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Banbury Cakes Old Elizabethan Dessert Recipe

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"

To make Banbury Cakes
Make a Posset of Sack and Cream, then take a Peck of fine Flour, half an Ounce of Mace, as much of Nutmeg, as much of Cinamon, beat them and searce them, two pounds of Butter, ten Eggs, leaving out half their Whites, one Pint and half of Ale-Yest, beat your Eggs very well, and strain them, then put your Yest, and some of the Posset to the Flour.

Stir them together, and put in your Butter cold in little pieces, but your Posset must be scalding hot; make it into a Paste, and let it lie one hour in a warm Cloth to rise, then put in ten pounds of Currans washed and dried very well, a little Musk and Ambergreece dissolved in Rosewater, put in a little Sugar among your Currans break your Paste into little pieces, when you go to put in your Currans, then lay a Lay of broken Paste, and then a Lay of Currans till all be in, then mingle your Paste and Currans well together, and keep out a little of your Paste in a warm Cloth to cover the top and bottom of your Cake, you must rowl the Cover very thin, and also the Bottom, and close them together over the Cake with a little Rosewater; prick the top and bottom with a small Pin or Needle. When it is ready to go into the Oven, cut in the sides round about, let it stand two hours, then Ice it over with Rosewater or Orange Flour and Sugar, and the White of an Egg, and harden it in the Oven.

Banbury Cakes Old Elizabethan Dessert Recipe
The above Old dessert recipe for Banbury Cakes is written in totally different way to today's recipe books.

  • There were no lists of ingredients - these were included as part of the text

  • Food and ingredient measurements were extremely basic - quantities were not often specified.

  • Temperature control was difficult and therefore not specified.

  • Cooking times were vague - and left to the cook to decide.

  • It was assumed that the reader would already have some knowledge of cooking

Old Elizabethan Recipes
Elizabethan Era Index

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