Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cakes for Good Children.

Are not all children good at Christmas? I think so. They deserve their own cake, don’t they? I did give you a recipe for a Christmas cake for children from The Times of 1921, but in the interests of variety, I give you another, from Jennie June's American Cookery Book, (New York, 1870), by Jane Cunningham Croly. These are actually small individual cakes quite different from the traditional dark fruit cake, and would be lovely for afternoon tea at any season.

Christmas Cakes for Good Children
Three heaping table-spoonsful of sugar, two heaping table-spoonsful of butter, one egg, two table-spooonsful of corn-starch or maizena, put into three cups of flour, a small cup of sweet miilk, a heaping tea-spoonful of cream of tartar, and half of soda, a pinch of salt, a few Zante currants. Roll out in powdered sugar, cut in strips, and twist them round like champagne cakes. Sprinkle over them colored caraway comfits. Bake quick, a light brown.
The answer to one good cookery question often leads to another question or three, I have found. What are the champagne cakes referenced in this recipe? Do they actually contain champagne? If so, how likely is it that you will ever have leftover champagne to use in cakes?

Champagne Cakes.
One cup of butter, two of sugar, four eggs, one wine-glass of champagne, half a teaspoon of saleratus, and flour enough to pat out with the hand. Make into two small flat cakes, and bake in a quick oven.
The Appledore Cook Book (1880) by Maria Parloa.

Quotation for the Day.

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.
Harlan Miller


ManuOcc said...

And what, pray, are salerats? We do learn new things every day, don't we. On second thought, it's not so important that I know about salerats, since it's highly unlikely that I'll ever have a glass of Champagne remaining idle in my house!

The Old Foodie said...

hi ManuOcc!
a typo - should be saleratus, which is an old-fashioned baking powder. Typo now fixed.
I am with you on the champagne!

Anonymous said...

But "twist it round" is not explained by that recipe, which simply pats out flat cakes. So the search must go on!

Oh, I have had leftover champagne (or champagne-similar wine) and it's very sad.

Anonymous said...

But it doesn't explain the "twist round" instructions; the champagne cakes are simply patted out flat. So research continues!

I have had leftover champagne (or champagne-similar) and it is very sad.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi bklynharuspex.Sorry about the delayed reply, I have one hand in a splint and everything is slow. All I can say is that cookery instructions in old books can be confusing, to say the least. Recipe writing was not the art/science it is now.