Desserts · Gluten-free · Snacks · Uncategorized

Date Carob Rock Cakes

     Rock cakes immediately remind me of Rubeus Hagrid, the lovable half giant from Harry Potter.  When I looked for a rock cake recipe ages ago, I was shocked to see how simple they were to make.  As a child, I always pictured rock cakes as something unappealing to eat that people always made anyway (much like fruitcake).  However, when I realized that rock cakes were simply variations of a scone or biscuit, I became intrigued and determined to bake some.  I love me some scones and biscuits especially with tea!  ​☕️😋
     My sister and I recently decided to binge the Harry Potter films.  We both grew up reading the books and cherish the stories dearly as if they were factual.  She recently got her hands on a cookbook inspired by recipes in the books.  I’m impressed that someone took the time to properly research and compile the foods in all 7 volumes of the series.  That’s a lot of reading to do.
Of course, most of the recipes are not vegan.  However, the more popular and exciting treats are easily made vegan with a few adjustments.  I started off with rock cakes because I had already wanted to make them anyway and they’re quick and easy to whip up in the morning to have with tea or coffee!  Luckily, my first batch was a success.  I made them completely gluten, soy and nut free.  They are a great canvas for all kinds of flavors and variations, though.  Baked goods that offer flexibility in terms of flavor are my favorite.  Because, let’s face it, who wants the same boring rock cake over and over?  I know I don’t.  ​😏

     The rock cakes I made are a little more rich and earthy than the ones in sample recipes I found.  The cakes seem to feature all different types of dried fruits, spices and nuts.  I wanted to keep mine simple yet still flavorful…and, of course, rock-like!
I got a great idea to use carob powder from Miss Kitchen Witch, who is a fabulous food blogger who made Harry Potter themed recipes for Vegan MoFo a few years ago.  I posted that year too and was much more interested in her recipes than mine!  I loved her theme and immediately thought mine was boring.  Now, years later, I’m also going to give it a shot while altering the recipe a bit.
I flavored my dough with carob and chopped dates.  I love the caramel-like flavor of dates and their richness that seems to be missing in many other dried fruits.  They also go very well with the smokey quality of coconut sugar, which I use frequently.  I added a little bite of acid to brighten the cakes by soaking the dates in orange juice, which is a trick I learned during my bakery days while making carrot cakes.  Soak the raisins in warm water infused with different extracts and your cakes will bake up moist and flavorful!  😍  The same effect can be achieved with any kind of juice as your soaking liquid too.
The resulting rock cake here is very rock-like in appearance but soft and crumbly in texture with a crunchy sugar top.  They aren’t overly sweet, so they pair nicely with any coffee or black tea that is slightly bitter.  If you want to make these cakes more decadent, you can add in some chocolate chips or a little more fruit to the dough.  They cook up quickly, too, so you can enjoy them day of with minimal wait time!  Keep an eye out and I may just post another flavor sometime soon (maybe for the holidays?!).  😉

It’s good to be back, folks.  Enjoy the rocks!

Date Carob Rock Cakes

IngredientsAdapted from: Easy Traditional Rock Cakes and inspired by Miss Kitchen Witch (link above)
Yield: about 10 cakes
Free from: Gluten, Soy*, Nuts*
*Use appropriate ingredients to avoid allergens

  • 175 g GF all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill is my go to)
  • 50 g quinoa flour (or GF flour of choice)*
  • 55 g coconut sugar/brown sugar
  • 20 g carob powder/cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp Ener-G powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 110 g coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 Tb non-dairy milk*
  • 3 Tb aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast, opt
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Additional:

  • 1/4 cup pitted dates, diced
  • 1/4 cup hot orange juice/water
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts, opt*

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Instructions
Preheat oven 350 F

  1. In a small bowl, place the pitted dates and pour orange juice/other soaking liquid over them.  Let them sit for about a half hour.  After they have soaked up the liquid, drain the dates and dice them into small pieces.  Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, weigh out the first 7 ingredients.  Whisk the dry together thoroughly.
  3. Place the last 5 ingredients into a small sauce pan and melt over low heat, stirring frequently.  Once the coconut oil is completely melted, take the mixture off the heat (should be about 5 minutes).
  4. Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredient mixture.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients from the saucepan into the dry ingredients.  Mix together with a tough spoon.  Mixture will resemble crumbs.
  6. Once the dough is thoroughly incorporated, fold the chopped dates (and optional nuts) in.  The mixture should start to stick together.
  7. Once the dough sticks together when pressed, it’s finished.  Add a few drops of non-dairy milk if you need.
  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Shape the dough into individual cakes using about 2 Tb of dough for each.
  10. Dip the tops of the cakes in vegan sugar, if desired.
  11. Place the cakes on the parchment.  You should be able to get about 10 over of one batch.
  12. Bake them for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  13. Let them cool before serving.  I suggest you brew some tea or coffee for this step.  ☕️🍵
  14. (In case of over-baking, don’t serve them to your friends.) 😅

2 thoughts on “Date Carob Rock Cakes

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