Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Was reading Paula's blog and noticed that she had made Rock Buns. Immediately sent me into a fit of nostalgia as I remember my Mum (sorry but being a Brit I spell it that way) making Rock Cakes for my dad. They were a favourite of his. Paula asked if I knew the origin of the recipe. I can only think it is because they are hard and look like rocks when cooked. Seems they can be dated back to at least 1861 as British settlers took the recipe to New Zealand. If anybody else knows more, do let me know.

Here is an English recipe closed to the one that Mum used to cook.

Rock cakes

100g butter or margarine

225g plain flour
2x5ml spoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp mixed spice (optional)
Grated rind of half a lemon
100g demerara sugar
100g mixed dried fruit
1 egg, beaten
5 ml spoon milk

Rub the fat into the sifted flour,
baking powder, salt and spices until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the rind, sugar and fruit.

Make a well in the centre, pour in the egg and milk, and mix to give a
stiff consistency.

Place mixture in rough heaps onto a greased baking tray. Bake in a moderately
hot oven 200C, 400F, Gas Mark 6 for 15-20 minutes.

Jackie's notes: g = gram, 5ml = 1 tsp, Plain flour is ordinary baking flour in North Amercia (in England we have one called Self Raising flour too). The dough should be quite stiff so that when you drop in on the baking sheet (cookie sheet) it does not make a smooth mound.

And I have just found an old ORIGINAL Recipe

Rock Cakes

To six ounces of flour,
add three of butter,
two ounces of currants,
sugar to your taste,
one egg.

Beat all well together, break it into rough pieces, and bake on tins
in a quick oven.

Source: Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, Vol iv, 1856-7