As a child I used to devour Enid Blyton books. I love the ones about the fairies and gnomes and wishing trees . . . but I especially loved the adventure books and the ones about kids in boarding schools with tuck boxes and tea time treats and picnic fare which sounded to me to be exotic.
Sausage rolls and pork pies, cherry cakes and ginger beer. Wobbly blanc manges. Tinned and potted meat spread onto hugs slabs of homemade bread . . . jam sandwiches, gingernuts, fruit jellies. Rock cakes. It was all so deliciously tempting sounding, and I dreamt about what it might be like to gorge myself on such a wonderous feast. Yes , , , for me it has always been a out the food.
We didn't have such things at home. None of our meat came from tins and we were never allowed to gorge ourselves on fruit jellies and sausage rolls or wobbly blanc manges. We were never allowed to gorge ourselves on anything. My mother's idea of a treat was an apple. Healthy yes . . . exotic no.
Rock Cakes. Deliciously buttery scone like drop cakes, short and crumbly and reported to be one of Harry Potter's favourite treats. Stogged full of candied cherries and dried currants. I use the undyed cherries. Not as bright, but not as bad, or at least not in my mind.
Wonderful, fresh out of the oven with a glass of cold milk. You could split them and spread them with butter, but I like them plain. They are a beautiful once in a bluemoon treat and whenever I bake them I think of magic wands and indulgent picnics in the woods.
A girl needs some magic in her life don't you think?
*Cherry Rock Buns*
A favourite children's snack. Quick, easy to make, melt in the mouth buttery good, and stogged full of cherries and currants.
250g self raising flour (1 3/4 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
125g butter,slightly softened and cut into bits (1/2 cup)
50g of soft light brown sugar (1/4 cup, packed)
100g of candied cherries, quartered (about 1/2 cup)
50g currants (1/3 cup)
1 large free range egg, beaten
2 TBS milk
2 TBS demerara sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*f/ gas mark 6. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Set aside.
Bake in the heated oven, one tray at a time, for 15 minutes, turning the trays once during baking. These are best eaten on the day. They freeze well however, so you can pack them into an airtight container and just take them out as you want them, reheating them gently in the microwave for about 2 minutes, or packing frozen and wrapped into the lunch bucket. They will be thawed and perfect for eating by lunch time.