Rock Buns (Rock Cakes)

These buns are quick and easy to make and I often bake a batch when I am cooking the evening meal when the oven is hot anyway. Do not make the buns smaller as they will be dry and hard instead of a crisp shell with a deliciously soft spicy centre.

Why not double the mixture and freeze half the cooked buns. They keep very well for about 4 weeks.

200g (8oz) self-raising flour
75g (3oz) soft margarine (see here for experiments with coconut oil)
75g (3oz) golden caster sugar
75g (3oz) Sultanas
1 medium egg beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Set oven to 200 deg C, 400 deg F, Gas mark 6

Lightly flour a baking tray

Rub margarine into sieved flour and spice until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and sultanas. Mix milk and egg together and add to the dry ingredients mixing with a fork until mixture is stiff. It should not be smooth but look rough and lumpy.

Take tablespoons of the mixture and make 8 ‘heaps’ on the baking tray. Do not smooth or flatten out. Sprinkle the buns with the demerara sugar and bake in the centre of the oven for 10-15 minutes, until brown and firm to the touch.

When cooked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until cold.

Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

This recipe can be varied to suit personal tastes. Try using half teaspoon mixed spice and the grated rind of a fresh lemon for a wonderfully fresh citrus flavour. Alternatively use half teaspoon mixed spice and half tespoon cinnamon. Once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can experiment with the flavours. The following go well:

Cherry and vanilla

Instead of the sultanas, use chopped glace cherries and add a few drops of vanilla extract in place of the mixed spice. Sprinke with vanilla sugar instead of demerara before baking.

Also if you do not like the ‘rocky’ texture you can add extra milk to give a softer mixture. This then smooths out on baking giving a softer ‘bun’ both in appearance and texture.

Chocolate Orange

Use grated chocolate or Supercook chocolate drops insted of fruit and mix in the grated peel of one orange before adding the liquid.

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