Chap. XIV. – Cakes and Biscuits, pp.129-167.

[Cakes and Biscuits Contents]

   General Observations. – Before you begin making the cake study to have every thing you are to use in readiness; the sugar pounded and sifted, the fruits cleaned and weighed, the orange peel, &c. cut, the almonds blanched and cut longways, flour weighed and sifted, and if damp spread before the fire on a large sheet of paper to dry; the eggs broke and separated, the yolks in one dish, or pan, and the whites in another. 

   Observe, that in breaking the eggs and separating the yolks from the whites, when you are not certain of the eggs being all fresh, to break them over a bason, that if any musty, or bad eggs, are amongst them they may be detected; because a musty, or bad egg, will spoil the whole. If it should so happen, the only way to correct it is to add some orange flower water, which will, to a certain degree, cover the bad taste. 

   The pan should be quite dry, otherwise they are apt to oil and will not rise in casting; the spiceries should be beaten, or if to be seasoned with lemons, have the grate, or essence, ready. Have ready also the frames, or hoops, they are to be baked in, either buttered on the inside to make them slip out, or lined with paper; do not fill them too full, but above all, study to have the oven of that heat proper for the cakes you bake; the larger the cake the oven should be more moderate. If the oven should be too hot put the cake farther from the fire and place a piece of wood or bricks before it; be careful not to move the cake until you think it is all fixed and risen, because the least shake, or movement, stops its rising and makes all the fruit fall to the bottom of the cake; cover it well up with paper if it is too hot on the top. When you think it ready draw it out and run a small piece of whisk, or a long bladed knife, down through it, and if dry when you pull it out, it is done; if not, put it back again till ready. In baking small cakes the oven should be warmer; a little practice will show the different degrees of heat required. Make it always a rule to wash and dry every thing used in making cakes, &c. as soon as you are done with it. 

Of the Mortar.

   To those making a large quantity of cakes the construction of the mortar is of great consequence, not only in the saving of labour and time but in the goodness of the article made. Therefore, provide yourself with a large marble, or stone mortar. Make a strong building close to a stone wall, of such a height that when the mortar is placed upon it it may reach rather higher than the middle of your thigh, that you may have a proper command of the pestle; build in the mortar that it may not move. The head of the pestle is made of boxwood, and in the shape of half an egg (the round end) and will weigh from five to ten pounds according to the size of the mortar; a hole is bored in the centre of the block to admit a strong staff. The handle, or staff, will be about four or five feet long; an iron made with a circular ring, is drove into the wall about three inches below where the top of the staff reaches, till the circle be immediately above the centre of the mortar. When pounding any article the staff runs up and down through this ring; it should be made wide, to admit being covered with small rope winded round, which will prevent the staff from wearing. A person has thus a double purchase, and in pounding almonds, &c. or making gum paste, its superiority over any other will soon be felt. 

   Whisks are made of the young shoots of the birch tree peeled; one should be kept for beating up whites of eggs, one for the yolks, and one for creams, &c.; because a whisk which has been used in beating up yolks of eggs, or cream, if put among the whites entirely spoils them; or if the least greasy substance come near them, or if the pan has not been perfectly dry. The whisk used for yolks should be made of the stronger shoots of the birch, and tied up with a pretty thick pin in the middle to make it spread; those used for the whites of eggs, or creams, are made of the small fibres, and a thick piece in the middle to make them spread. They should be well washed after using and hung up to dry; if the whisk is in the least wet it will be in vain to expect light whites. I used for the purpose of beating yolks two sticks; they are made of hard wood, ¼ of an inch thick and 18 inches long; the handle takes up about thirteen inches, and is 1½ inch in breadth, the remaining five inches forms half of an oval, with a hole cut in the middle in shape of a diamond. Place the pan, or can, into a small cask, take one of the sticks in each hand, place the cask before you, and holding the broad end inwards, beat up the eggs. This is a very expeditious way and makes them very light. There is another kind of whisk, made with pieces of cane cut in lengths of twelve inches, and tied upon a roller of wood two feet long; about three inches at the end is turned smaller, the canes are cut flat at the end about three inches, and placed round the roller, and so tied strongly with twine rubbed over with tar. This whisk is well calculated for making sugar biscuits, and will last many years. The way it is used is by driving it very quick round and round the pan. 

   It is the practice in London and other places, when casting up the eggs, to put the pan upon the stove, or fire, and continue casting them until they are pretty warm, they are then taken off, and the casting continued until they are cold. I could not find I could not find any benefit arising from this practice; but a cake may be made in this manner and one without the use of the fire, and the preference given to whichever method makes the lightest cake. 

Seed Cakes. No. 1.

 liboz
Refined Sugar 
Orange Peel 
Almonds 
Flour 
Citron 
Fresh Butter 
20 Eggs, and Spiceries to your taste.   

   The sugar being pounded, the fruit cut in small narrow stripes, the almonds blanched and cut, the eggs broke all together, in a large dish, or the yolks and whites separately; the spiceries, such as nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon, pounded, and a few caraway seeds, and every thing ready, the frames papered, &c. first begin with the butter, which put into a large wooden dish, which is preferable to a can, break it and cast it till soft with your hand, then add the pounded sugar by degrees, and continue casting till very light and all the sugar put in; then beat up the eggs very light and add them also by degrees, mixing them with the butter and sugar; if you put in too much at a time it will curdle. After the eggs are all put in, mix in the flour lightly with the fruits and spiceries, a glass of brandy may also be added; then fill the frames nearly full, smooth the top, and strew a few caraway comfits on it. Bake them in a moderate oven, put them in an equal place, so as not to be moved or turned, till near ready. A shake would occasion the fruits to fall to the bottom

Another way.

