This section is from the book "The Epicurean", by Charles Ranhofer. Also available from Amazon: The Epicurean, a Complete Treatise of Analytical and Practical Studies on the Culinary Art.
One pound and a half of butter, a pound and a half of sugar, a pound and a half of flour, twenty eggs, four pounds of seeded Malaga raisins, four pounds of Smyrna raisins, four pounds of citron, ten pounds of currants, two gills of rum, two gills of brandy, four gills of molasses, one ounce of cinnamon, half an ounce of allspice, a quarter of an ounce of mace and a quarter of an ounce of nutmeg. Beat the butter and sugar together in a tinned basin until creamy and white; adding the eggs one by one add the flour and mix perfectly, then put in the Malaga and Smyrna raisins, the currants, the finely cut-up citron and the spices; afterward the liquors and molasses; work until thoroughly mixed. For this quantity have two very strong tin molds twelve inches long at the bottom and live inches wide, with a quarter of an inch splay on each side, the depth to be six and a quarter inches. These molds must be furnished with covers closing on the outside. Butter and line them with buttered paper. Divide the preparation into two equal parts, one into each mold; cover the tops with buttered paper, put on the covers, then set both molds on a baking sheet and push into a slack oven. They take from six and a half to seven hours to bake.
When partly done turn the molds upside down and finish cooking; remove from the oven, lift off the covers and arrange them one beside the other; lay blocks of wood on top, two and a quarter inches thick and of the same dimensions as the opening of the mold, or even slightly narrower, so they can enter the mold with facility. On each block lay a board and on this a sufficiently heavy weight to allow these blocks to enter entirely inside the mold, leaving it in this position for twelve hours in a cool place. Unmold the cakes carefully, wrap them in paper, and range in a hermetically closed tin box. These cakes require to be made two months beforehand, and be left tightly closed so they acquire the mellowness and flavor characteristic of their kind. When needed for use remove from the boxes, take off the paper adhering to the cakes, and cut each one into even eight crosswise slices; divide all of these on the widest side into five equal-sized pieces, therefore obtaining forty pieces from each mold; wrap each one of these small pieces in a separate piece of waxed paper, then in tin foil, and after all are prepared put them into small cardboard boxes manufactured expressly for this purpose, they to be four and three-quarter inches long by an inch and a half wide and an inch and an eighth deep; these are the inside measurements: place on the covers, tie with a white ribbon once around their length and then around their width, forming it into a pretty bow, which must come exactly in the center of the top of the box.
For the machine for cutting these cakes see Figs. 596-597. These machines greatly facilitate the cutting. To have them very regular, according to the above proportions, put the whole cake in machine No. 596, cut it in transversal slices one after the other, pressing the cake forward on the machine for each slice that is cut. Machine No. 597 is used for dividing the first slices and to cut them very even, passing the blade of the knife between the vertical guides of the machine. If instead of small cakes in boxes a large one be desired, then put the preparation into one large round mold sixteen inches in diameter at the bottom and eighteen inches at the top or opening; it must be five and a half inches deep and furnished with a tube in the center five and a half inches at the bottom and five at the top. Cover the insides with bands of buttered paper, overlapping each other, and cook the cake the same as the preceding ones in a slack oven, leaving it in from seven to seven and a half hours. Let it get perfectly cold by placing on top a board seventeen inches in diameter, having a hole in the center five and a half inches in diameter, then press down lightly. These cakes ought to be made two months before they are needed and kept in a cool place.
When required for use unmold, remove the paper and ice over with several layers of royal icing (No. 101); slide on a board covered with lace paper, and after the icing is perfectly dry decorate with more royal icing. A fine gum-paste vase can be placed in the center, filled with flowers or other ornaments.