My mom’s friend Anne Sim from Elgin in Morayshire, Scotland sent a cookbook to my mom that contains Scottish recipes. Anne admitted that she is not a cook, but her mother Mary Ann Noble was a cook for a large house in Edinburgh. When inquiring about Christmas recipes Anne said: Mothers fav. to bake was rock cakes, shortbread, Oatcakes, pancakes & scones, all baked in the "Range" (Aga) in the kitchen. Unfortunately, like most excellent cooks, Mary Ann made up her own recipes and didn’t measure ingredients. And unfortunately there was no recipe for rock cake in the cookbook she sent. I asked Marion Smith, my husband’s distant cousin from England, but she didn’t have a recipe either. So, after a bit of research, I was able to take the scone recipe from the Scottish cookbook and modify it into a, hopefully, acceptable version of a Christmas Rock Cake!
3 1/2 cups of flour
6 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of currants
1 stick of butter
1 large egg
1 cup of milk
Place flour in the bowl of a mixer (trust me, using a mixer makes this a ton easier than doing it by hand). Turn mixer on low and add baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and currants. Cut the butter into small chunks and add, allowing the mixture to become slightly crumbly. Add the egg and mix well. SLOWLY add the milk and mix well. The mix should be the consistency of drop biscuit dough. Then, like drop biscuits, drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Yields about 18 cakes.
Serve warm with butter! Yum!
I do want to also add the Soda Scone recipe that is in the Scottish cookbook Anne sent. They sound so delicious!
Soda Scones from the Daily Record Guide to Scottish Cooking (the Daily Record has been around since 1895).
1 pound of plain flour
1 ounce of baking powder
2 ounces of sugar
2 ounces of oil
1/2 pint of milk
Place oil, milk, and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Add the sieved flour and mix well. Divide into four equal pieces an roll each into a six-inch disc. Flour well and bake on a hot griddle until cooked all the way through.
Thank you Anne for the book and idea! And thank you Marion for pointing me in the right direction to research this to come up with a recipe!
Oh, and Harry Potter fans…you’re welcome!