Perhaps it’s the symptom of the rocking thirties but I’m a sucker for nostalgia and I find myself constantly tripping down memory lane. Everything daggy is suddenly cool again and things considered old-fashioned is all shiny and new. Don’t believe me? Look what I just added to my music catalogue; Streisand. And (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) John Denver. All those years of slagging off my parents for blaring out Denver has come back to bite me in my mature ass. Kids, take note, you might cringe at your parents’ music tastes now but wait till you enter the 30s because ya’ll going to be listening to it and loving it. Oh yes, the horror!
Speaking of old-fashioned, remember rock cakes? Otherwise known as rock buns (hold the jokes), they’re like a thick cookie with a slightly cakey texture but oh baby they were all the rage during my primary school years in Perth in the 80s and early-90s and I loved them to bits. I’m not sure why I suddenly remembered them or had the urge to gorge on them again but I seriously couldn’t get home and into the kitchen fast enough.
The recipe for what I use to have back in the day came from a 70′s Good Housekeeping bible and it tasted awesome but it was a little plain and dry. I tweaked the original recipe by using less flour and adding baking powder to make them less, well, rock-ish. I also added lemon zest and choc chips, because I can and because I really needed it after the day I had.
These baked with a slightly golden crisp on the outside and chewy cakey innards, which is how I love them. They’re so daggy and wholesome (much like Mr Denver bless him) but these babies with a glass of milk, just oozed homely comfort and nostalgia. Definitely made my afternoon.
Choc Chip and Lemon Rock Cakes
(Also known as Rock Buns. Makes approx 21)
230g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
80g light brown sugar
20g caster sugar
115g cold unsalted butter, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
100g raisins or sultanas
100g dark choc chips
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
In a food processor, dump in the flour, baking powder, salt, sugars and chopped butter. Pulse until the mixtures looks roughly like breadcrumbs.
Tip out this mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir through the lemon zest, raisins and choc chips until combined.
Add the lightly beaten eggs and vanilla extract and mix with a wooden spoon until it just comes together into a sticky dough. Do not overwork the mixture.
Roughly roll out small golf ball sized mounds and place them on your baking sheet, about 5cm apart to allow room for spreading (no need to be perfectly neat about it, just grab, gently pat into a ball and done!).
Bake for around 15 minutes or until the rock cakes are lightly golden. Cool on wire rack.
Adapted from a recipe from Good Housekeeping.