Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hobart Cake and Tassie Pudding.

This week began with Australia Day, so I am giving you recipes named for Australian places. The connection is in the name only, I claim no historic significances.

Today it is the turn of the little island state off the south eastern corner of this large island continent. Tasmania is affectionately known as ‘Tassie’, although in its early history it was infamous as the penal colony of Van Diemen’s land. Tassie is tiny – a little less than 68 ½ thousand square kilometres (a little less than 26 ½ thousand square miles) - but it has some of the most magnificent wilderness reserves in the world. About half a million people enjoy its magnificent natural scenery, plus of course the tourists.

I have been musing this week on why it is that cakes and puddings seem to be given place names, rather than things such as salads and sides. A reader (Shay) suggested in the comments yesterday that perhaps it is to do with comfort food – the food that we crave in times of stress (such as migration). Comfort foods tend to be fatty or sweet, with good mouthfeel, and are usually easy to eat – just like today’s recipes, named for the island and its state capital.

The recipes are from the third edition of the Hobart Cookery Book of Tested Recipes, Household Hints, and Home Remedies, compiled by a Committee of Ladies for the Methodist Central Mission. It is undated, but is probably from about 1912.

Tassie Pudding.
Four tablespoonfuls butter, 4 tablespoonfuls sugar, 2 eggs, ½ lb flour, 1 teaspoonful carbonate soda, ¼ cup milk, 3 tablespoonsful jam (raspberry).
Beat butter and sugar to a cream; add eggs well-beaten, then milk, soda, and flour; lastly, jam. Steam 2 hours; longer, if possible.

Hobart Cake.
Half-pint cream, 3 eggs, 6 oz. sugar, 6 oz. sultanas 2 oz. candied peel, ¾ lb flour.
Whip the cream till quite stiff, then beat in the eggs, sugar, peel, and flour. Bake at once in a quick oven.

Quotation for the Day …

In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom.
Barbara Costikyan

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