This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!
The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.
I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.
Sunday, 4 June 2017
I should state here and now that brandy has nothing whatsoever to do with this recipe!
I was just trying to convey a sense of Boodle's Club, which is a private Gentlemen's Club and the second oldest club in the world. It was founded in 1762 and has had some illustrious members. Membership is strictly by nomination and election - no riff-raff allowed!
I can, however, bring you a recipe for their special fruit cake.
I took delivery of this old, 1930's recipe book, yesterday morning - Caviare to Candy by Mrs Philip Martineau.
It is the kind I book I love - lots of recipes which don't call for a million ingredients, minimal instructions and few illustrations. You have to rely on your back knowledge and instincts. I don't always get it right, but it does make baking fun.
I was drawn to 'Boddle's Club Cake' first of all because the name appealed to me - but mainly because the word 'Good' had been written next to it.
That is another thing I like about these old books, the notes, the splashes, the evidence of years of use.
A cake was required for the weekend - my choice was made for me.
"One pound of flour, half a pound of butter or margarine, half a pound of Demerara sugar, half a pound of raisins, two eggs, one and a half teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda, one gill of milk.
Beat butter and sugar together, then the eggs, chop raisins (I didn't) and mix with flour, stir in gradually; dissolve soda in the warm milk and beat all well together. Bake in a moderate oven for two and three-quarter hours. (Very good.)"
What a wonderful cake! It is a light fruited sponge cake, but with a sort of butterscotch/caramel flavour. It goes perfectly with a cup of tea - no brandy was consumed - I was still playing with the Gentlemen's club theme when I took the photographs.
The family loved it.
I loved it.
This has gone straight to the top of my 'easy bakes' list.
You can now find me on Instagram as parsonage_cottage_kitchen.