Plum Cake - Victorian Recipes
From 'The Dictionary of Daily Wants' - 1859
PLUM CAKE. - This is such a favourite article in most families, and is
made in so many different ways, that it will be necessary to give a variety of receipts
in order that a selection may be made according to circumstances.
1. A good common plum cake.
- Mix five ounces of butter in three pounds of fine dry flour, and five
ounces of the best moist sugar. Add six ounces of currants, washed and dried, and a
quarter of an ounce of pimento finely powdered. Put three tablespoonfuls of yeast into a
pint of new milk warmed, and mix it with the foregoing into a light dough.
2. A cake of a better sort.
- Mix thoroughly a quarter of a peck of fine flour well dried, with a
pound of sifted loaf sugar, three pounds of currants washed and very dry, half a pound of
raisins stoned and chopped, a quarter of an ounce of mace and cloves mixed, a nutmeg
grated, the peel of a lemon cut as finely as possible, and half a pound of almonds
blanched and beaten with orange-flower water. Melt two pounds of butter in a pint and a
quarter of cream, but not too not; add a pint of sweet wine, a glass of brandy, the
whites and yolks of twelve egga beaten apart, and half a pint of good yeast.
Strain this liquid by degrees into dry ingredients, beating them
together a full hour, then butter the pan, place the cake in, and bake it.
3. A rich plum cake.
- Take three pounds of well-dried flour, three pounds of fresh butter,
a pound and a half of fine sugar dried and sifted, five pounds of currants carefully
cleaned and dried, twenty-four eggs, three grated nutmegs, a quarter of an ounce of
pounded mace and cloves mixed, half a pound of almonds, a glass of sherry, and a pound of
citron or orange-peel. Pound the almonds in rose-water, work up the butter to a thin
cream, put in the sugar and stir it well, add the yolks of the eggs, the spices, the almonds and the
orange-peel. Beat the whites of the eggs to a froth, and put them into the batter as it
rises. Keep working it, with the hand until the oven is ready, and the scorching subsided;
put it into a hoop, but not full; two hours will bake it.
4. Another rich plum cake.
- Take four pounds of flour, well dried, mix with it a pound and a half
of fine sugar powdered, a grated nutmeg, and an ounce of bruised mace. When these are
well-mixed, make a hole in the middle, and pour in the yolks of fifteen eggs, and the
whites of seven, well beaten with a pint of yeast, four tablespoonfuls, of orange-flower
water, and a wineglassful of sherry. Then melt two pounds and a half of butter in a pint
and a half of cream; and when it is milk-warm, pour it into the middle of the batter.
Throw a little of the flour over the liquids, but do not mix the whole together till it
is ready for the oven. Let it stand before the fire to raise for an hour, laying a cloth
over it; then have ready six pounds of currants well washed, picked, and dried; a pound of
citron and a pound of orange-peel sliced with a pound of blanched almonds, half cut in
slices lengthwise, half finely powdered. Mix all thoroughly together, butter the tin
well, and bake it for two hours and a half.
1. Butter, 5ozs.; flour, 3lbs.; sugar, 5ozs.; currants, 6ozs.; pimento,
1/4 oz.; yeast, 3 tablespoonfuls ; milk, 1 pint.
2. Flour, 1/4 peck; sugar, 1lb.; currants, 3lbs.; raisins, 1/2lb.;
mace and cloves (mixed), 1/4oz.; nutmeg, l; lemon, peel of 1; almonds, 1/2lb.;
butter, 2lbs.; cream, 1 1/4 pint; sweet wine, 1 pint; brandy, 1 wineglassful; eggs, 12;
yeast, 1/2 pint.
3. Flour, 3lbs.; butter, 3lbs.; sugar, 1 1/2lb.; currants, 5lbs.;
eggs, 24; nutmegs, 3; mace and cloves (mixed), 1/4oz.; almonds, 1/2lb.; sherry, 1 wineglassful;
citron or orange-peel, 1lb.; rose water, sufficient.
4. Flour, 4lbs.; sugar, l 1/2lb.; nutmeg, 1; mace, loz.; eggs, 15 yolks,
7 whites; yeast, 1 pint; orange-flower water, 4 tablespoonfuls; sherry, 1 wineglassful;
butter, 2 1/2lbs.; cream, 1 1/2 pint; currants, 6lbs.; citron, 1lb.; orange-peel, 1lb.;