[Sca-cooks] Cakes was Pancakes and Fruitcakes was Happy Shrove/Fat Tuesday

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Wed Feb 25 17:00:56 PST 2009

Took a couple of days to get back to this:

Digby has this one-- It has dates, raisins, citron, cuurants, plus the 

To make a Plumb-Cake.

Take a peck of flower, and part it in half. Then take two quarts of good 
Ale-yest, and strain it into half the flower, and some new milk boiled, 
and almost cold again; make it into a very light paste, and set it 
before the fire to rise; Then take five pound of Butter, and melt it in 
a skillet, with a quarter of a pint of Rose-water; when your paste is 
risen, and your oven almost hot, which will be by this time, take your 
paste from the fire, and break it into small pieces, and take your other 
part of flower, and strew it round your paste; Then take the melted 
Butter, and put it to the past, and by degrees work the paste and flower 
together, till you have mingled all very well. Take six Nutmegs, some 
Cinnamon and Mace well beaten, and two pound of Sugar, and strew it into 
the Paste, as they are a working it. Take three pounds of Raisins 
stoned, and twelve pounds of Currants very well washed and dryed again; 
one pound of Dates sliced; half a pound of green Citron dryed and sliced 
very thin; strew all these into the paste, till it have received them 
all; Then let your oven be ready, and make up your Cake, and set it into 
the oven; but you must have a great care, it doth not take cold. Then to 
Ice  it, take a pound and half of double refined Sugar beaten and 
searsed; The whites of three Eggs new-laid, and a little Orange 
flower-water, with a little musk and Ambergreece, beaten and searsed, 
and put to your sugar; Then strew your Sugar into the Eggs, and beat it 
in a stone Mortar with a Woodden Pastel, till it be as white as snow, 
which will be by that time the Cake is baked; Then draw it to the ovens 
mouth, and drop it on, in what form you will; let it stand a little 
again in the oven to harden.

and also as mentioned already this one too

To make an Excellent Cake.

To a Peck of fine flower, take six pounds of fresh butter, which must be 
tenderly melted, ten pounds of Currants, of Cloves and Mace, half an 
ounce of each, an ounce of Cinnamon, half an ounce of Nutmegs, four 
ounces of Sugar, one pint of Sack mixed with a quart at least of thick 
barm of Ale (as soon as it is settled, to have the thick fall to the 
bottom, which will be, when it is about two days old) half a pint of 
Rose-water; half a quarter of an ounce of Saffron. Then make your paste, 
strewing the spices, finely beaten, upon the flower: Then put the melted 
butter (but even just melted) to it; then the barm, and other liquors: 
and put it into the oven well heated presently. For the better baking of 
it, put it in a hoop, and let it stand in the oven one hour and half. 
You Ice  the Cake with the whites of two Eggs, a small quantity of 
Rose-water, and some Sugar.

Markham in the 1623 Countrey contentments, or The English husvvife has 
this plain spice one that bakes up as small cakes:

To make excellent spice Cakes, take halfe a pecke of very fine 
Wheat-flower, take almost one pound of sweet butter, and some good milke 
and creame mixt together, set it on the fire, and put in your butter, 
and a good deale of sugar, and let it melt together: then straine 
Saffron into your milke a good quantity; then take seuen or eight 
spoonefull of good Ale barme, and eight egges with two yelkes and mix 
them together, then put your milke to it when it is somewhat cold, and 
into your flower put salt, Aniseedes bruised, Cloues and Mace, and a 
good deale of Cinamon: then worke all together good and stiffe, that you 
need not worke in any flower after; then put in a little rosewater cold, 
then rub it well in the thing you knead it in, and worke it throughly: 
if it be not sweet enough, scrape in a little more suger, and pull it 
all in peeces, and hurle in a good quantity of Currants, and so worke 
all together againe, and bake your Cake as you see cause in a gentle 
warme ouen.

And here is his one for a Banbury Cake:

To make a very good Banbury Cake, take 4. pounds of Currants, and wash 
and picke them very cleane, and drie them in a cloth: then take three 
egges and put away one yelke, and beate them, and straine them with good 
barme, putting thereto Cloues, Mace, Cinamon and Nutmegges; then take a 
pint of creame, and as much mornings milke and set it one the fire till 
the cold bee taken away; then take flower and put in good store of cold 
butter and suger, then put in your egges, barme and meale and worke them 
all together an houre or more; then saue a part of the Past, and the 
rest breake in peeces and worke in your Currants; which done, mould your 
Cake of what quantity you please; And then with that past which hath not 
any Currants couer it very thinne both vnderneath and a loft. And so 
bake it according to the bignesse.


Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:
> On Feb 24, 2009, at 11:00 AM, Johnna Holloway wrote: Depends on how 
> much fruit and what type of cake I suppose in part.
>> They show up titled as great cakes.
> I'm pretty sure Digby, at least, has a similar one, with currants, 
> eggs, butter, spices, sack, ale barm... and I think a small amount of 
> almond meal mixed in.
> I can't find one in Gervase Markham's The English Housewife, which 
> surprises me. Will check Hugh Plat later.
> Adamantius
Depends on just what you mean by fruitcake.  If you take a look at Joris 
Hoefnagel's A Wedding Fete at Bermondsey (1570s), you will see four 
large brides cakes being displayed.  These are large Banbury cakes 
filled with currants and spices and possibly other candied fruit.  A 
recipe for these from "The Queen's Closet Open'd" (1655) describes them 
as being scented with musk and ambergris.


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