I couldn't resist trying this old recipe. Two reasons really, I like the idea that it is an English recipe, and I like cider. Mind you, the recipe only called for a teacupful of cider, which left two thirds of a bottle going spare...
...I managed to resist, otherwise I would have ended up feeling like this.
Beat 4 oz butter and 4 oz sugar to a cream. Add two well beaten eggs and 4oz flour sifted with 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and half a grated nutmeg. Pour one teacupful of cider, beaten to a froth, and mix thoroughly. Stir in another 4 oz of flour and mix well. Bake for 45 minutes or until it is cooked.
Once again, minimal instructions about baking - I baked it at 180 degrees and it took about 55 minutes before I was completely happy with it. You know your own oven.
Don't worry, it made a standard-sized cake, the serving platter is enormous. I bought it in Ireland several years ago; it reminds me of the many happy holidays we spent in and around Crookhaven, West Cork. Surely one of the most beautiful places in the world.
I couldn't wait to sample it. I was intrigued by the use of nutmeg, but it really worked. For the sake of experimentation, I'll use cinnamon next time, see which we prefer. The cake was voted a success and didn't hang around long. I will also experiment with the cider, find the perfect one for us.
It was exceptionally nice when served with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
I have had to increase the amount of exercise I do each day - all these baking experiments are having a ruinous effect. Still, what a way to go!
Added 18 March 2016: This cake is rich and moist, keeps well and the flavours develop.
This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!
The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.
I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.