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18th Century plum cake

first_imgPlums in old recipes mean currants rather than plums. Plum cakes were popular and there are a variety of recipes to choose from. This one comes from The Experienced English Housewife by Elizabeth Raffald, which was first published in 1769. Raffald was an impressively busy woman. She worked as a housekeeper for 15 years before moving to Manchester. There, she ran a confectioner’s shop, where round plum cakes were part of the daily offering to customers. Makes 10 x 20cm round cakes 3lbs 12oz/1.7kg butter2½lbs/1.2kg white sugar17 whole eggs17 egg yolks3lbs 12oz/1.7kg flour½oz/15g ground mace½oz/15g grated nutmeg (1½ nuts)16fl oz/450ml brandy or white wine1lb 4oz/560g currants1lb 4oz/560g raisinsZest from 2½ lemons1lb/450g candied orange and lemon peel3fl oz/70 ml orange flower water 1 Beat the butter to a cream2 Add the sugar and beat again until pale3 In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and yolks well4 Mix the eggs into the butter and sugar5 Add the flour and the spices6 Mix in the brandy, fruit and peel and orange flower water7 Put into greased tins with 1½ pints/¾-litre capacity8 Bake for 45 minutes at 180?Clast_img read more