In all cakes where butter or eggs are used, the butter should be very faithfully rubbed into the flour, and the eggs beat to a foam, before the ingredients are mixed.
A very good way to make molasses gingerbread is to rub four pounds and a half of flour with half a pound of lard and half a pound of butter; a pint of molasses, a gill of milk, tea-cup of ginger, a tea-spoonful of dissolved pearlash stirred together. All mixed, baked in shallow pans twenty or thirty minutes.
Hard gingerbread is good to have in the family, it keeps so well. One pound of flour, half a pound of butter and sugar, rubbed into it; half a pound of sugar; great spoonful of ginger, or more, according to the strength of the ginger; a spoonful of rose-water, and a handful of caraway seed. Well beat up. Kneaded stiff enough to roll out and bake on flat pans. Bake twenty or thirty minutes.
A cake of common gingerbread can be stirred up very quick in the following way. Rub in a bit of shortening as big as an egg into a pint of flour; if you use lard, add a little salt; two or three great spoonfuls of ginger; one cup of molasses, one cup and a half of cider, and a great spoonful of dissolved pearlash, put together and poured into the shortened flour while it is foaming; to be put in the oven in a minute. It ought to be just thick enough to pour into the pans with difficulty; if these proportions make it too thin, use less liquid the next time you try. Bake about twenty minutes.
If by carelessness you let a piece of short-cake dough grow sour, put in a little pearlash and water, warm a little butter, according to the size of the dough, knead in a cup or two of sugar, (two cups, unless it is a very small bit,) two or three spoonfuls of ginger, and a little rose-water Knead it up thoroughly, roll it out on a flat pan, and bake it twenty minutes. Every thing mixed with pearlash should be put in the oven immediately.
Cup cake is about as good as pound cake, and is cheaper. One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs, well beat together, and baked in pans or cups. Bake twenty minutes, and no more.
There is a kind of tea cake still cheaper. Three cups of sugar, three eggs, one cup of butter, one cup of milk, a spoonful of dissolved pearlash, and four cups of flour, well beat up. If it is so stiff it will not stir easily, add a little more milk.
Cider cake is very good, to be baked in small loaves. One pound and a half of flour, half a pound of sugar, quarter of a pound of butter, half a pint of cider, one teaspoonful of pearlash; spice to your taste. Bake till it turns easily in the pans. I should think about half an hour.
Old-fashioned election cake is made of four pounds of flour; three quarters of a pound of butter; four eggs; one pound of sugar; one pound of currants, or raisins if you choose; half a pint of good yeast; wet it with milk as soft as it can be and be moulded on a board. Set to rise over night in winter; in warm weather, three hours is usually enough for it to rise. A loaf, the size of common flour bread, should bake three quarters of an hour.
The nicest way to make sponge cake, or diet-bread, is the weight of six eggs in sugar, the weight of four eggs in flour, a little rose-water. The whites and yolks should be beaten thoroughly and separately. The eggs and sugar should be well beaten together; but after the flour is sprinkled, it should not be stirred a moment longer than is necessary to mix it well; it should be poured into the pan, and got into the oven with all possible expedition. Twenty minutes is about long enough to bake. Not to be put in till some other articles have taken off the first few minutes of furious heat.
Good common wedding cake may be made thus: Four pounds of flour, three pounds of butter, three pounds of sugar, four pounds of currants, two pounds of raisins, twenty-four eggs, half a pint of brandy, or lemon-brandy, one ounce of mace, and three nutmegs. A little molasses makes it dark colored, which is desirable. Half a pound of citron improves it; but it is not necessary. To be baked two hours and a half, or three hours. After the oven is cleared, it is well to shut the door for eight or ten minutes, to let the violence of the heat subside, before cake or bread is put in.
To make icing for your wedding cake, beat the whites of eggs to an entire froth, and to each egg add five teaspoonfuls of sifted loaf sugar, gradually; beat it a great while. Put it on when your cake is hot, or cold, as is most convenient. It will dry in a warm room, a short distance from a gentle fire, or in a warm oven.
Very good loaf cake is made with two pounds of flour, half a pound of sugar, quarter of a pound of butter, two eggs, a gill of sweet emptings, half an ounce of cinnamon, or cloves, a large spoonful of lemon-brandy, or rose-water; if it is not about as thin as goad white bread dough, add a little milk. A common sized loaf is made by these proportions. Bake about three quarters of an hour.
A handy way to make loaf cake is, to take about as much of your white bread dough, or sponge, as you think your pan will hold, and put it into a pan in which you have already beat up three or four eggs, six ounces of butter warmed, and half a pound of sugar, a spoonful of rose-water, little sifted cinnamon, or cloves. The materials should be well mixed and beat before the dough is put in; and then it should be all kneaded well together, about as stiff as white bread. Put in half a pound of currants, or raisins, with the butter, if you choose. It should Stand in the pan two or three hours to rise; and be baked about three quarters of an hour, if the pan is a common sized bread-pan.
If you have loaf cake slightly injured by time, or by being kept in the cellar, cut off all appearance of mould from the outside, wipe it with a clean cloth, and wet it well with strong brandy and water sweetened with sugar; then put it in your oven, and let the heat strike through it, for fifteen or twenty minutes. Unless very bad, this will restore the sweetness.
Take one pound of flour, three quarters of a pound of sugar, half a pound of butter, a glass of rose-water, four eggs, and half a tea-cup of caraway seed,--the materials well rubbed together and beat up. Drop them from a spoon on tin sheets, and bake them brown in rather a slow oven. Twenty minutes, or half an hour, is enough to bake them.