I believed most female readers will not be unfamiliar with rock cakes aka rock buns … It is one of the very basic recipe taught in Secondary School’s Home Economics or Home Science or Domestic Science classes introducing students to the baking fundamentals.
In my humble opinion, it was taught because success rate was high, simple method of preparation and no complicated equipment were required. However, it produces a tasty and aromatic cake like structure bake…
Having said that, though simple, to prepare a good rock buns need some simple pointers to remember. Improper handling of rock bun preparation will produce a hard and chewy cake as gluten have developed.
I have decide to blog this humble recipe so as to share with those readers who do not have a chance to learn this recipe from the secondary school like me…In addition, most may have forgotten such simple recipe that was taught 20-30 years ago..
A rock cake, also called a rock bun, is a small, hard fruit cake with a rough surface resembling a rock.
“Rock cakes originated in Great Britain, where they are a traditional teatime treat, but are now popular in many parts of the world. They were promoted by the Ministry of Food during the Second World War since they require fewer eggs and less sugar than ordinary cakes, an important savings in a time of strict rationing. Traditional recipes bulked them with oatmeal, which was more readily available than white flour.
A typical modern recipe for 12 cakes requires about 200 g of flour, 100 g of butter or margarine, 50 g of sugar, 1 beaten egg, 1teaspoon of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of milk, 150 g of dried fruit such as currants, raisins, candied orange peel, etc., and a pinch of nutmeg and mixed spices. Usually, flour and butter are first mixed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs; then the other ingredients are added to create a stiff dough, which is dropped from a spoon to a baking tray or roughly formed with two forks. The cakes (optionally sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon) are baked for about 15 minutes at 200 °C, retaining an uneven form and contour.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_cake)
Most recipes for rock cakes are rather standard and for this illustration, i have prepared purely based on Wikipedia’s definition above. Outcome is more than satisfactory as both kids and wife like this pastry very much.. It took me less than 45 minutes (including baking) to get everything done…Is it not fast?
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: Prepared 10- 12 rock cakes
200 grams of plain flour
100 grams of butter
50 grams of castor sugar
150 grams of dried mixed fruits
1 egg (not in picture)
2 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice (optional)
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius
In a bowl, add the soften butter and flour. Use FINGER TIPS to rub the butter and flour such that it resembles bread crumbs. Add in the mixed fruits and sugar. Use a fork or a tablespoon to stir such that it is well mixed. Make a well in the centre and crack the egg follow by the milk.
Use the tablespoon or fork to lightly and swiftly mixed it until it form a sticky dough. Take a spoonful and drop the batter on the baking tray leaving some space for expansion. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 200 degree Celsius for about 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted to the cakes comes out clean. Best served warm.
The handling shall be light and fast and no pressing of the dough. Shaping should not be done too. Both steps are to ensure that adequate air are introduced to the cakes so that they can be fluffy. Light handling will ensure no formation of gluten that causes the cake to be chewy and hard.
I am not a teacher in Home Economic or Domestic Science… But I do hope that what I have illustrated here do make sense and do not contradict with what your teacher have taught and give you a rock cake that you like. New bakers, this is one of the recipes that you should try and it will boost your confidence of baking as chances of success are great… and the syllabus will not include this recipe as the first very recipe for no reason..
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.
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4 thoughts on “The Beauty Of Ruggedness And Irregularities–Rock Cakes aka Rock Buns (石头蛋糕）”
Baked this in 1970 when I was in Sec. 1 back in Singapore. So this rock bun bake is over 40 years plus. I’m the baby boomer generation born after WWII. Thanks for the recipe…. Brings back fond memories of my Home Economics cooking class.
Thanks for the recipe. I was looking for the recipe and came to your blog. Going to try that soon. My mom kept saying she misses these rock buns that I had made for her when I was in secondary school.
Hope my recipe is of help to you..
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