   Take the same quantity of ingredients, with this difference, that you take the whites only, of thirty eggs. After the sugar and butter is beaten very light, the whites are cast up light and mixed with the butter, then the flour and fruits are added. Or, cast the butter light, then the whites; when they are light, the sugar is mixed with the whites and cast together for some time, then the butter, flour, fruits, spiceries, &c. mixed. 

Seed Cakes. No. 2. 

 liboz
Flour 
Butter 
Sugar 
Two dozen Eggs.   
Currants and Raisins 3½ 
Almonds 
Caraway Comfits 
3 pints (mutchkins) Milk.   
Yeast, a pint (mutchkin), and Spiceries.   

   First beat the butter light with the sugar, and mix in nearly the half of the flour; put in the remainder of the flour in a broad dish, add the yeast, beat up the eggs light, and mix lightly in; then make the milk pretty warm, and add as much of it as will make a paste of such stiffness that it can be cast with both hands, which continue till it bells, and is light; then mix in the butter, which, as before ordered, is cast light with the sugar; then add the fruits, and work all together; put it in paper frames, or hoops, make the top smooth, and strew it thick with comfits; lay them before the fire, cover them up for twenty minutes, and then put them into the oven. 

Plumb Cake.

 liboz
Sugar 
Flour 
Butter 
Two dozen Eggs.   
Currants 
Spiceries, and a glass of Brandy.   

   Having every thing ready proceed as directed in seed cakes No. 1. Or, 

   Take the above quantity of ingredients, and the yolks of three dozen eggs in place of two dozen whole eggs; beat up the yolks with the half of the sugar, and the butter with the other half; when both light add them together, then the flour and fruits, &c.; fill the frames near full. A grate of lemon adds much to their flavour; but seasoning of cakes, &c. is altogether dependant on taste. 

Plumb Cake, or Caledonia Buns.

For a Half Peck.

 liboz
Fine Raisins 
Currants 
Orange Peel 
Almonds 12 
Butter 10 
Flour 
Ginger, Jamaica Pepper, and Caraway Seeds, one ounce each.   

   Clean and pick the raisins, and, if you want it very nice, stone them. Clean the currants by rubbing them betwixt the palms of your hands, and pick out all the stalks; cut the orange peel, blanch and cut the almonds. Make the flour into a paste thus. Lay the flour on the table, hollow it in the middle to hold the water, &c. then pour in as much warm water as you think will not make it too weak, more is easily added if too stiff; put in the butter, which will soon dissolve by working it with your hands in the warm water; add as much yeast as will make it light, which, if good, will take about two gills, then mix it all up together. Take off as much of the paste as will be a case for the cake (nearly one third), pull the rest to pieces and mix in the fruit; work it well together until all the fruit is taken up, forming it into the shape of a hat block. Then divide the paste you laid aside in two; roll each of them out, but not thin; wet the surface with a brush dipped in water, lay the fruit block upon the middle of one, and lay the other over the top, and make the edges of both to meet about the middle of the block, clapping it all round to make it adhere to the fruit; then form it by kneading it out to the thickness wanted, say, three inches. Make it hollow in the middle, flour a sheet of paper, take up the cake and turn it over upon the paper; go over the top with a prickle, and run a fork down through the cake in various parts, and, with the back of a table knife, go round the edge, or side, by a gentle pressure, in imitation of a chevaux de frize. Break the yolk of an egg, and with a brush dipped in it go over the top and sides; let it lie till light (about fifteen or twenty minutes) then lay it on the peel, and with a sharp knife cut it round the side very deep, almost to the middle, which makes it rise equally. The oven should not be too hot; the richer the cake the longer time it takes to soak in the oven. By varying the quantities of the fruits, or keeping out the orange peel and almonds, they are made to any size or price. For funerals they are iced on the bottom and ornamented with gold leaf, nonpareils, &c. 

Queen Cakes.

 liboz
Sugar 
Flour 
Eggs three dozen.   
Butter 
Currants 
Lemon Grate, or Spiceries.   

   The sugar and butter is first cast together with the hand until very light, in a large wooden bowl, or can; then the eggs are cast till very light, and mixed gently with the sugar and butter, taking care not to pour too much in at a time, which would curdle the eggs; then add the flour, with the grate, or essence, of lemons, and the currants, which ought to be very clean. You should have some dozens of small patty pans ready buttered, and fill them near full. Bake them in a pretty brisk oven. 

Bride Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Butter 
Sugar 
Citron 
Currants 
Eggs three dozen.   
Almonds 
Orange Peel 
Brandy two gills.   
Mace, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Cloves, 4 drops each.   

   Having every thing ready, proceed as already ordered in making seed cakes (p. 133). In all these cakes mix in the ingredients quick, but very lightly, so as make them all incorporate; it should not be stirred after this, as it makes the cakes heavy. Sometimes the frames are filled in this way;- a layer of the mixture, before the fruit is added, is put into the pans, then a layer of the fruit, and so on till the frames are two thirds full. These large cakes require a moderate oven, and bricks should be put round them to keep them from scorching, and when the cakes are risen and firmed, covered well up with paper, otherwise they may be burned all round before the middle is ready. 

Lemon Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Twenty Eggs.   
Sugar 
Lemon Grate.   

   First beat up the whites very light, and mix in the sugar with the grate of a lemon and the half of the juice; then beat up the yolks very light, which add, then stir in the flour, and mix all very lightly and quick; fill your pans, give them a dust on the top with sugar, and fire them in a moderate oven. 

Cream Cakes.

   Beat up the whites of nine eggs very stiff, add the grate of a few lemons (some take eight or twelve) mix in gently four ounces finely pounded sugar; lay half a sheet of wet paper on a sheet of tin, and drop them in lumps, not too close together; sift a good deal of sugar on them, put them in a very cool oven, shut them up, and as soon as they are coloured a light brown they are ready; take and place them in pairs, laying them close by the bottoms together, and dry them. This is a very slight variation from Meringles, p. 32

Diet Loaves, or Cakes.

 liboz
Sugar 
Four dozen Eggs.   
Flour 
Lemon Grate, &c.   

