Simple, easy, and hard to beat.
I’m old enough that Rock Cakes make me think of austerity post-war Britain, short of eggs and sugar. Or 1960s domestic science classes, where girls were taught to cook (and came home to pass on their skills to their brothers).
My own children though – they think of Mrs Weasley!
Ingredients (I like to think Mrs Weasley’s recipe would not be a lot different; NO choc chips, hazelnuts, cranberries, etc.)
- 8oz/225g self-raising flour
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 1 level tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2oz/60g butter or margarine
- 2oz/60g sugar
- 2oz/60g currants, or sultanas, or mixed dried fruit
- 1 egg
- just a little milk; 1 tbsp, maybe 2 tbsp
- Pre heat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8.
- Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.
- Cut in the fat, and rub in with the fingertips until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Lightly beat the egg and mix in, with just enough milk to make a stiff dough.
- Use two forks to place 12 “rough dollops” on a lightly greased and floured baking tray.
- Pop into the hot oven for 15 minutes.
- If your mixture is a little too wet, or the oven not quite hot enough, your rock cakes will spread and become smooth. Nope, that ain’t rock cakes! They should come out rough and craggy.
- The grated rind of an orange or a lemon added with the dry ingredients. Or mixed dried peel for fruit content.
No other tweaks permitted. Keep choc chips, hazelnuts, blueberries, cranberries, apple and spice, etc for those blousy, new-fangled Muffins!
Hmm – I shouldn’t be quite so dogmatic. I will allow one major tweak – Scots cooks/maids/nannies left their mark on the Caribbean. Rock buns are a favourite in Jamaica, Trinidad, and no doubt elsewhere in the West Indies.
- 2oz/60g shredded coconut (grated from a fresh coconut)
- replace austerity 1950s Britain’s mixed dried fruit with … 4 tbsps raisins (plumped up in hot water and drained – or even soaked in rum for “added flavour”)
- a rich dark sugar
- and for spice – add fresh grated nutmeg and extra ground cinnamon.