Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rock Cakes - simple, sweet and quick

Thus called because you mound them in craggy peaks to bake and hope they stay that way. My Mum made these a lot when I was growing up in Manchester and I think I also remember being taught how to make them in Domestic Science class at school - they are pretty much a no fail delight - very easy and nigh on impossible to mess up even for a beginner baker. They taste to me how I wished scones tasted - sweeter and more cakey and they cry out for butter and either jam, honey, lemon curd or even Golden Syrup - they are a mish mash blend of biscuit/cookie/cake/scone and are such a nice treat with a cuppa.

The ingredients are simple:
 and the recipe I used is from "A Tale of 12 Kitchens" by Jake Tilson - family cooking in 4 countries, "every aspect has been created by artist and passionate cook Jake Tilson" - a fun and image filled book.

Pre heat the oven to 375F. Have a buttered baking sheet to hand.

As usual I give the ingredients in weights as you get a more reliable result :)
This recipe makes 8 medium sized cakes/buns

8oz white flour, unbleached preferably
5oz sugar preferably white
4oz/1 stick of butter (I always use salted Kate's but you can use whichever you prefer)
4oz sultanas/white raisins - I only had regular raisins so I used those.
1 large egg whisked with 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
Pinch of salt

1. Put flour, sugar and salt in a bowl or the bowl of a food processor - chop butter in and either whizz in the machine or as I do because I love the process of baking - gently rub the butter into the flour with your hands until you get a mixture that looks like fine breadcrumbs thus:
 2. Add the raisins and stir to distribute evenly.
3. Stir in the egg/milk mix until the dough comes together.
4. Using a fork pile into craggy heaps onto a buttered baking sheet - 8 piles should do the trick. (You'll see below I only have 4 because I try out the recipe cut in half first in case it doesn't work - plus there are only 2 of us and if I always bake the whole amount we will always eat the whole amount :)

 5. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown
Mine spread quite a lot which I was worried about at first because they weren't looking rocky enough for me but they tasted so good I didn't care and I will make them again the very same way.

Do let me know if you make them and feel free to post pics of such on my Facebook page - HERE!!


1 comment:

June said...

Yummmmmm...rock cakes! I love rock cakes. And y'know, I do agree with you about these delicious treats and scones. Much as I really do love scones, I have to secretly admit that I wish scones tasted more like rock cakes - sweeter and much more 'cakey' than my scones usually come out tasting (a hint of sweetness, crying out for me, and more bread-y and drier than I'd like). I also love the look of rock cakes - they just look like fun to eat before you even take your first delicious bite of one of them. And you're right again - who can only stop at one rock cake? I'd be just like yourself - if I made more than a half dozen, max, they'd be all eaten within the day and evening, and by the end of the week, I'm sure I'd have gained a few pounds - just from the rock cakes.

Now that Hallowe'en is fast approaching, I'll be trying my hand again this year at making some barm brack. But I think I'm also going to make something that has been long overdue coming out of my oven - gorgeous, sweet, cakey, nubbly, fun to eat rock cakes - with plenty of butter and jam, too. And of course, a big pot of tea (coffee for himself, tea for me).

Thanks for this, Patricia. And thanks for the recipe from the cookbook (which I'm seriously considering buying).