A traditional small cake normally cooked on a hot plate. This is an alternative cooking method that I found to be very successful in ensuring that the cake is properly cooked through. This recipe makes about 3 dozen small cakes.
Sift the self raising flour, baking powder, caster sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice into a large bowl and stir until well mixed.
Dice the butter and add to the flour mixture. Blend the butter and flour until it is well combined and looks like fine breadcrumbs. (Use your fingers to work the flour and butter together.) Add the sultanas to the bowl and mix into the flour mixture.
Whisk two eggs and add to the bowl. Combine the flour mixture with the eggs and gently knead until the pastry is consistent. If too wet/sticky, add more flour until you have a pastry consistency that can be easily rolled. If too dry, add a little milk.
Roll out the pastry until it is about 4mm thick (i.e. quite thin). You may want to divide the pastry and roll out in two or three stages. Using a pastry cutter (40-50mm diameter), cut the pastry into small rounds. The remaining pastry can be recombined and rolled out again until it is all used.
This next step is the variation to ensure that the cakes are cooked properly. It also allows the pastry to fully rise. Place the cakes onto a baking tray and place into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for about six minutes. Remove from the oven and then place onto a hotplate for 1 - 2 minutes each side until the sides are nicely browned.
Place on a rack to cool and sprinkle with caster sugar.
The baking of the pastry in the oven overcomes the challenge of getting the hotplate at the correct temperature to fully cook the cakes without burning the sides. A large frying pan can be used to finish the cooking instead of a hotplate. Baking in the oven also allows the pastry to fully rise resulting in a lighter, less dense, cake.