Makes 9 large or 12 medium rock cakes.
225g self-raising flour (or plain flour, plus 1 tsp baking powder)
115g butter or margerine (you can reduce this to 75g if you wish)
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp mixed spice
50g caster sugar
115g mixed dried fruit
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp Demerara sugar (for sprinkling)
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Grease a large baking sheet.
Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice together in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and rub it into the flour until it has the consistency of large crumbs.
Stir in the sugar and dried fruit. Beat the egg and milk together.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the flour/fruit mixture in the bowl. Using a round-bladed knife (e.g. a butter knife), blend the mixtures together to form a rough dough.
Using the knife, dollop portions of dough onto the baking sheet. They'll fall off the knife in a rather rough fashion - resist the urge to smooth them out! Make sure to leave 5cm between the mounds as they will spread when baked. Sprinkle each mound with plenty of Demerara sugar. This gives both good crunch and shine when baked.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes - smaller rock cakes will take about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack immediately and let cool fully before eating. Best eaten within 2 days!