Thursday, August 3, 2017

Rock Cakes for Harry Potter


Harry Potter's birthday was this past Monday, July 31st. You may have noticed yet another Harry Potter marathon on Freeform if you live in the States and subscribe to cable. I can't quite help myself from tuning into any Harry Potter marathon, although I've seen the films dozens of times and own them myself.


In honor of Harry's birthday, my friend Camille and I decided to create a small feast for dinner that night. We made a couple recipes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, which shares recipes of dishes mentioned throughout the series.


The main star of our meal was bangers and mash, or sausages and mashed potatoes with onion gravy. The recipe we used came from the Harry Potter cookbook, but here is a similar recipe that I have made before and also greatly enjoyed. Both recipes feature homemade sausages without casings, but the sausages themselves differ a bit, as do the mash and gravy recipes.


We cooked the bangers and mash together at dinnertime (which watching, you guessed it, Harry Potter), but earlier in the day I had whipped up our dessert for the evening: rock cakes. Hagrid's rock cakes are mentioned no less than 3 times in the Harry Potter series.


While Hagrid's are reminiscent of actual rocks, and are quite unpalatable, these rock cakes are lovely in comparison. Rock cakes are essentially free-form scones or drop biscuits. These are somewhat cinnamony, and studded with a plethora of plump raisins.


Whether you are belatedly celebrating dear Harry's fictional birth, or simply seeking a delicate and easy-to-make sweet treat, these rock cakes blow Hagrid's out of the water. Chances are you already have all of these ingredients in your pantry, so grab a mixing bowl and get cracking!


Rock Cakes
Makes 12
(From The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk (I used low-fat, and it turned out fine)
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour a large cookie sheet (I simply lined my baking sheet with parchment paper instead). Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture reaches the consistency of wet sand.

Beat the egg together with the milk and pour it into the flour-butter mixture. Fold it together using a spatula to form a stiff dough. Fold in the raisins. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the bottoms are golden, rotating the pan midway through baking.

*Note* For rock-hard rock cakes like Hagrid's, just bake them for too long and eat them a week later at your own risk!

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