Or,

 liboz
Sugar 
Three dozen Eggs.   
Flour 
Lemon Grate, or Spiceries.   

   The first answers best when baked in large cakes, but the second is lightest, and best for small cakes, from four ounces to two pounds. Take and break the eggs, putting the yolks in one pan and the whites in another; beat up the yolks very light with the sugar, then beat up the whites till very stiff, and when they are so stiff as cannot be longer whisked, beat them round and round the pan with a circular motion until so hard as bear an egg. But if, in the course of casting, they should curdle, they will be no lighter after by casting; which often happens if put into an earthen can, or wet dish, or if the whisk is wet, or greasy; or if it has been formerly used in beating up yolks and not carefully washed and dried. Having got the whites very light, beat up the yolks again a little, and mix in the flour lightly with a large wooden spoon; add also the essence, or grate, of one or more lemons, or a few caraway seeds, as you wish it in flavour; then add the whites, and lift up the yolks mixed with the four very lightly, and lay them over the whites, so that they may be as little broken as possible, but do not stir them. Continue to take up a spoonful of the batter and wave it over the whites until they are pretty well mixed, then fill the pans two thirds full, which ought to be ready buttered, or papered; dust them with sugar, fire them in a brisk oven, and when well risen, if large, put them back from the fire into the cool part of the oven and cover them up with sheets of paper. 

Spunge Cakes, or Biscuits.

 liboz
Sugar 
Flour 
Three dozen Eggs.   
With Lemon Grate, Essence of Lemon, &c.   

Or

 liboz
Sugar 
Flour 
Eighteen Eggs.   
With Lemon Grate, Essence of Lemon, &c.   

   Proceed to make them in the same way as already directed for diet loaves. Have all the pans, or shapes, ready buttered; melt a little butter in a pan, and, with a small hair brush, go over all the inside of the pans; do not fill them full, as they rise high; dust them with sugar, place them on a sheet of iron, and fire them in a brisk oven; when ready take them immediately out of the pans, wipe the pans with a cloth and set them past till next time. 

Savoy Biscuits.

 liboz
Sugar 
Flour 
Two dozen Eggs.   
With Lemon Grate, or Essence, to your taste.   

Or,

 liboz
Sugar 
Flour 
Eighteen Eggs.   
With Lemon Grate, or Essence, to your taste.   

   Cast the yolks and the sugar very light, beat up the whites very stiff and mix them with the yolks well together, then add the flour. 

   To drop them. – Take a piece of sheet tin (three inches by four) in your left hand, lift up a little of the batter, and, with a table knife, cut them off in narrow stripes the length of the tin; drop it from the knife on paper. They should be rather thicker at the ends than the middle. 

Naples Biscuits.

 lib. oz
Sugar 
Flour 
16 Eggs.   

   Beat up the yolks and sugar till very light; then the whites; mix them very gently together with the yolks, then add the flour and any seasoning you chuse, such as lemon grate, pounded nutmeg, cloves, or cinnamon. Have ready sheets of tin with the edges turned up about an inch; or sheets of paper with the edges set up will answer; rub them over with butter. Pour in, or with a large spoon fill them two thirds up and smooth the top with a knife, dust them with sugar, and fire them in a moderate oven; when cold cut them in various shapes with a sharp knife. 

Judges, or Sugar Biscuits.

 liboz
Sugar 
Forty Eggs.   
Flour 
Caraway Seeds 
They are seasoned with Lemon Grate, or Cinnamon.   

   Having separated the yolks and whites, begin with the yolks and beat them up very light, adding the sugar by degrees; when all the sugar is put in and beaten up some time, take the whites, which also cast very light, and add them to the yolks and sugar; beat them all together a short time, then stir in the flour (after being sifted), and the caraway seeds. They require a quick oven and great attention in baking them. They are dropped from a spoon with the assistance of the fore finger, which forms the biscuit, about the size of a crown piece, and laid in regular rows upon half sheets of paper, not too close together; then spread pounded sugar, half an inch thick, upon a sheet of paper; the papers, as soon as filled with the biscuits, are taken by the two corners of one side and turned over upon the sheet having the spread sugar upon it; then lifted off, laid upon the peel, and placed into the oven, not too near the light, or choffer. When the sides next the light are risen and a little browned, take them out with the peel and turn the other side of the paper towards the light; place them again in the oven, farther from the light; their place is immediately filled up with more. They require to be quickly fired, and the oven ought to have a good bottom, only not to scorch or burn them. They may be dusted with sugar through a hair sieve (in place of being laid upon the sugar) and the loose sugar shaken off. An inferior kind may be made with fine raw sugar, or one half raw and the other lump sugar, and a pound more of flour. Or, when clarifying sugar, the yolks may be made use of for making the biscuits, reckoning two yolks equal to one egg. The paper may serve twice to drop them on. 

Biscuit Drops.

 liboz
Sugar 10 
Flour 
The Yolks of ten and the Whites of six Eggs.   
The Grate of a Lemon, or a little pounded Cinnamon.   

   They are made the same way as sugar biscuits, and dropped in the size of small buttons; glaze them with sugar, by sifting it on them, or dipping them as ordered above. 

Lemon Biscuits.

   Take the yolks of ten and the whites of five eggs, beat them up light, with one pound pounded sugar, then stir in a pound of flour, the grate of two lemons, and a little of the pulp. Butter the pans and fill them two thirds full, dust them with sugar, and bake them in a quick oven; when ready take and turn them bottom upward in the pans, and dry them in a cool oven till very crisp. 

Sugar Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Sugar 
The yolks of 10 Eggs.   
Rose, or Orange flower water, one or two gills.   
Spiceries.   

