these rock cakes rock! what a lovely recipe and story about your grandparents, well done!

  87. Looks so pretty with the cranberries :D

  88. What a name! But it looks incredibly delicious!

  89. Them rock cakes looks very nice. But there is something i didnt understand is how hard they should be after cooked, i mean, is more like a cookie or like a cake?

  90. ROSEIRO: Thank you! They aren't really hard! You could say that they are harder than scones and softer than cookies. They get their name from the way they look...

  91. Rosa,

    Your rock cakes are amazing, they loke soooo good!
    And your photos are(of course) beautiful! :b


  92. Oh my goodness,this looks mouth watering!! How delicious!! soo pretty and excellent shots ros!! :)