Chap. III. – Ornamental Confectionary, pp.31-40.

[Ornamental Confectionary Contents]

Sugar Loaves, or Clove Biscuits.

   TAKE the whites of four eggs, which beat up with treble refined sugar, finely pounded, and put through a lawn sieve, in the same way as directed in making icing for cakes; when it is very white add some oil of cloves to flavour it, and continue adding more sugar to form it into a paste fit for rolling out; knead it, roll it out to the thickness of one-fourth of an inch, then cut it out with shapes made of narrow pieces of tin, such as hearts, diamonds, stars, according to fancy, not exceeding one and a half inch in diameter, lay them on quarter sheets of paper at the distance of an inch from each other, and fire them in a very slow oven; about five minutes will do them, they rise very high, and should not be browned, and require much attention while in the oven. After they are fired, make an icing with whites of eggs and fine sugar, beat it up very white, till of a sufficient thickness not to run off, and with a knife, or spattula, lay it over the bottom of the biscuits and ornament them with gold or silver leaf, dragee, nonpareils, &c.; as you do them place them on an ashet, or sieve, close to one another to prevent them falling over, set them before the fire, or stove, to harden, then put them in a box. In Scotland they are much used at funerals, &c. 

Meringles,

Are very showy in deserts and a very luscious sweetmeat. Take a pound of best refined sugar, pound and sift it through a lawn sieve, then take the whites of eight eggs, cast them in a large wooden dish or pan, very light, and until they are stiff; put in the sugar and mix it very light, so as not to break the eggs too much. Observe, that they do not rise much in the oven, but only crust over; therefore their beauty depends on the management of them before they are put into the oven, which must be very cool. Have ready a few boards of an inch thick, or the ends of orange chests, upon which lay half a sheet of paper, sift as much sugar upon it as will cover it well, then, with a spoon, drop them on the paper in the shape and size of an egg cut longways; a table spoonful let fall gently long ways, will form it; keep them as high as you can, dust them with sugar, and put them in the oven upon the boards, and when they grow a light brown on the top take them out; if the oven is not too hot they may take fifteen minutes. When ready take them out, and, with a spattula, gently raise one of them off the paper, and lay it into the hollow of your hand, then take a little of the soft part out and fill up the space with rasp, or other jam; take up another, which clap over the one in your hand, it forms them like a muscle shell when shut, every two making one meringle; dry them in a stove moderately. 

Another way.

   Take a pint (mutchkin) syrup, put it in a pan and boil to the degree of blown; beat up the whites of six eggs into a pan, very light, when the sugar is ready, rub it against the sides of the pan with a wooden stick, or spoon, to make it grain, or candy, when it grows all white, mix in the whites quickly, for if not taken in proper time and done quickly, the sugar will all turn to powder; when well mixed and light, add the grate of a lemon and proceed as directed above. 

Gum Paste for Ornamenting all kinds of Cakes and Ornaments.

   Take one ounce of gum dragon picked (if any black speck appear take it out, else it will spoil the colour) and put it in a bason, or jelly pot; pour on it one gill of water and let it stand two days; then squeeze it through a fine temmy cloth, put it in a clean marble mortar and work it for half an hour, when it will be very white. Have refined sugar finely pounded and put through a lawn sieve, put in a little into the mortar and keep working; adding by degrees more sugar; when not too thick it is put into a jelly pot and close covered with a bladder. When wanted, a small piece is taken and put into the mortar, and wrought with sugar till very stiff, and of a proper consistence for rolling and moulding into shapes. Take it out of the mortar and work it upon a marble table, using a little hair powder in working it up. Before laying it in the mould, press it hard down; then, with a spattulla, or thin, sharp knife, cut it smooth over the surface of the mould, pressing it forcibly down with your hand, while you pass the knife under. Then take a small piece, wet it a little, touch the paste in the mould, and it will lift it out; dip a hair pencil in water and come over the back of the figure and lay it on the cake, or ornament, according to fancy. 

Mottoes.

   Having made the paste as above directed, you proceed to take the impressions from the moulds, which are cut into a great variety of figures. They consist of two pieces, the edges of which are wet with a pencil dipped in strong gum water; the little slips of paper, on which are short sentences, or mottoes, to cause diversion, are rolled up and one put in before joining the two pieces together. When the figures are dry they are painted to imitate nature, dried, and lastly, washed over with gum water to give them a gloss. The paste requires very fine sugar, but as they are never eaten, may be made with one half sugar and one half hair powder. The figures, such as fishes, heads, fruits, &c. look beautiful when rock candied; it is also formed into crowns, serpents, &c. with the hand. 

Rock Candies,

Are very beautiful for ornaments in deserts, &c. and have also a fine effect in ornamenting cakes. They are made of fine sugar, the paste being made as already shewn (See Gum Paste.) it is formed into the shape of crowns, fruits, and various figures, according to fancy; they are hard dried in the stove, and painted. When dry lay them in a broad bottomed pan on wires, so that the sugar can get round them; then boil up some very fine sugar syrup till near the blown height, or till it begins to blow, pour it on the shapes, and let them be well covered with syrup; cover the pan up to prevent any dust getting in, and set it in a warm place, or stove, for a few weeks. Break the surface of the sugar at an edge of the pan, pour out all the syrup, set it on edge to drain, and when dry take them carefully out, and after laying them on a wire sieve, dry them in a stove. They are generally coloured after nature or fancy. 