   Make it into a paste, work it well, roll it out and cut it in any shape you fancy; dust them with sugar, and fire them in a quick oven. 

Tea Cakes

Are made in the same way as sugar biscuits, or taken the same quantity as ordered in spunge biscuits, dropt on tins buttered, and fired in a slow oven, but not dusted with sugar. 

Lemon Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Sugar 
Eggs 20.   
The Grate of two and the juice of half a Lemon.   

   Beat up the whites very light, mix in the sugar, lemon grate, and juice, then beat up the yolks very light and add them, then stir in the flour; bake them in a moderate oven. 

Monkey Biscuits.

   Take twelve eggs and their weight of sugar, beat up the yolks and the sugar very light, then beat up the whites very light and mix them in; then take other six eggs and a pound of flour, break them in, add the flour, and mix them all together with some pounded cinnamon. Let the paper you drop them on be three or four fold, and placed over a sheet of iron. Take the batter up in a spoon and drop it in the size of a half crown, only joining every two together; dust them with sugar and pay great attention to the firing, as they are soon done. Take them off the paper as soon as they are ready, and double each pair, placing the two under sides together. 

Rice Cakes.

   Take the yolks of fifteen eggs, beat them very light with ten ounces sugar, stir in eight ounces ground rice, a glass of brandy and the grate of a lemon; then whisk up the whites of seven eggs very light and mix them all together; put the batter into tin frames, or cups. A quick oven is required. 

Bath Cakes.

   Take a pound of butter and a pound of flour, rub the butter and flour together, then add a spoonful of barm; warm some cream, or milk, with which make it into a light paste, not too stiff; cover it up with a cloth and lay it before the fire to rise, then work in a few caraway comfits; make them into round cakes, near the size of a French roll, or cut them with a cutter; strew a few caraways on the top, and lay them on sheets of white iron. They eat either hot or cold, to tea. 

Shrewsbury Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Sugar 
Butter 
New Milk six gills.   
And Spiceries to your taste.   

   Set the milk and butter in a pan on the fire to warm; make the paste thin and let it lie to grow stiff; add a few caraway seeds, roll it thin, and cut it with a cutter the size of a tea cup; pierce them with a prickle, lay them on tins, and fire them quickly. Or, in place of the milk take six eggs, cast the butter and sugar light, then the eggs, mix all together and add the flour. 

Or,

   Beat half a pound fresh butter with six ounces sugar, add an egg and a pound of flour, season and roll it out. 

Or,

   Take two pounds of flour and one pound sugar, mix them together, keeping out a little of the flour to roll them out; then cast up four eggs, which add to the flour with the milk, make it into a paste and roll it out. 

Ginger Cakes

Are made in the same manner, with the addition of four ounces of pounded ginger. 

Banbury Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Currants 
Butter 
Caraway Seeds 
Yeast, 1½ gill.   
Milk, 6 gills.   

   Put the milk and butter in a pan over the fire to melt, let it cool a little, and make the whole into a paste pretty stiff; roll it out and cut it round, or in squares. 

Arbroath Cake.

 liboz
Flour 
Butter 
Currants 1½ 

Or,

 liboz
Raw Sugar 
Fresh Butter 
8 Eggs   
Flour 

   Rub the butter and flour fine and make it into a paste with cold water, not too stiff; roll it out to the eighth part of an inch thick, then strew over the currants on the one half, and fold over the other above it; cut it out into any form you please, glaze them with an egg. 

Orange Buns.

 liboz
Flour 
Currants 
Butter 
Yeast, 1½ gill.   
Jamaica Pepper ground 
Carraway Seeds 
Two glasses Brandy.   

   Make the dough with warm water, either rub in the butter into the flour, or melt it with the water, let it be stiff; weigh it out in pieces of an ounce weight, and roll them into round cakes; let them lie till they prove, or are light; glaze them with an egg and fire them in a quick oven. 

Portugal Cakes.

   Rub into a pound of flour one pound fresh butter and one pound pounded sugar, until very small and fine; cast up ten eggs, mix in the flour, and add half a pound currants with a little rose water, or brandy, and spiceries to your taste. Have the tin pans ready and all rubbed over with melted butter, fill them half full. If you keep out the currants they will keep a long time. 

Seed Cake Drops.

 liboz
Sugar 
Butter 
Flour 
Twelve Eggs.   

   Rub the butter and flour very fine with your hands, cast the sugar and eggs together very light, mix them all well together, season it with spiceries, such as pounded nutmegs, cinnamon, and cloves, or lemon grate; drop them with a spoon and knife upon sheets of tin, and bake them in a moderate oven. 

Prussian Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Almonds 
Sugar 
Eggs, seven.   
The Grate of two and the Juice of one Lemon.   

   Blanch and beat the almonds finely with rose water, or the white of an egg, cast the sugar and eggs together till light, then add the almonds, lemon peel and grate, then the flour; after being well mixed fill the small shapes. 

Leith Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Caraway Seeds 
Sugar 
Eggs, 1 yolk and 3 whites.   
With a little Rose Water.   

   Mix all together, roll it out as thin as wafers, and cut it out the size of the mouth of a tea cup, with a tin cutter, flour sheets of paper and lay them on. Bake them in a very slow oven. 

Montrose Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Yeast, 2 gills.   
Raisins stoned 
Butter 12 
Currants 12 
Raw Sugar 
Spiceries to your taste.   

   Lay out the flour on the table and break the butter with as much warm milk, or water, as make it into a paste; mix in the fruit and spiceries, add the yeast to the warm milk, or water, work it all together; either put it into a frame, or shape it in small loaves; let it lie before the fire covered up to rise, and when light put them into the oven. 

Christmas Buns.

 liboz
Flour 
Butter 
Raisins 
Yeast, 1½ gills.   
Sugar 12 
Currants 
Orange Peel 
Milk, 6 gills.   
Spiceries to your taste.   

