Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rock Buns or Rock Cakes?

For the past 2 months, I have not been baking at all and I suddenly have a whole stockpile of baking supplies which have either expired or nearing their expiry dates. Raisins - expired 31 Dec 10. Dessicated coconut - expired 18 Feb 11. Dried apricots - expired 01 Feb 11. I still have flours and dark chocolate which are expiring in April.

Gosh, what a waste to throw them all away. I have the bad habit of buying a lot of stuff at one go, and changing my mind and using another ingredient for baking, and as a result, my baking stockpile has been growing. What am I gonna do with all these baking stuffs which still look good and probably still taste good? I reckon they won't cause me tummyaches if I were to use them in baking since we have a cold and dry climate here in Belgium and things do keep pretty well, unlike in Singapore where foodstuffs get mouldy easily due to the humidity.

So for today, in order to clear my expired raisins, I am baking rock buns or rock cakes, whatever you call it.

I haven't baked this for nearly 20 years. It was a must-learn dish for our home economics lessons in lower secondary. We learnt to bake rock buns and pineapple-upside-down cakes. The home econs teacher used rock buns to teach us the technique of rubbing-in. Basically rubbing in butter with cold hands instead of creaming it with a mixer. I still remember we had to make sure our hands were cold and we had to rub in the butter quickly in a deft manner before the butter had a chance to melt. Well, it was a terrible mess for me. First of all I was a "hot-blooded" young girl so I couldn't keep my hands cold. Secondly how do you expect the butter not to melt at 33 degree celsius in a hot stifling kitchen? 

Anyway, baking rock buns always brings back fond memories from memory lane. As I am still hot-blooded after so many years, so I avoid the rubbing-in method at all costs. However rock buns are almost always without fail, made using the rubbing-in method. But here is a recipe which solves all my woes, it uses the creaming method instead of the rubbing-in method and this recipe is adapted from Alex Goh's Joy of Making Cookies book.

Ingredients A
150g butter
150g margarine
150g sugar
pinch of salt

Ingredients B
1 tsp vanilla essence
75 ml evaporated milk
(replaced with normal milk)

Ingredients C 
430g flour
2 tbsp milk powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Ingredients D 
100g sultana/raisins

1. Cream (A) til light and fluffy.

2. Add in (B) and cream til smooth.

3. Add in (C) and mix til well blended. Then add in (D) and mix til well combined.

4. Take 50g of the mixture and place into a lined and greased cookie pan. Press it flat with finger tip into uneven shape.

5. Bake at 170 degree celsius in a preheated oven for 20-25 min. (I extended for another 5 to 10 min as my rock buns were pretty big and I had to make sure they are well-baked.)

I made at least 30 fairly large rock buns using this recipe. If I reduce the size of each, I think it maybe possible to make 40 rock buns or so. 

1 comment:

  1. An easier way to rub in withoput the hot fingers is (do it in Winter time Ha Ha! Sorry, I joke!) place flour and cubed cold butter in food processor and pulse (turn on for split second then stop, some food processors have this setting) until breadcrumbs form. Do not over pulse or you may get a dough!


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