Thumbnail of Plum-Cake recipe

Ingredients required:—One pound and a half of flour, one pound and a half of butter, one pound of fine sugar, one pound of dried cherries (slightly chopped), one pound and a half of currants, one pound and a half of candied-orange, lemon, and citron peel—in equal quantities; all these must be cut in small shreds: eight ounces of ground or pounded almonds, eight whole eggs, the rest or rind of four oranges (rubbed on a piece of sugar and afterwards scraped off), half an ounce of ground spices, consisting of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, mixed in equal proportions, half a pint of Cognac brandy, and a teaspoonful of salt.

Place the butter in a large white earthen pan, and work it with a wooden spoon until it presents the appearance of, a creamy substance; next add gradually the flour, sugar, and the eggs, still continuing to work the butter the whole time; when these have been thoroughly mixed, add the cherries, currants, candied peel, ground almonds; brandy, spices, and salt must also be added gradually. As soon as these ingredients are incorporated with the butter, let the preparation be poured into a convenient-sized tin (previously lined with doubled bands of buttered paper), and placed on a stout-made copper baking-sheet, with two sheets of buttered paper under the cake, to prevent the composition from becoming calcined by the heat of the oven. A moderate heat will be sufficient to bake the cake, and care must be taken not to put any fire under the oven, so as to increase the heat. These cakes, when baked, should be iced over with sugar in the following manner:—

First, mix eight ounces of very fine pounded almonds, with double that quantity of fine-sifted sugar, a little orange-water, and sufficient white of eggs, to form the whole into a soft paste; spread a coating of this all over the surface of the cake (after it has become cold), and when it is hardened by drying, let the whole be iced over with the following preparation:—

Place about six whites of eggs in a convenient-sized basin; add about one pound and a half of the finest-sifted loaf-sugar, and work these well together with a clean wooden spoon, adding occasionally a little lemon-juice, until the whole presents the appearance of a very thick yet comparatively liquid shiny substance of a pure white. Use this icing to mask the entire surface of the cake with a coating of about a quarter of an inch thick; allow this to become firmly set, by drying, for which, purpose the cake should be placed in a warm temperature, and kept covered with a large sheet of paper to preserve it from dust, &c. When the icing has become perfectly hard, decorate the top and sides of the cake with raised ornaments of gum-paste (stamped out from boards cut for the purpose), and arranged with taste, either in the form of garlands, wreaths, scrolls, &c.; or else the cake may be decorated with piping, using for that purpose some of the icing worked somewhat thicker, by adding to it more sugar.

When intended for a wedding-cake, the ornaments must be all white, and some blossoms and sprigs, or even wreaths of orange-flowers should also be introduced.

No. 746