Thursday, April 20, 2006

A wander down memory lane

When we were small we would go to Hampsthwaite, near Harrogate to see family and would sometimes have tea at Betty's
as a treat. My favourites were (and are) always Fat Rascals and pink pigs.

My Aunt Elsie (great Aunt, actually) had escaped industrial Teesside, and Haverton Hill in particular, having married a market gardener and moved to Yorkshire where she baked and iced cakes professionally. It always seemed like an ideal lifestyle to me and I always quite fancied being her. I have the genetically low-slung bust but don't quite manage to pull off the floral crimpelene and haven't quite reached the age where a grey cauliflower perm seems like a good idea. There's time yet, though.

Anyway, I still bake from her notes and Aunt Elsie's Rock Cakes are, in my opinion, as good as, if not better than Fat Rascals.

As a fellow cake enthusiast was coming for coffee, I made a batch today.

This is the recipe:

12oz flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Grated rind of a lemon (no white)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or mixed spice (I prefer nutmeg)
6oz sugar
8oz mixed dried fruit (usually use half and half mix of sultanas and raisins)
4oz glace cherries
2oz flaked almonds
1 beaten egg
4 tablespoons of milk.

Rub butter into flour and baking powder, add other dry ingredients and stir. Mix in egg and milk. Spoon into lumps onto baking sheet covered with baking parchment - allowing room for them to spread while cooking. Bake in middle of 150 degree oven until firm and golden. Remove from oven while still soft and cool to firm up. Eat warm while no-one is looking!

Finished a pair of socks for me last night:

They are in handpainted 4ply merino and they are for me! I think the wool is a Cherry Hill yarn, but I've lost the band. There's enough left to make a pair for the whole family, though.


Terri said...

This is my first visit to your site, and I can already tell I like your style. The Cherry Tree Hill socks are beautiful, as is the rest of your knitting. CTH is my favorite sock yarn. Happy knitting!

Michele said...

The rock cake -- the British version of Proust's madeleine? Lovely story. Do you happen to have a recipe for fat rascals as well? My parents fell in love with them on a recent trip to York -- they went back to Betty's 4 times, never knowing it was so famous. They are begging me to make the fat rascals, but as they are unknown in America I need a British patriot to help me out.... Thanks for any culinary help you can provide.

Gill said...

Fat rascals are very similar, but have candied peel and nuts in too. I shall investigate...