BLACK CAKE, OR PLUM CAKE
One pound of flour, sifted.
One pound of white sugar, powdered and sifted.
One pound of fresh butter.
Half a glass of wine \
Half a glass of brandy }mixed.
Half a glass of rose-water /
Twelve drops of essence of lemon.
A table-spoonful of mixed mace and cinnamon.
A nutmeg, powdered.
Pound the spice and sift it. There should be twice as much
cinnamon as mace. Mix the cinnamon, mace, and nutmeg
Sift the flour in a broad pan, or wooden bowl. Sift the powdered
sugar into a large deep pan, and cut the butter into it, in small
pieces. If the weather is very cold, and the butter hard, set the
pan near the fire for a few minutes; but if the butter is too
warm, the cake will be heavy. Stir the butter and sugar together,
with a wooden stick, till they are very light, and white, and look
Beat the eggs in a broad shallow pan with a wood egg-beater or
whisk. They must be beaten till they are thick and smooth, and of
the consistence of boiled custard.
Pour the liquor and rose-water, gradually, into the butter and
sugar, stirring all the time. Add, by degrees, the essence of
lemon and spice.
Stir the egg and flour alternately into the butter and sugar, a
handful of flour, and about two spoonfuls of the egg (which you
must continue to beat all the time,) and when all is in, stir the
whole mixture very hard, for near ten minutes.
Butter a large tin pan, or a cake mould with an open tube rising
from the middle. Put the mixture into it as evenly as possible.
Bake it in a moderate oven, for two, or three, or four hours, in
proportion to its thickness, and to the heat of the fire.
When you think it is nearly done, thrust a twig or wooden skewer
into it, down to the bottom. If the stick come out clean and dry,
the cake is almost baked. When quite done, it will shrink from she
sides of the pan, and cease making a noise. Then withdraw the
coals (if baked in a dutch oven), take off the lid, and let the
cake remain in the oven to cool gradually.
You may ice it either warm or cold. Before you put the icing on a
large cake, dredge the cake all over with flour, and then wipe the
flour off; this will make the icing stick on better--If you have
sufficient time, the appearance of the cake will be much improved
by icing it twice. Put on the first icing soon after the cake is
taken out of the oven, and the second the next day when the first
is perfectly dry. While the last icing is wet, ornament it with
coloured sugar-sand or nonpareils.