Sunday, May 28, 2006

Rock Cakes Recipe

I despatched my husband off to a family wedding this weekend, a batch of rock cakes for sustenance. His niece was getting married near Knysna, which is a five and hald hour drive away. Not too far for the weekend really, but take three kids with you, it can turn into a seven hour marathon of pee-stops, squabbles, "are we there yet"s, and so faint-heartedly I quailed at all of us going together just for a weekend. The children accepted this without a blink and happily sewed felt pictures as wedding presents.

By the way all weddings in the children's consciousness are based on the ones in The Incredibles and in Shrek, so churches and brides in white veils were the requested images to try and portray in my expertise goes as far as cutting out flowers, stars, moons and even birds, but brides in white veils?! The church we managed and my son even sewed a cross on the steeple, but luckily my daughter accepted the notion of flowers being bridal enough and youngest daughter is still into abstract designs of sewing on beads randomly with help from me to make sure they are secured.

I'm sure we would have survived the trip and in fact there is another wedding in the same family in August which we have promised we will go to and take an extra night, sneak off school for a day or two. Anyway this weekend we all missed each other. I thought I would just spend extra time blogging and the time would go by quick, but it felt very flat with the vital presence absent, so it wasn't so much fun being glued to the computer after all.

What about the rock cakes? This recipe is a vital element of any holiday in my husband's family. They all have a great nostalgia for family holidays spent at The River, through their childhood, always accompanied by lots of drinking tea and eating rock buns in bed on chilly winter mornings. So whenever we go there now with our family I always bake a batch or two. The trip to Knysna seemed to fall into the same category, time spent with his family talking for hours over breakfast, so rock buns/cakes, felt appropriate.

Here is the recipe.

Rock Cakes
2 cups self-raising flour
a pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
125g/4.5oz butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup mixed dried fruit(fruit cake mix)
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F

Sift together the flour, salt and spices. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour. Stir in the sugar and fruit. Beat together the egg and milk then stir into the dry mix, till it makes a stiff dough. Place in heaps on a greased baking tray. Will make 12-15 cakes. Bake for 15-20 minutes until light golden. Cool on a rack.

The warm but gentle spicy note of these is a great comfort eating thing. The butteriness too, you could try using margarine, but it wouldn't be as good. Better use butter and just eat less...if you can resist!


  1. Do you think the rock cakes would work with dried cranberries, minus the spices, but maybe with a little almond extract? I think I may try...

  2. Sounds a great idea, let me know how it turns out. How about a few flaked almonds too?

  3. This sounds wonderful for a chilly fall breakfast ( of which I will have to wait until October here:()but then again may have to prepare these now...yummy! Thanks!


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