This weekend, rather oddly I decided that I wanted to make some cakes. Funnily enough, this hasn’t really happened to me before.
I can remember many weekends when I was a teen, when my mum and sister would create masterpieces in the kitchen but I was never really interested in it. Having the children ensured that good quality, home cooked food was on the agenda and I learnt to make pasta, tomato sauces and other culinary delights – mainly as they were shown to me by Jamie Oliver. He made cooking for me, reachable. Where all the other Chefs made it untouchable. I love nouvelle cuisine but am not interested in attempting it for myself. Although one Valentines Day celebration early in my marriage springs to mind – I made a homemade, heart shaped cheesecake for my husband. Attempting to keep our romance alive!
It was possibly because I had visited the Warner Bros Studio Tour of The Making of Harry Potter on Friday – which I will tell you about later in the week, that inspired me to make Rock Cakes. One of Harry Potters favourites.
So I thought I would share the recipe with you. I found them quite easy and simple to do. Something which was sorely needed to get me even having a go and both Chloe and Vince enjoyed them. Luckily!
My Rock Cakes recipe came from the online site of aboutfood.com and it was really easy to follow. Which for me is very very good.
- 8oz Self Raising Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 4oz Butter/Margarine
- 2oz Granulated Sugar
- 4oz mixed dried fruit
- 2oz Currants (I didn’t use these)
- 1 Egg
- 1-3 tbsp Milk
- A sprinkling of Demerara Sugar
The first thing I needed to do was sieve the flour and the first thing I realised I didn’t have – was a sieve! So out came the colander. I did wonder how it would work, using this but always willing to adapt, the flour seemed none the worse for being made lighter this way.
All the ingredients I measured out on my mums kitchen scales. Now, my mum has been dead since I was 29 and I’m now 48. So that will give you an indicator on the age of the scales… and maybe the reliability?
Well. I wasn’t sure so I tapped them a few times and watched the dial move independently, so at this point crossed my fingers as I hummed happily to myself. Ironically, although my mum cooked and baked for us as a family and as a Mum. It wasn’t something she was that interested in as an individual. It had me reflecting on the fact, that the one item of my mums which is in my home and not up in my loft, are the scales which enabled her to do something she didn’t enjoy too much and was helping me make cakes. Something I had never done out of personal choice before!
The ingredients all needed to be measured out and then added after the flour, baking powder and margarine (I used Flora by the way) had been rubbed together and turned into a slightly breadcrumby texture. Everything after that needs to be added in order. I put in an extra handful of mixed fruit as I didn’t use currants and I like them.
Bringing all the ingredients together into a doughy like ball – not to wet and not to dry. Add a little more milk to loosen it up or a little more flour to dry it out. I made sure the oven was pre-heated to 400f/200c/Gas 6. Now get to know your oven here folks, mine has the tendency to burn the foods bottom because of where the gas sits – on the floor of the cooker. Check yours out and don’t beat yourselves up if they don’t turn out quite right at the end. Just adjust the recipe or heat to suit. Experiment!
I greased my baking tray with Flora and then put it in the oven to warm through slightly. Then using two spoons made a tennis ball width dollop of the dough and plopped it onto the baking tray, encouraging it to spread slightly by putting a little pressure on each one. The recipe says you should be able to get 12 rock cakes out of the mixture but mine were a nice size and I managed 9. I was thrilled when they came out with a slightly tanned bottom – not burnt. A firm texture but light and airy – slightly moist in the middle. Just before popping them in the oven I scattered Demerara sugar over them.
From beginning to mix – to taking them out of the oven, it took me around 45 minutes. The recommended oven time for these is 15 minutes. So quick and easy for you to make or to get the kids involved with and have them making them for themselves.
Both Chloe and Vince said they were yummy. I was very proud to say the least and will be having another go. Maybe with chocolate chips and marshmallow next time. To see if it works. What have you cooked or baked that has made you very proud?