Preparatory remarks. The currants and raisins should be prepared as directed under the article headed, Puddings and Pies, and the flour dried before the fire on a large sheet of white paper, then sifted and weighed. Almonds should be blanched by pouring hot water over them, and, after standing some minutes, taking off the skin, then throwing them into rose or cold water. When not pounded, they should be cut lengthwise into thin bits. Sugar should be roughly pounded, rolled with a bottle upon white paper, and then sifted. All spices, after being well dried at the fire, should be finely pounded and sifted. Lemon and orange-peel must be pared very thin, and pounded with a little sugar. The butter, after being weighed, should be laid into cold water, or washed in rose water, and if salt, be well washed in several waters. The yolks and whites of eggs should be separately and long beaten, then strained; two whisks should be kept exclusively for that purpose, as the whites especially require to be managed with the greatest care. A horn spoon should be used for mixing those cakes which are not directed to be beaten with the hand. To make cakes light, salvolatile, or smelling salts, may be added immediately before putting them into the oven, allowing, to a sponge cake, made of one pound of flour, one tea-spoonful; and two or three to a large plum cake. Cheese cakes, queen cakes, sponge biscuits, and small sponge cakes, require a quick oven till they have risen; afterwards the heat should be more moderate. Plum, seed cakes, and all large kinds, must be well soaked, and therefore do not require a brisk oven. To preserve their color, a sheet of white paper is put over them, and after they have risen and become firm, they are turned round. To ascertain if a large cake be sufficiently done, a broad bladed knife is plunged into the centre of it, and if dry and clean when drawn out, the cake is baked; but if anything adheres to the blade, it must instantly be returned to the oven, and the door closed. When the oven is too hot, it is better to lessen the fire than to open the door.
Take two pounds and a half of dried and sifted Hour, the same of well cleaned and dried currants, two pounds of fresh butter, two of finely-pounded and sifted loaf sugar, a nutmeg grated, a tea-spoonful of pounded cinnamon, one ounce of citron and candied orange-peel, cut small, the yolks of sixteen, and the whites of ten eggs, beaten separately; then with the hand beat the butter to a cream, and add the sugar, then the eggs by degrees, and the flour in the same way, and then the currants, sweetmeats, and spice, one glass of orange-flower water, and one of brandy. Butter a tin pan, line it with white paper buttered, put in the cake, aind bake it in a moderate oven four hours.
Put in an earthen pan eight ounces of sugar pounded, and the yolks often eggs; stir them together with a wooden spoon for half an hour. In the meantime have the whites of your eggs whipped to a thick snow, and then pour in the sugar and yolks. When thoroughly mixed, add an ounce of good aniseed, previously washed and dried, and ten ounces of flour; stir the whole gently, and then with a spoon lay it on white paper in cakes about the size of a crown-piece; sprinkle them with fine sugar, and bake. Remove them from the paper, while hot, with a knife.