|puff cakes or puddings?
Clearly it depends on the quantities of egg, sugar and flour that you use. That being the big problem, in that the recipe tells you next to nothing about quantities and method. Before the advent of the cookbooks that we are used to, you had to be a bloody good cook/mind-reader.
So here it is - my weird and wonderful version of Spritzen, a late Georgian recipe that would have been made and served to King George III and his family. The Georges I and II were born in Germany, while Georges III and IV were native-born to the UK. Clearly they were not in a hurry to integrate! And they liked their German tucker, which must have made them feel at home in their new land.
2 small eggs
2 tbs cornflour or plain flour
228 mls cream or milk
56g. melted butter
2 tbs caster sugar
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 doz. turns of the vanilla bean grinder or 1/2 tsp of extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
icing/powdered sugar to cast over the tops
Break 2 eggs into a small mixing bowl
Beat well with electric hand beaters till very fluffy - or, as our course sheet tells us - beat them to within an inch of their life
Add the flour and beat to incorporate
Pour in the cream or milk, and the melted butter
Whisk again with the beaters
Add the sugar, the salt and the spices
Beat again till it is fluffy and well mixed
Take 4 tea cups and grease them lightly with butter
Pour in the batter, leaving a bit of room for expansion
Place them on a baking tray
Bake at 190C for about 20 minutes - it may take a little more depending on your oven
Sprinkle generous amounts of icing sugar over them while warm
Eat with a spoon if they won't come out of the cups:=)
|ingredients - gleaming in the sun
|frothing up the eggs
|beating in the flour
|whisking in the cream, butter, sugar and spices
|ready for baking in the cups
|about to ladle the batter into the cups
|ready for the oven
|baked and ready to eat
Well, who knows what these should really be like? The original recipe doesn't tell you to butter the cups, so perhaps that made a difference to the end result. There is no sugar used in the original batter either, but I felt I wanted a sweet morsel rather than a very plain one. We don't know the size of the spoon for the flour, so maybe extra would make them more cake-like. And using plain flour would perhaps have given them a slightly stronger texture.
Anyway I served them to Mr P. and sis-in-law after dinner, and they went down a treat. Another fun experiment in my History of Royal Food course. We all seem to be interpreting the recipes differently, so it is fun to discuss the varying results. And of course, there is a bit of conversion of weights and measures going on. You have to remember that these are old pints, not new pints; that UK pints are different to US pints and so on. Phew!
Original recipe Mary Cole.
The Lady’s Complete Guide, 1788
Mix two spoonfuls of fine flour with two eggs well beat, half a pint of cream or milk and two ounces of melted butter; stir it all well together, and add a little salt and nutmeg. Put them in tea-cups, or little deep tin moulds, half full, and bake them a quarter of an hour in a quick oven; but let it be hot enough to colour them and top and bottom. Turn them into a dish, and strew powder sugar over them.
|my puff cake in a cup doodle