Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Twelfth Cake.

source: Dr. Kitchiner & The Cook's Oracle

Two pounds of sifted flour, two pounds of sifted loaf sugar, two pounds of butter, eighteen eggs, four pounds of currants, one half pounds of almonds blanched and chopped, one half pound of citron, one pound of candied orange and lemon-peel cut into thin slices, a large nutmeg grated, half an ounce of ground allspice, ground cinnamon, mace, ginger, and corianders, a quarter of an ounce of each, and a gill [1/2 cup] of brandy.

Put the butter into a stew-pan, in a warm place, and work it into a smooth cream with the hand, and mix it with the sugar and spice in a pan (or on your paste-board) for some twenty minutes; stir in the brandy, and then the flour, and work it a little; add the fruit, sweetmeats, and almonds, and mix all together lightly; have ready a hoop cased with paper, on a baking-plate; put in the mixture, smooth it on the top with your hand, dipped in milk; put the plate on another, with sawdust between, to prevent the bottom from colouring too much: bake it in a slow oven* four hours or more, and when nearly coke, ice it with No. 84.

This mixture would make a handsome cake, full twelve or fourteen inches over.

*The goodness of a cake or biscuit depends much on its being well baked; great attention should be paid to the different degrees of heat of the oven: be sure to have it of a good sound heat at first, when, after its being well cleaned out, may be baked such articles as require a hot oven, after which such as are directed to be baked in a well-heated or moderate oven; and lastly, those in a slow soaking or cool one. With a little care the above degrees may soon be known.

In making butter cakes too much attention cannot be paid to have the butter well creamed; for should it be made too warm, it would cause the mixture to be the same, and when put to bake, the fruit, sweetmeats, &c.,would in that event fall to the bottom.

Sugar and flour should be quite dry, and a drum sieve is recommended for the sugar. The old way of beating the yelks and whites of eggs separate (except in very few cases) is not only useless, but a waste of time. They should be well incorporated with the other ingredients and, in some instances, they cannot be beaten too much.

Icing, for Twelfth or Bride Cake

Take one pound of double-refined sugar, pounded and sifted through a lawn sieve; put into a pan quite free from grease; break in the whites of six eggs, and as much powder blue as will lie on a sixpence; beat it well with a spattle for ten minutes; then squeeze in the juice of a lemon, and beat it till it becomes thick and transparent. Set the cake you intend to ice in an oven or warm place five minutes; then spread over the top and sides with the mixture as smooth as possible. If for a wedding cake only, plain ice it; if for a twelfth cake, ornament it with gum paste, or fancy articles of any description.

Obs.--A good twelfth cake, not baked too much, and kept in a cool dry place, will retain its moisture and eat well, if twelve months old.