Week One Hundred & Eleven- Mary Berry’s Wholemeal Sultana & Apricot Rock Cakes & Singing Hinnie

Week 111 and another late blog, think this is the theme for 2015! I delved into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and wanted to find some bakes that were fairly plain and simple and the wholemeal sultana & apricot rock cakes and singing hinnie certainly fitted this brief.

I began with the wholemeal sultana & apricot rock cakes and this was a simple Mary recipe that was a throw every ingredient in together and mix. Then use 2 teaspoons to put rock sized pieces on baking trays, sprinkle with a little sugar and bake.

Mary Berry's wholemeal sultana & apricot rock cakes

Mary suggests as they have wholemeal flour in , that they are eaten fairly quickly as they will dry out but I kept them under my baking dome and they lasted for several days without drying out.

Kim's wholemeal sultana & apricot rock cakes

The second recipe was Mary’s singing hinnie, a northern recipe. It is like a giant drop scone and Mary tells you that it makes a singing noise while it cooks. If it did- I couldn’t hear it!

Mary Berry's singing hinnie

I had read the Rising to the Berry blog and remember it said that this was not one of Anneliese’s favourite recipes. I must admit that it seemed to go well for me- maybe because I divided my mix into two pieces and rolled each one out into a round so it was the thickness Mary suggests and it fitted in my big frying pan as I don’t have a griddle. Mary suggests it is best eaten warm, split and buttered and put back together- she wasn’t wrong, it was delicious and certainly a recipe that I would consider doing again.

Kim's singing hinnie

The Comic Relief Great British Bake Off continues and I watched last week’s with glee. I have missed the GBBO and this certainly has been entertaining. Episode two was very entertaining. If you missed it, you can see it here. Please consider buying the recipe book to help you raise some money for your Comic Relief Bake Off.

The Great Comic Relief Bake Off

Week Eighty – Mary Berry’s Strawberry Meringue Nests & Rock Cakes

Week eighty already and I didn’t know what I fancied attempting this week – sweet or savoury? I dipped into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and surfaced with strawberry meringue nests and rock cakes!

Mary Berry's Strawberry Meringue Nests

The meringue nests would make a nice pudding after the planned weekend b-b-q and so I began. Mary asks you to whisk the egg whites until frothy. Then you add the icing sugar but interestingly Mary then asks you to whisk the mix over a pan of hot water until the mixture is stiff and ready for piping. No easy feat but I had a pan of hot water on anyway boiling some eggs for a salad so I used that pan and juggled the bowl over it while whisking until I thought it was set…… then Mary asks you to put the mix into a piping bag and pipe into basket shapes. Mary estimates that the mix will make 6 baskets but mine made four- they were huge though!

Kim's Meringue Nests

My piping skills obviously need a lot of practice ! I was ok with the base but when it came to the basket sides, I wobbled all over the place! When all were piped, they had to go into the oven for about 45 minutes. Once cooked and cooled, Mary asks you to put strawberry pieces in and glaze with some melted strawberry jam. This is where Mary and I agree to disagree as I am a purist with strawberries and thought they didn’t need to be spoiled with a glaze. I also added some raspberries and served in the basket with some cream.

Kim's Strawberry Meringue Nests

The second recipe was rock cakes. The last time I made rock cakes was when I was in home economic classes at school. Mary asks you to weigh out the flour and add the butter , rubbing it in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add all the other ingredients and mix together.

Mary Berry's Rock Cakes

Use 2 teaspoons to put amounts of the mix into small heaps on the tray and sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 15 minutes. The finished cakes kind of resemble rocks I guess. All I can say is that they tasted good!!

Kim's Rock Cakes

Well the countdown continues with 108 recipes left to bake….