I met my Dad’s parents – Nana and Pop – when I was around 12 years old. I had very vague memories of them as a child just before we left England to move to Australia. I think we were visiting them or staying with them the night before we boarded the flight for our new life in Australia – I was almost 4 years old. I remember walking with them and Mum on a frosty morning to the park and feeding swans. I can’t remember much more, and I think even when we lived in England, we rarely saw them.
Anyway, they had finally come out from England to Tasmania for a holiday after years of making excuses. “Oh no. We could fly all that way. What about Poppet (the dog)?” “Oh no, we can’t leave just now, the garden is about to bloom and will need tending”. (It’s just as well you could smoke on flights back in 1983, or they would never have come!! Nana was a big smoker – 40 cigarettes a day for most of her life! I know!! Smoking on airplanes?? I know, it beggers belief really!).
But this time Dad had bought them plane tickets, and they had no escape! 😉 They were here for just three days when they announced (in their very plummy and proper English accents): “we think Tasmania is the most beautiful place. We’ve decided to move here!” And move they did; both in their late 60s, Nana with chronic arthritis and Pop with two hip replacements. They came and their whole house! I’m sure they went home and everything just went from cupboard and drawer into box and was addressed: “Tasmania – the most beautiful place on Earth!”
They were truly eccentric people from Pop waging war on the eucalypts that surrounded their garden and dropped bark on the lawn! He’d be out their everyday picking up the bark. He couldn’t stand it and through it looked so untidy. Errr, it’s not England, Pop, where autumn comes, you rake up the leaves and be done with it. They’ll keep dropping bark all year long!!!
Nana would sit all day typing letters to her friends and family back in England (she couldn’t write well because of her arthritis), doing cryptic crosswords and reading history books. She lived on a diet of cigarettes, coffee, cheese sandwiches and rock cakes. She didn’t cook much, but made rock cakes and marmalade cake. I have her marmalade cake recipe which I love, (I have made some changes), but I don’t have her rock cake recipe. I had a hankering for rock cakes on Sunday, and I thought “what if”…..and so these bad boys were born. **AVOCADO ROCK CAKES!** I wonder what Nana would think? In all honesty (and I’m not just blowing my own trumpet), I’m not sure she’s be able to tell the difference between her margarine rock cakes and my healthy low fat, low sugar version. They really are THAT good! Daz and the Grunkies love them. You can adjust the sweetness to suit your dietary requirements and palette. I don’t think they really need much extra sugar – as the raisins/sultanas are so sweet. Let me know what you think!
AVOCADO ROCK CAKES:
1 avocado, flesh (around 80 – 100g)
20g tahini (optional – you can use 20g extra avocado or 20g coconut oil or 20g nut butter)
30 – 60g sugar of choice (I used coconut sugar. I’m sure you could use agave nectar sugar and certainly use a lesser amount)
80g buckwheat flour
70g chick pea flour or millet flour
50g coconut, fine
50g tapicoa starch or potato starch or GF corn starch
50g rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
big pinch salt
50g mixed peel (optional)
120g sultanas or raisins
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange (80 – 90g)
20g vanilla extract
Heat oven to 175oC
- Zest and juice your orange.
- Add the sultanas to the orange juice and set aside to soak which you get everything else ready. You can warm a little in the microwave and speed up the soaking process. Add vanilla extract
- Put avocado, orange zest and tahini into a food processor (I used the dough – non-cutting blade – it seems to work better with avocado).
- Add flours, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, sugar.
- Pulse to get the mix to resemble fine bread crumbs. If you haven’t got a food processor – do it the old fashioned way – rubbing in by hand.
- Add the orange juice, soaked sultanas, vanilla and mixed peel.
- Pulse further until combined. Avoid the temptation to give it a good razz – it tends to make the mix a bit gummy.
- Scrap down sides and bottom and pulse a few more times to make sure the wet and dry are combined.
- Put teaspoons or mini-ice cream scoops onto baking paper on a baking tray. Let the bikkies be rough and rock like. They are Rock Cakes after all.
- Cook in mod oven for around 15 – 20 mins – until nicely browned on top.
- Cool on wire rack and store in air-tight jars.
Enjoy and keep on rockin’! Tweet!
PS. I made these with not great avocados (a few black bits and some stringy bits) each time and they worked out fine. I’m thinking that possibly rock hard avocados might not be great, however. J x