Rock Cakes

Since coming out of hospital, I seem to have been lucky enough to have had friends visiting. Now I'm feeling better, they haven't been eating 'shop bought' cake! I made a chocolate cake on Tuesday, but gave the leftovers to my friend to take home. Another friend came today and I decided to make her favourites - rock cakes. Don't think I've made these since schooldays.

They were a great hit, and I'd forgotten how nice they are. I suppose the recipe is similar to Welsh cakes, which I often make.

This recipe makes 12 and is from my Mum's notebook - I've changed the ounces into grams!

225g sr flour + 2 tspns baking powder, 100g soft margarine or butter, 50g granulated sugar, 1 egg, 150g mixed fruit and about 1 tbspn milk, brown sugar to sprinkle over.

Preheat oven 200C/gas6              Grease 2 baking trays.

Mis the flour and baking powder together then rub in the fat till it's like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar and the fruit. Beat the egg and milk together then add to the bowl and  mix. If it's a bit dry, add a little more milk. Put 12 rough mounds of the mixture, 6 on each tray. I used my hands, but you could use 2 spoons. Sprinkle some light brown or Demerara sugar over each cake.
Bake for 15 mins till edges are golden, then cool on a wire rack.
As with most cakes made using the rubbing-in method, these are best eaten on the day they're made.

Not very exciting to look at, but they tasted good! Lovely crunchy outside and a good sugary topping, then a soft inside. A good, plain old-fashioned cake to have with a cuppa.


Lemon Curd Eclairs

I decided I wanted to make something a bit different when some friends came for tea. My Mum was an excellent baker, and one of the things I really loved were her chocolate eclairs. I thought I'd have a try at choux pastry as it's years since I've made any. [Many moons ago I went to cookery classes with a friend, and we made choux buns.]
Recently I was given a large jar of home-made lemon curd, so decided to try and use this as the filling instead of cream. I'd make some fondant icing for the tops.

Do I do a GBBO and say - 'Make some choux pastry' or give the recipe? Decided to do the latter.
This amount makes about 10 buns.

150ml water, 50g butter, 65g plain flour, 2 eggs lightly beaten

Put the water and butter in a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Take off the heat and add the flour. Put back on the heat and beat with a wooden spoon for 2-3 mins till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Cool slightly. Gradually beat in the eggs till they're all incorporated.

For the lemon curd eclairs:  you need a large jar lemon curd and some fondant icing and water.

Preheat oven 220C/gas7                      Grease 2 baking trays 

Put a large plain tube into an icing bag and fill with the choux pastry.
Pipe 7.5 cm lengths onto the baking sheets.
Bake for 15 mins, change the position of the sheets and turn the oven down to 190C/gas 5 and bake for another 20 mins.
Put onto a wire rack to cool.

Make a slit in the side of each pastry shell. Fill an  icing bag with a large plain tube and add lemon curd. Pipe some into each pastry shell.

Make up some fondant icing and spread some over each eclair.

Lovely textures - the pastry, the curd and the icing. Think I overdid the lemon curd a bit and would put less in next time. They make a nice change from the usual chocolate ones. Would certainly make them again.

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