   Rub the flour and butter together with your hands very fine, then mix in the fruits and spices; make the whole into a paste with the milk warmed, and the yeast; let it lie an hour to prove, or rise, before the fire, then weigh it off in pieces of four ounces each, and form them round; cover them up again, to rise light; wash them over with an egg, and then put them into the oven. They require a quick oven. 

Jumbles.

 liboz
Flour 
Sugar 
Eggs, four.   
With a little Nutmeg, Cinnamon, &c.   

   Rub into the flour four ounces butter add the spiceries, beat up the eggs, and mix all together with a few caraway seeds; make it into a paste with cream, or milk; roll it out very thin and cut them into any shape you fancy; if you take a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, and ten eggs, it will make them very rich. 

Turtulongs.

 liboz
Butter 
Flour 
Sugar 
Eggs, 12.   

   Mix all these well together, adding a little salt. Have a large pan on the fire with water boiling, roll the paste out the thickness of your little finger, and in lengths of four inches; join them in two rings, or an eighth figure, drop them into the boiling water, but not too many at a time. Have ready beside you also a large bason with cold water, and as the biscuits swim on the top of the boiling water lift them carefully out, and throw them into the cold water; let them lie all night, next morning take them out and lay them on the back of a split wood sieve, to drain; lay them on tin sheets and fire them in the oven, which must be very hot. Watch them carefully; they rise very high, and when they are a fine brown take them out. They are much used at breakfasts

Twelfth Cake.

 liboz
Flour 
Currants 
Sugar pounded 
Eggs, 12.   
Butter 
Orange Peel, cut 
Almonds 
Yeast, 5 gills.   
2 Nutmegs.   
Cloves  ¼ 
Cinnamon, pounded.  ¼ 

   Lay the flour down on the table, mix in the fruits, spiceries, and sugar; beat up the eggs and pour into the hollow of the flour; pound, but not small, the almonds with wine, orange flower, or rose water, which also add, then the yeast, and make all into a paste with warm milk, or cream; work well together and divide it in large, or small cakes, as ordered in seed cakes. 

Icing for all Manner of Cakes, Biscuits, &c.

   In proportion to the quality of the sugar will be the whiteness of the icing, or glazing; therefore, it requires double, or triple refined sugar, to make a pure white icing. The sugar must be pounded and sifted through a fine lawn sieve. When the icing is to be coloured an inferior sugar may be used, and in the casting a little lemon juice may be added, as it improves the colour and causes it to harden sooner. Cakes should never be put into an oven after being iced, the heat being by far too great, which either occasions the icing to run off, or cracks and discolours it. When a cake, or biscuits, are iced, place them before a good fire, not too near, and turn them as they harden. Neither ought cakes to be iced when immediately taken out of the oven. They should be almost cold before they are made to undergo that operation; if the cake is quite cold it should be placed before the fire to warm, and then the bottom, edges, top, &c. rubbed over with the white of an egg broken, which causes the icing to adhere more firmly. If plumb cakes are to be glazed, the bottoms ought to be scraped smooth with a knife, or grater, and then rubbed over with the white of an egg. 

   Take the whites of four eggs and beat them up very light, adding by degrees the pounded sugar, until it is of a sufficient thickness; it is beat up with a piece of hoop, a stick about fifteen inches long, two inches broad, and about a quarter of an inch thick, rounded at the end, with which the icing is worked up, in which also are cut several small holes. The quantity of icing should be proportioned to the work to be done, and it is easily increased by adding more whites and sugar to bring it to a proper consistence. When it is very light and white, and the cake ready, if it is a high shaped cake, such as a gato, or obelisk, pour the icing on the top and let it run equally over the sides, and with the spattula spread it all smooth and equally over; if it does not run fast enough down, take up the cake and strike it upon the table, which makes the icing smooth; it is immediately ornamented with spangles, gold and silver leaf, drague, mottoes, nonpareils, rock candies, &c. according to fancy. If for cakes which are flat, the icing is equally spread over them with the spattula, and should not be so thin as for the high shaped cake, which cannot be spread so well with a knife. Coats of arms and other emblematical devices are often put on cakes, in which case the icing should be allowed to harden; after which trace the pattern with a pencil dipped in gum water, and gild it with gold or silver leaf, or Dutch metal. The icing is sometimes coloured with the extract of cochineal, lake or carmine, gamboge, &c. by taking a little of the colour and a spoonful of syrup, and pounding them in a small marble, or glass mortar, and mixing it with the icing. 

   Cakes are also ornamented with gum paste in flowers, festoons, trophies, &c. &c. The paste may also be coloured in like manner. The moulds for gum paste, unless very finely cut, do not show so well. A board of various figures, such as leaves, flowers, trophies, &c. will cost about 3l. The cakes usually ornamented are diet loaves, and formed in a great variety of shapes, as domes, obelisks, steeples, &c. 

Preservation of Eggs.

   A method to preserve eggs for a considerable time, and that quite fresh, as if newly laid, must be a valuable acquisition to every family; but more so to confectioners, and others who consume great quantities. In populous towns, where the price is exorbitant the one half of the year, and at Christmas, when they are scarcely to be had for money, this method of preserving eggs, if practised, would tend greatly to reduce the price at that time; the saving likewise would be very considerable. I have had them quite fresh at the end of ten months, and have no doubt they would have kept fresh other ten. The best thing to lay them into is an oil jar; the lid is put on when the jar is full, and a plaster made of burnt alabaster, pounded and mixed with water, then poured over it, which immediately hardens and keeps out the air. The eggs at a particular season of the year are plenty and cheap, and at this time the store should be laid up. 

To Preserve Eggs.

