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.
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.
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!