An easy historical gluten-free cake recipe

We haven’t blogged about historical food experiments for a good while, but this weekend I was in the mood for baking, so I thought I would try out a recipe that intrigued me in Clara Palmer-Morewood’s recipe book from the 1830s: Rice Cake.

Rice Cake recipe (jpeg)

Rice Cake

Ground Rice half a pound, sugar & butter each one pound. Put them into a pan before the fire, as the butter melts stir them gently together with a wooden spoon, beat nine eggs very well and add them to the other ingredients immediately before putting into the oven, the rind of a Lemon may be added.

I halved the recipe (why waste a whole pound of butter and sugar if it all goes horribly wrong?!) and used the following:

1/4 lb /  110 g of rice flour
1/2 lb / 225g butter
1/2 lb / 225g sugar
4 eggs (our eggs are likely larger than those they had in the 1830s)
grated zest of a lemon

I stirred together the flour, sugar, lemon zest and butter in a pan over a low heat until the butter was melted and the mixture was well blended, then took it off the heat to cool a little.  In a separate bowl I beat the eggs until very light and fluffy, then gently folded them into the rest of the mixture, trying to keep as much of the air as possible in the batter.

The mixture went into a greased and lined loaf tin (I used a 2 pound loaf tin) and then into the oven at 180 degrees centigrade.  After about 25 minutes it had browned nicely but  was still very wobbly in the middle so with a piece of foil on top to prevent burning I gave it another 20 minutes.

The result was subsequently enjoyed with a nice cup of tea.

Cake

It’s not fluffy cake but it is deliciously moist from all that butter and has a lovely lemony flavour.  It’s also extremely easy to make, requiring only minimal baking skills.  And it’s suitable for people on a gluten-free diet too.  I highly recommend it!

Cake close up

Advent Calendar – Day 21

Just a few days to go…

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Auntie Grace’s wartime Xmas cake, found loose inside the recipe book of Florence (Florie) Bednall, temp. World War Two (Ref: D3269/F/2/1).

There may just be some time to whip this cake together if you fancy it. Here is the ingredients list as it appears in Florie’s recipe book (transcript of the recipe below).

image

The Recipe:

  • Sift flour spices & carb soda.
  • Warm a basin & cream well the butter & sugar with the hand. (The whole cake should be mixed with hand. This is much better and quicker than using a wooden spoon).
  • Beat well in one egg at a time, then the glycerine. If there is any danger of the mixture becoming curdled add a pinch of flour (or beat in only the yolks afterwards adding the beaten whites separately). Add the treacle & vanilla then the brandy or sherry.
  • Now add the sifted flour & spices then the prepared fruit & nuts. If a little milk is necessary warm it just enough to take off the chill. The mixture should not be too stiff but must be strong enough to hold fruit in place.
  • Fill the cake tins about two thirds full levelling well & bake in a slow oven 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

As always, if you do give this one a go (even if it is next year), do let us know how it went.