   Take two pecks quick (unslacked) lime, put it in a tub and pour water on it; when it is all dissolved reduce it with water to that degree of strength that an egg will swim with the end a very little above the liquid; let it settle a little and pour the liquor through a sieve into another vessel, then add one pound eight ounces of salt, and eight ounces cream of tartar, and stir it well. Having a cask, or oil jar ready, pack in the eggs until it is near full; then fix a number of spars on the top to prevent the eggs from rising up, and when the liquor is cold pour it over the eggs, let it be three inches above them. Keep some of the liquor to fill up the cask, and at the end of eight days fill it up and put in the head, then pour over it the mixture of prepared alabaster and water mixed, which very soon hardens. It may be got ready pounded from any plasterer. 

   Families may in this manner have a jar to hold some hundreds for daily use, and they will always be fresh. Buttered eggs keep also a long time, but the whites grow thin and do not answer so well in making cakes, &c. 

Biscuits.

Almond Biscuits.

   The manner of blanching almonds has already been explained, vide p. 107. Or, after scalding them till the skins come easily off, drain them from the water, lay them on a clean table, of board, and with both hands rub off the skins, and afterwards wash them clean in water. The almonds must be pounded to a paste, so that no particle of them can be felt; unless they are moistened frequently with rose water, cream, or whites of eggs, they oil, or grow yellow and ill tasted. The mortar has already been described, in p. 130. It requires a good deal of strength to work almond biscuits, and the more they are worked the whiter they are and the more light. Seed cakes, &c. are often made in the mortar, and are very light; the sugar and butter being sooner wrought with the pestle when a great quantity is made. 

   Too many almonds should not be put into the mortar at once, half a pound or so will be found sufficient; when they are pounded smooth take them out and put in more. 

Common Almond Biscuits.

 liboz
Almonds, ⅓ bitter 
Loaf Sugar, finely sifted 
4 Dry biscuits.   
The whites of 20 Eggs.   

   Blanch and wash the almonds, and according to the size of the mortar put in a quantity of the almonds, bruise them with the pestle and add the white of an egg. The method for pounding almonds, &c. in the mortar, formerly described, is by driving the pestle quick round and round the sides of the mortar, not by beating, an operation which requires to be done with all your strength. Observe, not to allow the almonds to be too dry, nor too soft, always adding another white of an egg to keep them in proper temper. When they are all pounded, and eighteen of the whites wrought in, pound the biscuits very small, put in all the almond paste and mix it well all together, then add the sugar by degrees, working it well; add the other two whites, and if still too stiff, add three or four more to reduce it to a proper consistency to be laid upon sheets of paper, but not so thin as to drop. They are formed in the shape of large almonds, thus. Take up a table spoonful of the paste, and with a table knife form them on the spoon, by taking up a piece on the knife and turning it over to give it a long shape, and to taper towards one end; then let it fall from the edge of the knife on the paper, dust them with sugar. They require a moderate, cool oven. 

Maccaroons.

 liboz
Sugar 
Almonds, one half bitter 
The whites of 4 Eggs.   

Or,

 liboz
Almonds 
Sugar 
The whites of 6 Eggs.   

   For Common Maccaroons. – After the almonds are blanched, wash, and dry them crisp, and either put them through a large pepper, or coffee mill; or pound them pretty small. (The sugar for almond biscuits ought always to be put through a lawn sieve, and the finer the sugar the better will be the article made from it.) Cast up the whites light and put the almonds, sugar, and eggs, into the mortar and work it well; but if too stiff add more whites. 

French Maccaroons.

   The almonds, when blanched and washed, are pounded with whites of eggs very fine, and not too stiff; the sugar is then added by degrees, and well wrought, then the six whites added also by degrees, to make them of the proper consistency for dropping, but not too thin. Then proceed to drop them upon wafer sheets, dust them with sugar, and fire them of a light brown colour, in a pretty brisk oven; when cold break them off; if dropped on paper they will come easily off, if not scorched on the bottom. 

Nelson Biscuits.

 liboz
Almonds, ½ bitter 
Sugar 
The whites of 9 Eggs.   

   These are the lightest of almond biscuits, and are much esteemed. Blanch and chop the almonds very small with a knife; take a pound of the sugar, put it in a pan with as much water as wet it, (say four table spoonfuls) let it boil a little, put in the almonds, stir them till dry, and turn them out on a sheet of paper to cool. Beat up the whites of the eggs very light, mix in the almonds, then the rest of the sugar, well together; then lift them out, and with your fingers shape them upon sheets of paper, or wafers, in the form of gingerbread nuts; fire them in a slow oven. 

Squirt Biscuits.

 liboz
Almonds 
Sugar, pounded 
The whites of 6 Eggs, and a few Raisins, preserved Cherries  

   Blanch and dry the almonds crisp, and put them through a coffee mill, or pound them small in a mortar; use only as much of the whites as will preserve them from oiling, as they must be made very stiff; add the sugar by degrees, and work it till it appear solid and like the paste of ships biscuit; then add more whites to reduce it to the consistency that you can with a little strength force it through the squirt. Put in the star, fill the squirt two thirds full, put in the rammer, and place the head against your breast, take hold of the two handles, and by pressing the rammer, force the paste through the squirt upon a table. When you have forced all the paste through, cut and form it into rings and other figures; lay them on half sheets of paper, or wafer paper, put a preserved cherry, or raisin, in the centre of the rings. One half of the paste may be wrought up with pounded cassia, and put through the squirt. They require a very slow oven. 

The Squirt,

Or syringe mould, is made of tin, the barrel is twelve inches in length, and 2⅜ inches in diameter. The rammer is of wood, and made to fill the barrel exactly. The stars are made of thin plate brass; the centre is cut out to form stars, &c. according to fancy; there is a ring soldered upon the inside of the mouth of the squirt, upon which the star rests; the opening from one point of the star to the other should not exceed half an inch. The star is cut out by means of a fine steel saw. 

Squirt Biscuits another way.

 liboz
Almonds 
Sugar 
Whites of Eggs, and the Grate of 6 Lemons.   

