Friday, 8 June 2012

Baking with Baby 4 - Right Royal Rocks

So have you still got your bunting up? For the Diamond Jubilee I mean. I'm afraid I'm one of those who have, as I can't bear taking down decorations of any sort. Stuck in, on another rainy day, I've decided Jubilee weekend over or not, to stick with the royal theme. It's the Queen's official birthday next weekend anyway. 

This week, I decided to make rock buns, with a very slight twist - they're red, white and blue. The idea had been bubbling away in the back of my mind, almost the entire four day weekend but it had to wait until now, to get a chance to come out in the open. 

One of the beauties of a Rock Bun recipe, I have discovered, is the simplicity (as you can probably tell, by now, I only do simple) another is speed - just ten minutes in the oven. I can now see why my mother made so many of them, when I was younger!

One for Baby and one for me!
The main question in my mind had been what recipe to follow. I tried my old favourite book the other day and the recipe went horrendously wrong! 

I started by heating the oven (220 -230 degrees C). Then I placed the scales and bowl in front of Baby, with a sieve on top. I weighed the (self-raising) flour - 225g/8oz (I didn't think it looked quite enough, but I had weighed it carefully on our digital scales) and allowed Baby to sieve it with her spoon. 

Soon, however, the table top looked like it had been snowing. There was flour not quite everywhere, but definitely not all in the bowl ,'cos she eschewed the spoon and tried to copy what Daddy normally does, by shaking it. Oops! I looked at the amount on the table and tried to estimate how much was missing from the bowl. 'It should be fine,' I thought to myself, as I topped up the flour.

Next, I added the140g/5oz dairy free margarine and rubbed it in. It felt a bit claggy, not quite perhaps as I remembered it, from making it at school. The recipe warned about the dangers of allowing the mixture to become too soft, but I had weighed everything - except of course when I replaced the missing flour. 

After that we weighed and added the sugar -140g/5oz. Baby hadn't been allowed to rub in the margarine, but I did let her stir the sugar, whilst I beat the egg. It was a big one and I worried a bit, as I added it in and saw the mixture become rather gloopy. 'No need to add any almond milk, then,' I decided and went straight on to add the fruit. For this, I decided on 75g/3oz of cranberries and the same of blueberries (all dried) for the red and the blue, of my Jubilee theme. 

I did toy with the idea of adding some of Baby's remaining white dairy free 'chocolate' buttons, in order to inject a bit of white, but we've only a few left and cannot get any more anywhere. 'Sugar on the top, after baking, for the white, will have to do,'  was the decision. The recipe said to dust the buns before they went in the oven, but I'm sure my mother always did it at the end, was it perhaps because she forgot? 

Anyway, the baking sheet was greased and floured and Baby and I fought over who had control of the spoons for dolloping the mixture onto the tray. I was still worried about the mixture (very gloopy) however, into the oven they went, at which point, Baby demanded boob and so the Rock Buns burned! What's more, they spread and burned! Bother!

And so I was left musing. What had gone wrong? Was it the flour? I had not made Rock Buns with gluten free flour before, but I didn't think so. Was it the fact that some flour had gone missing, or that the egg was rather large? Or, was the original recipe wrong?

Well, it turned out it's not the recipe's fault, or Baby's shaking the flour everywhere or even mine. In fact, it's our scales which were the problem - they are officially broken!! This has been confirmed by The Hub, who came unstuck, when he was trying to make bread. He has replaced the batteries, but k-put, they're gone. It's just as well it's his discovery, as now I'm in the clear - phew!! Fortunately, I have a spare set, in the back of the cupboard - cheap and cheerful, but they do the job just fine!

Now know it's not the recipe, we made some more today, and as you can see from the picture at the top, they've turned out fine. In the meantime, I've looked at a few  recipes online and have suddenly realised that there a quite a number of ways that this classic recipe can be made - even with chocolate chips! 

As much as I am rather tempted by the chocolate chips (I would add hazelnut, as well I think) today I stuck to my original theme of red, white and blue, partly as a homage to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and partly because it's another cunning way of getting fruit (albeit dried) into Baby. You see when we made our muffins the other day (courtesy of Mrs Crimble) she ate the blueberries I added without a murmur, so now I know what to do!

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