Karen Hammonds who runs revolutionarpie writes: When I read about Martha Washington’s Great Cake, I wondered whether it was called that because it was really good or really large. I think the name was meant to describe its size — to give you an idea of just how big it was, here is Martha’s recipe:
Take 40 eggs and divide the whites from the yolks and beat them to a froth. Then work 4 pounds of butter to a cream and put the whites of eggs to it a Spoon full at a time till it is well work’d. Then put 4 pounds of sugar finely powdered to it in the same manner then put in the Yolks of eggs and 5 pounds of flour and 5 pounds of fruit. 2 hours will bake it. Add to it half an ounce of mace and nutmeg half a pint of wine and some fresh brandy.
This cake was prepared at Mount Vernon, the Washingtons’ Virginia home, during the Christmas season and for other special occasions. I’ve seen references to Martha baking it herself, but according to the book Dining with the Washingtons, cooking was ordinarily done by servants. Martha did supervise meal planning and the kitchen closely, however, and Washington family lore had it that she made some dishes herself. I like to think she baked George a cake once in a while.
A flashback from the sixties found in ”Husmorens Store Kokebok” (The Housewife’s Big Cook Book) published in 1963
Everything about this picture reminds me of my childhood. The fancy way of decorating the cake and the flowery tea cups are so very typical of a Norwegian coffee table back in the sixties. I still got several sets of tea crockery just like the one you see above. I’m a bit weird, I know – Ted 😉
A classic baking recipefoomd in Good Housekeeping’s “Cookery Book” published in 1976
The Chelsea bun is a type of currant bun that was first created in the 18th century at the Bun House in Chelsea, an establishment favoured by Hanoverian royalty, which was demolished in 1839.
The bun is made of a rich yeast dough flavoured with lemon peel, cinnamon or mixed spice. Prior to being rolled into a square spiral shape the dough is spread with a mixture of currants, brown sugar and butter. The process of making this bun is very similar to that involved in producing the cinnamon roll. After being cooked traditionally the chelsea bun is glazed with cold water and honey. It is glazed while still hot so the water evaporates and leaves the honey, making the bun much sweeter.
A recipe from an ad for Pet Milk published
in LIFE magazine in 1956
A fruit cake rich in candied fruit, crunchy nuts, with both dark and golden seedless raisins.
Evaporated milk was a popular product before refrigerators were common in homes, but is now a niche product mainly used in baking and other recipes.
Pet, Inc., was an American company that was the first to commercially produce evaporated milk as a shelf-stable consumer product and later became a multi-brand food products conglomerate. Its signature product, PET Evaporated Milk, is now a product of The J.M. Smucker Company.