   Pound the almonds very fine, take only as much of the whites of eggs as prevent the almonds oiling, and beat them very stiff, then add the lemon grate and sugar; mix them well and add as much of the whites as reduce it to a proper consistence to be forced through a syringe, and proceed as already directed. 

Fine Almond Biscuits.

 liboz
Almonds, ½ bitter 
Sugar 
The whites of 12 Eggs.   
Orange Peel, cut small 

   Pound the almonds with rose water, mix them in a pan with the sugar, set it on a slow fire, let it boil half an hour, and keep stirring all the time. Take it off the fire, cast the eggs very light and mix them among the almonds; put the half through the squirt and form it in rings upon the paper, break them off with your finger. Mix in the orange peel into the other half and drop them from a spoon with a knife, but do not glaze them. They require a slow oven. 

D’Arcy Biscuits.

 liboz
Almonds 
Bitter ditto 
Sugar 
The whites of 8 Eggs.   

   Pound the almonds with whites of eggs very fine, but not too soft; cast the sugar with as many whites as will make a very thick icing, as if for a cake; then add the almonds, mix well together, and drop them on paper; dust them with sugar, and fire them in a moderate oven. 

Ratafia Biscuits.

 liboz
Fine Sugar 
The whites of 7 Eggs.   
Sweet Almonds 
Bitter ditto 

   Pound the almonds with whisky and two whites of eggs; cast the sugar very light with five whites, mix the almonds and drop them on papers the size of half a nutmeg, with a knife and spoon; fire them in a moderate oven. 

Or,

 liboz
Almonds, ½ bitter 
The whites of 14 Eggs.   
Whisky, 1 pint (mutchkin).   
Fine Sugar, put through a silk sieve 
Ditto, to be mixed with the Almonds 

   The almonds are pounded with the whisky, and if not soft enough add the whites of four eggs, but generally there is enough; cast the two pounds eight ounces sugar, with the ten whites, very light, and mix the pound four ounces in the mortar with the almonds; then mix all together and drop them off the spoon with a knife. 

Ratafia Drops.

 liboz
Almonds, ½ bitter 
The whites of 12 Eggs.   
Sugar, finely pounded and put through a silk sieve 

   This is the lightest and best way of making ratafia biscuits, with which chantillys, &c. are made for deserts. 

   Pound the almonds with the whites very smooth, then add the sugar by degrees, and work it well, the more it is wrought they are the lighter. When wrought into a good paste, make it thin with more whites, it will take, perhaps, sixteen more to make it of a consistence for dropping, it is then put into the case and dropped. 

The Method of Dropping.

   Make a case of white leather 18 inches by 8, open at both ends. In the one end tie a tin pipe wide enough to admit the point of your little finger, and in shape of a peppermint cutter; have two or three rings, or ridges, of tin soldered upon it, and tie the leather firmly upon it. The other end keep open to put in the ratafia paste; after which tie it close, squeeze out the paste at the pipe, and drop them on papers. They rise very light, and require a moderate oven. Sometimes they are made altogether of bitter almonds. 

Rock, or Millefruit Biscuits.

   Blanch a pound of almonds, slice them the long way in four or five slices; take four ounces finely pounded sugar and the white of an egg, beat them up till light and mix in the almonds; then, with your hand, place them in lumps on wafer paper, as high as you can pile them. The icing, for variety, may be coloured with lake, or cochineal. 

Or,

 liboz
Blanched Almonds 10 
Ditto ditto bitter 
Preserved Orange Peel 
Ditto Lemon do. 
Angelica preserved 
Sugar 
The whites of Eggs.   

   Make an icing with the sugar and whites of eggs, cut the almonds in narrow slices, the orange and lemon peel, and angelica, cut in strips about half an inch long and a quarter of an inch in breadth; mix all together and add a little orange flower water. Lay them in little heaps on wafer paper, or fine paper three fold; dip a pencil in the cochineal extract, or in dissolved lake, and touch them here and there. The oven should be of the heat to fix and dry the icing only; when cold they easily come off the paper. 

Rout Biscuits.

 liboz
Almonds 
Sugar 
The whites of 8 Eggs.   
The Grate of 2 Lemons.   

   Blanch and dry the almonds, pound them with the sugar, and put them through a hair sieve. Or pound the almonds very small, then add the sugar (being previously pounded) and the whites, work them all well together; take it all out, except a small bit, which work into a paste, and so go through the whole. The half is put through the squirt, or syringe, and made into various forms, the other half is rolled out and cut into shapes; to a part may be added some ground cinnamon, as a variety. They require a slow oven. 

Raspberry Biscuits.

 liboz
Sugar 
Almonds 
The whites of 8 Eggs.   
Raspberry Jam  

   Blanch and dry the almonds, pound them with the sugar, and put them through a hair sieve, then put them and the whites into the mortar, and work them well for half an hour. Take out the paste, roll it on a table to the thickness of a quarter of an inch, spread a little raspberry jam on the one half and double over it the other; roll it out again to the same thickness. Ice it, then cut it out in any shape you please; part of the icing may be coloured and ornamented with nonpareils, &c. They require a slow oven. 

Rout Cakes.

 liboz
Flour 
Pounded Almonds 
Sugar 
The yolks of 8 Eggs.   

   Cast the sugar and eggs light, then add the flour and almonds, pour it into a tablet frame, or sheet of paper buttered, with the edges an inch turned up and twisted; then spread it equally with a knife. When fired, make an icing with some fine sugar and the white of an egg, it may be either white or coloured; lay it over the bottom of the cake, and with a sharp knife cut them in various shapes; they are then ornamented with nonpareils, &c. 

