I remember baking Rock Cakes once at school when I was really young, and they were filled with raisins! I don’t enjoy raisins, so I really have no idea what those Rock Cakes actually tasted like. My family loved them, so I can only imagine they were good. My mom and I made them quite often after that, but there were always a few left plain, raisin free, especially for me :-).
I am not sure where they got their name from… ‘Rock Cakes’, that to me sounds like it could be a hard cake, who knows, yet Rock Cakes are quite the opposite in fact, they resemble scones :-). But, saying that, I suppose the exterior of the Rock Cake is crisp and hard, so that would resemble the name Rock Cake, and in fact….now I am on a role….but with the surface and exterior all uneven and rugged looking, that too, could resemble a rock !
I think the original traditional Rock Cake originated in Britain, if I remember correctly, and of course they were filled with raisins and perhaps dried fruit.
Anyway, years ago this recipe came into my hands, again from a magazine and of course I saved it, being the recipe hoarder that I am. And, I am so grateful to whoever decided to put a savoury spin on them. Ge…ni..us, for sure ! I have adapted the quantities slightly and added my little twist to it.
These are awesome. They are simple and easy to make, and again, me being me, these Rock Cakes are quite versatile. They work equally as well with different cheeses and herbs. I love using feta though, as when you cut the Rock Cake to put butter on, often I see the chunk of feta within the Rock Cake. If you don’t have buttermilk, normal full fat milk will suffice. I have not tried it with other milks, and certainly not a fat-free milk…I mean, for me…why bother…this is an indulgence, so why not go all out !
Potato, Herb and Feta Rock Cakes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
Total time: 30 – 40 minutes
Makes 8 – 10 depending on size
200 gram potato (approximately 1 large potato)
1/2 medium-sized onion
100/120 grams plain feta cheese disc
1 1/2 cups self-raising wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons (25 millilitres) ground rosemary
5 teaspoons (25 millilitres) ground thyme
1 free-range Jumbo sized egg
2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) buttermilk
2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) hot mustard
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.
Grease a baking tray. (I use Spray n’ Cook) and then sprinkle some flour onto the baking tray.
Wash and peel the potato, and grate on a large bladed grater.
Peel and chop the onion into small pieces, and set aside.
Chop the feta cheese disc coarsely, and set aside.
Then, in a medium-sized bowl, add self-raising flour, salt, grated potato, chopped onion and feta and herbs.
Mix all together with a metal tablespoon.
In a smaller bowl add the egg, buttermilk and mustard. Stir together.
Add the egg mixture into the flour mixture and again stir quickly and gently to combine the ingredients.
Now using your hands take out clumps of the dough mixture and place on the greased baking tray. (I did add flour to my hands so the dough did not stick to my hands) I took out a good rounded tablespoon in size, but this is entirely up to you. You determine your own sizing for the rock cakes.
Place the baking tray into the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the rock cakes are golden brown.
Once done, remove from the oven and serve hot with butter.
NB* I kept a few in a sealed container in the fridge for the next day, and they were perfect. I just heated them up in the microwave and then loaded with butter.
NB* Please excuse the white bits on the rock cakes, I guess I got a bit carried away with the flour on my hands!