Good Old Rock Cakes
These were once economy cakes, not too expensive, providing cake for large families. They were not going to be included in this edition – until, that is, we made some. And unbelievably they went down a storm. Perhaps we’ve got so used to bland shop-bought stuff that even something as simple as this tastes so very good.
|350g plain flour|
|¼ teaspoon salt|
|2 level teaspoons baking powder|
|175g light brown sugar|
|about ¼ nutmeg, freshly grated|
|½ level teaspoon mixed spice|
|175g spreadable butter|
|125g mixed dried fruit|
|1 large egg|
|1–2 tablespoons milk (if needed)|
|Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5|
|Need help with conversions?|
|Equipment: A large baking sheet, lined with a non-stick line. Click here for details|
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl, making sure you get all the little lumps out of the sugar, then add the spices and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Lastly, stir in the fruit.
Now break the egg into a separate bowl and whisk it lightly with a fork, then add it to the flour mixture.
Stir until the mixture forms a stiff dough (you may need to add a tablespoon of milk, though certainly not more than two).
Now, using two forks, pile the mixture in irregular spiky heaps on the baking sheet.
Bake near the centre of the oven for 18–20 minutes or until golden brown, then leave to cool for a minute on the tray before removing to a wire rack.
Store in an airtight tin.
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Plain, meaning without added fruit, but light, airy and just the right amount of crusty surface makes these scones the perfect backdrop to preserves and clotted cream.
These don’t need clotted cream and preserves – just serve them fresh and warm from the oven with a serious amount of really good butter.
The texture of these is not like anything else. They are very short and buttery, and seem to just melt in the mouth. We like them filled with morello cherry jam because by contrast it’s not too sweet.
These have been a huge success with everyone who has tasted them, and because they’re cooked on top of the stove, children (with supervision) love making them. Serve them warm with lots of butter, and later on they’re very good toasted.
It’s the hidden ingredient that’s the surprise. Mashed potato, often used in potato scones but even better in these small cakes – giving them a soft moist texture.
In Lancashire it’s traditional to serve Eccles cakes with creamy Lancashire cheese
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