Or,

   Take the yolks of three dozen eggs, beat them very light with one pound sugar, then mix in four ounces bitter almonds pounded very fine, and one pound flour; pour it in a broad frame, two inches deep and twelve inches square, fire them in a slow oven. When baked and near cold, ice it over the bottom with an icing of any, or various colours; cut it out in a variety of shapes and ornament it. Or, when the icing is dry, dip a pencil in strong gum water and go over them in any pattern you fancy; have nonpareils ready of various colours, into which they are dipped, according to the device on the cake, as green for trees, and other colours for flowers, &c. They look very pretty when used as garnishing in a desert, or mixing with other sweetmeats; sentences, or mottoes, may be pencilled upon them, and when dipped in various coloured nonpareils, look very well. 

Almond Tumbles.

   Blanch and pound very fine, four ounces almonds, add a little gum dragon, previously steeped in water till soft. When well beaten, cast the whites of two eggs, which add to the almonds, then add by degrees a pound of refined sugar pounded and put through a silk sieve; work it well with your hand till it be the consistence of a paste, and very tough; roll it out and cut it in shapes according to fancy. Bake them on buttered plates, in a quick oven. 

Tumblets.

 liboz
Sugar 
Flour 
The yolks of 8 Eggs.   

   Beat the yolks with a little rose water and add the size of a walnut of butter; beat in first the sugar and then the flour, form it into balls and fire them in a slow oven. Or, one pound of sugar, the white of an egg well beaten, and the grate of a lemon; they are then made up into little balls and fired in a slow oven, or in a pan, over the fire. 

Almond Cake.

 liboz
Sweet Almonds 
Bitter ditto 
Sugar 
Eggs, 8.   

   Pound the almonds with a little rose water and whites of eggs, then beat up the yolks of eight, and the whites of three eggs, with the sugar, very light; add the grate of a lemon with a little of the juice, mix in the almonds, and bake it in small pans, in a moderate oven. 

Liqueur Biscuits.

   Take a pound of Jordan almonds, lay them in cold water to blanch, but do not let them split; cut them in slices the broad way of the almonds; have ready a pound of refined sugar finely pounded and sifted. As you cut the almonds put them in a bason, and strew the sugar amongst them to keep them from adhering to one another, which would spoil the appearance of the biscuits; stir them frequently, and as you cut the almonds stir in more sugar. Have a penny worth of gum dragon ready dissolved in rose water (it should be laid in water the night before), beat the whites of two eggs light, which, with the gum dragon, mix with the almonds and sugar, and afterwards add two spoonfuls of flour. When these are all well mixed, put them on wafer paper, as broad as maccaroons, and about half an inch thick. Open them with a paste knife, to make them as hollow as you can, and flat on the top; be very quick in doing it, as they may fall down. Put them in a pretty warm oven, but not to scorch them; when they are rather more than half baked take them out, wash them over with the white of an egg beaten to a froth, and scrape, or grate, some loaf sugar over them. Set them again into the oven till ready; when cold pack them up. They may be flavoured with any oil, essence, powder, &c. 

March Pans,

Are a composition of almonds finely pounded and made into a paste with sugar. Blanch and pound one pound of almonds with rose water, add half a pound fine sugar pounded, work them well together to a thin paste; then, with a spattula, spread the paste upon sheets of wafer paper, and put them into a slow oven to bake. They are then iced as directed in icing cakes, and ornamented with dragee, or nonpareils, gold leaf, &c. 

Lemon and Orange Biscuits.

 liboz
Almonds 
Loaf Sugar, finely pounded 
The Grate of 12 Oranges.   
If for Lemon, the Grate of 9 Lemons.   

   Pound the almonds (a few of them may be bitter) very fine, with whites of eggs, to a proper consistence; sift the sugar through a silk, or lawn sieve, put it by degrees to the almonds, and work them well together; if it is too stiff add one or more whites. Drop them in the shape and size of ratafia biscuits. 

Masapan Biscuits.

 liboz
Sweet Almonds 
bitter ditto 
Sugar, pounded 
The whites of 12 Eggs.   

   Pound the almonds very fine with rose water, put the almonds and sugar into a small pan, on a clear fire; stir them constantly while on the fire, until they gather together in a lump and come clean from the bottom of the pan. Take it out and lay it on your baking table, with a little flour under to keep it from the table, work it well with both hands, until it grows tough. Then roll it out in long sticks the thickness of your little finger, cut them in lengths of three or four inches, and form them into rings, eighth figures, &c.; they are then placed on the back of a split sieve and dried slowly for some days, and when quite hard packed up until you need them. When wanted, for the above quantity make an icing with twelve whites of eggs and finely pounded refined sugar, cast it very light and white, flavour it with orange flower water; it should not be too thick. Then dip in the biscuits, and lay them on a wire riddle, with a vessel below it to receive what drops from them. As soon as the icing has opened in the middle of the rings, set them into a very cool oven to harden the icing, but not so long as discolour them. They may be dipped in icing of various colours, or ornamented with nonpareils, &c. according to fancy. 

Puffs.

Lemon Puffs.

   Mix a pound of finely sifted sugar with the grate and juice of two lemons; beat the whites of three eggs very light, then mix in the sugar and beat them up together; dust sugar on the papers and drop them by spoonfuls, at proper distances from each other; fire them in a slow oven. 

Orange Puffs,

Are made the same way. 

Almond Puffs.

   Take two ounces sweet almonds, blanched and pounded fine with a little rose water, beat the whites of three eggs, add the almonds and sugar to make it into a paste; drop them on papers dusted with sugar, and fire them in a moderate oven. 

Chocolate Puffs.

   Take half a pound of chocolate grated fine, and a pound of loaf sugar pounded, made into a paste with the whites of two eggs beaten to a snow; sift some sugar upon tins, and put them in small pieces on the tins, or in any shape you please, according to fancy. They are sometimes coloured. 

6 thoughts on “Chap. XIV. – Cakes and Biscuits, pp.129-167.

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