Last weekend, there was a visit from the trifle-eating cat's dad. This prompted rather a flurry of activity before his arrival, including giving me a good excuse to do some long-overdue baking. He is a fan of rock cakes (as am I), and I hadn't ever tried making my own.
I tried a recipe from an Australian Women's Weekly cookbook that I've recently bought, and was amazed at how quick and easy it was. They don't even need a mixer*.
These are the rock cakes before they went into the oven...
The mixture tasted pretty good, too. That tends to be half the reason I bake.
This was how they turned out...
They came out looking almost exactly like the ones in the recipe book photo - I was quite chuffed with them, easy as they had been to make. Especially given the powers of the evil oven in my apartment.
This is the recipe:
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
90g butter, chopped
1 cup (160g) sultanas
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
1 tablespoon caster sugar, extra (I think more than this is needed, if you want lovely crunchy tops on your rock cakes)
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Grease oven trays**.
Sift flour, cinnamon and sugar into medium bowl; rub in butter with fingertips. Stir in sultanas, egg and milk. Do not over-mix.
Drop rounded tablespoons of mixture about 5cm apart onto trays. Sprinkle with extra sugar.
Bake cakes around 15 minutes***; cool on trays.
The trifle-eating cat's dad (and, later in the weekend, his mum, too) voted the rock cakes a great success. And proceeded to test several at regular intervals to make sure they were consistent. He did initially wonder whether they would be better made a bit larger, but on balance, preferred them the size they were, as it gave a good ratio of crunchy outside to inner cake.
I was very happy with them, and would definitely make them again. They had a good crumbly texture, without being at all dry. And they were so easy to make that I might never need to go back to bought rock cakes again.
* Typical - before I had a mixer, there never seemed to be any good recipes that didn't need one...
** Or use greaseproof paper, with no greasing required at all, and no rock cakes getting stuck. Woo hoo!
*** I did mine for exactly 15 minutes (in a fan-forced oven), and when making them again, I might shorten this by 1-2 minutes.