Not so Naughty Cranberry Rock Cakes/Buns for a Healthy Baking Challenge
It’s nearly the end of January, and all those promises of eating less after the gargantuan feasts that I indulged in throughout the festive period have flown out of the window like broken New Year’s Resolutions – not that I ever make any resolutions, it’s pointless and I always feel so despondent when I break them. So, when Baking Mad asked if I would like to take part in a “Healthy Baking Challenge” my immediate response was yes, why not, let’s see what I can do to combat that longing for Quality Street chocolates and mince pies. I was part of a team of bloggers and tweeters that had to bake with certain ingredients that help reduce calories in baked goods and cakes. The “ambient” ingredients were sent to me to use in my healthy challenge baking session and comprised: Self Raising Flour (Allinson Nature Friendly), Half Spoon Granulated Sugar (Silver Spoon) and Dried Cranberries. I then used my own milk, fat and egg to make my chosen recipe, which was Low Calorie Cranberry Rock Buns.
Rock cakes or buns are a cross between a scone and a cake; slightly crumblier than a scone and not as “cakey” as a cake in the sponge sense……they are easy to make and happen to be one of my favourite tea time treats, especially when spiced. I was interested to see how the Half Spoon Sugar would behave during the bake; experiences with Splenda in the past have always been disappointing, as there was an”after taste” of saccharin, or something similar and the texture was slightly rubbery in cakes. Half Spoon Sugar on the other hand has the same texture as sugar and I was hopeful for a better baked result. Half Spoon Sugar is made by Silver Spoon and here is what they have to say about their product:
Real sugar, with all its taste and texture, is combined with a tiny amount of sweeteners to make Silver Spoon Half Spoon twice as sweet.
Use just like granulated sugar but only use half as much. This means half the calories.
For baking, use half the amount of Silver Spoon Half Spoon instead of the quantity of sugar stated in the recipe. The volume of the cooked recipes can be less in sponges and cakes, but adding additional baking powder to some recipes can help to overcome this.
Sugar, Sweeteners (*Aspartame, Acesulfame-K)
*Contains a source of phenylalanine.
Well, they turned out really rather well; the texture was as a normal rock cake/bun and there was a nice soft crumb to them too. The taste was fine, a slight “after taste”, not as pronounced as Splenda, and the cranberries added their own natural sweetness. I managed to make nine rather large rock cakes, or volcanoes as my husband said, and we both enjoyed them with a cup of tea in the afternoon. I popped the rest of them into the freezer, as they are never as good next day, just like scones, but when eaten warm and fresh they were very nice. I am not so sure of the low calorie promise, as I thought that 75g (3 ozs) of butter was slightly in the high side – I normally use 50g (2 ozs) for my rock cakes, but I can adjust that next time I make them. It was an interesting baking challenge and the recipe which was on the Baking Mad site was easy to follow and worked perfectly. I have copied the recipe below for you to use if you fancy making a batch of these for the tea time table one day; the original recipe can be found here.
|Low Calorie Cranberry Rock Buns||
- 225 grams Self Raising Flour (Allinson Nature Friendly)
- 75 grams Margarine or butter
- 25 grams Half Spoon Granulated Sugar (Silver Spoon)
- 100 grams Dried Cranberries
- 1 Happy Eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp JUST MILK
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5. Lightly grease a baking tray.
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the margarine or butter and rub in until mixture becomes like breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and cranberries
- Add the egg and stir in with milk until a stiff mixture is formed.
- Place small rocky piles of mixture onto the baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and set.
See you later with some exciting news about a LOVELY Giveaway I have planned……it is a unique and beautiful item and I am very excited about it…..a hand-made British item that is really rather special! I will also be back as usual with more recipes, reviews and culinary tales. Karen