Chantillys,

Have a fine effect in deserts, and require a good taste in forming. Prepare a slight frame made of wood, pasteboard, or whalebone, of the figure wanted, such as temples, ruins, vaulted chambers, domes, arches, &c.; or they may be made into grottos. Having got the figure ready and fixed upon a frame, boil up some syrup to the degree called crackled, but put in a little lemon juice to keep it from candying too soon. Have a quantity of ratafia biscuits ready at hand, then begin by dipping the edge of a ratafia biscuit into the sugar, fix it immediately to the frame, and then another till you go round the figure, then begin with another row, placing a biscuit betwixt every two of the last row, and so proceed to form arches, vaults, &c. according to the pattern or frame. They may be ornamented with rock candies here and there; they require to be made very quick, and not above three hours before placing on the table. Place sweetmeats, jellies, &c. under them. 

Crocrants,

Are likewise a good ornament, and often used, and also require to be made a short time before placing on the table, as the damp air soon makes them fall to pieces; if the sugar is not boiled strong enough they will not stand. 

   Have ready a mould or shape, of tin or copper, very clean and oiled all over the inside (a gatto shape will do turned down upon a plate; or they may be made in the shape of pyramids, &c.) then put on some syrup with the juice of a lemon, boil to the crackled degree; take it off and let it cool a little, so as that a fork dipped into it draws to threads and does not break short. When at this degree of coldness, take two forks in one hand, and the frame in the other, dip in the forks and let it run off till it draws; then, with your hand, wave the forks across and across the bottom of the mould (which makes the top when taken out) so thick, that it will bear itself; continue going on in this manner all over the inside of the mould, or frame. Do not let any drops fall, as it spoils the appearance; it should all be waved across and across in small threads, strengthen what appears weakest by going over it again. After it is finished have a plate of the size of your mould ready, take the mould, lay both your hands on the inside, then pressing your fingers close upon the sides try to loosen it; when all loose place the dish upon it and turn it up; or lay on the plate jellies, sweetmeats, &c. and hold it in your hand until you lay the frame lightly over them upon the dish, then lift it up. A top may be formed to make it higher by making a small one into a cup or bowl, so as to fill the large one. When you place it upon the top of the other join them together by the same means; when the sugar draws into too thick threads it must be warmed again. 

Chocolate Almonds.

   Grate one pound of chocolate very fine pound and sift through a lawn sieve one pound and a half refined sugar. Steep some gum dragon in water, press it through a temmy cloth, work it all together in a mortar to a stiff paste; make them into various figures and devices, put in slips of paper with mottoes into the heart of them, and dry them in a stove. 

Rose Figures.

   Take rose buds before they blow, clip off the white end, and dry the red buds in the sun; to one ounce of them, finely powdered, take one pound refined sugar, wet the sugar with strong rose water, boil it to candy height, put in the juice of a lemon and the rose powder; mix all well together, pour it on a plate, and form it into lozenges, or figures of birds, animals, fishes, &c. according to fancy; paint or gild them. 

French Cakes.

   Take a pound of treble refined sugar, pounded and put through a silk sieve, and a pound of fine starch, or hair powder, make them into a paste with gum arabic dissolved in water; then season it according to your taste with oil, essences, or powders; roll it out and cut it in various shapes, or figures, by pressing it into a mould cut for the purpose in various figures; after they are dry, they are painted or coloured. It may also be made into baskets, houses, &c. and mottoes put into them. 

Oranges with Custards.

Are made in the same way as the clove biscuits. Take the whites of three eggs, a little of the juice, and the grate of one lemon, beat it up to a snow; then mix in eight ounces treble refined sugar, pounded and put through a silk sieve, and make it into a paste; roll it out, cut it in shapes according to fancy, and fire it in a slow oven. 

Orange Flower Biscuits.

   Proceed in the same manner as directed for making clove biscuits; before they are too stiff mix in as many orange flowers as you please, and mix well; put papers on tins, roll out the paste in small pieces, like walnuts, fire them in a slow oven a light brown. 

Rock Sugar.

   Take a red earthen ware pot that will hold about four quarts, (these kind of pots that are a little narrower at both ends than at the middle,) lay the small white sticks of a whisk pretty close across and across; set it before a fire that it may be very hot by the time the sugar is ready. Pound ten pounds of treble refined sugar, and put it into a pan, pour upon it the whites of two eggs beat up to a strong froth with half a pint of water, along with one pint (mutchkin) orange flower water, and as much more water as will make it into a good syrup; clarify it very pure by boiling and skimming three or four times, then let it boil till it draws very strong between your fingers, which you must try frequently by cooling a little in a spoon; when it draws strong pour it into the warm pot, cover it close up and set it for three days into a hot stove. After the three first days the stove may be moderate, in which let it remain three weeks, but do not move the pot; after which break the surface and pour out all the syrup; you will find all the sticks covered with rock, also the sides and bottom of the pot. Set the pot in a pan of cold water, upon the fire, and when thoroughly hot all the rock will slip out and fall, most of it in small pieces; then dip the sticks in hot water and the rock will slip off; put amongst it a good handful of orange flowers, or rose leaves, put a quantity of it on a skimmer, dip it in scalding water, lay it on a tin plate, and make it up in handsome lumps, and as hollow as you can; then place them in a hot stove for a day, and they will adhere firmly together; take them off the plates, dry them two or three hours in the stove, and if there be any large pieces make bottoms of them and lay small pieces on them. 

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