Baking Rock Cakes with children

I have a trusty old recipe book, it was the first cook book that Mr TM bought, and I've inherited it. It is by Marguerite Patten and just covers everything you could ever need to know about cooking, oven temperatures, cake tin sizes, what 'dropping consistency' actually is...and everything else. I use it a lot. One of the recipes that Mr TM loves is the one for rock cakes, so called for their look and shape not their texture!
marguerite patten everyday cook book cloth bound

They are simple to make and a good choice to make with children (inserts joke about how I usually use dried fruit) as it's a real 'bung it all in a bowl and mix' type recipe.

If you are baking with small children as helpers I suggest, clear surfaces, pre weighed and measured ingredients in plastic bowls like on a cooking show - maybe leave one thing to weigh like the dried fruit. And invest in some anti slip mat stuff to put under the bowls as they mix.

For the cakes you will need:
8oz self raising flour
4oz margarine or butter
4oz castor sugar (I sometimes only use 3oz as Mr TM isn't keen on over sweet cakes)
4oz dried fruit
1 egg (beaten)
some spice if you like that sort of thing
2 tablespoonfuls of milk.

Sieve the flour into a bowl, then rub in the margarine until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Kids love helping with this bit, but ensure that hands are washed first! The odd nibbled crumb won't do anyone any harm. Next add the sugar and the fruit, give it a stir, add the spice if you are going to use it, then add the beaten egg to pull it all together. The mix should be sticky, but not runny, add milk if needed..

Plop small 'lumps' of mixture onto a greased (I use silicone baking parchment to save myself the bother) baking tray, they will spread a bit, so space them!

rock cakes about to go into the oven

Bake in a hot oven for 12-15 minutes. Eat when cool. (it's always cool to eat cake)

Rock cakes cooling

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