The freshness of all ingredients for puddings is of great importance.
Dried fruits should be carefully picked, and sometimes washed and
should then be dried. Rice, sago, and all kinds of seed should be
soaked and well washed before they are mixed into puddings.
Half an hour should be allowed for boiling a bread pudding in a half
pint basin, and so on in proportion.
All puddings of the custard kind require gentle boiling, and when
baked must be set in a m
derate oven. By whisking to a solid froth the
whites of the eggs used for any pudding, and stirring them into it at
the moment of placing it in the oven, it will become exceedingly light
and rise high in the dish.
All baked puddings should be baked in tin moulds in the form of a deep
pie dish, but slightly fluted, it should be well greased by pouring
into it a little warmed butter, and then turned upside down for a
second, to drain away the superfluous butter; then sprinkle, equally
all over, sifted white sugar, or dried crumbs of bread, then pour the
pudding mixture into the mould; it should, when served, be turned
out of the mould, when it will look rich and brown, and have the
appearance of a cake.
To ensure the lightness of cakes, it is necessary to have all the
ingredients placed for an hour or more before the fire, that they may
all be warm and of equal temperature; without this precaution, cakes
will be heavy even when the best ingredients are employed. Great
care and experience are required in the management of the oven; to
ascertain when a cake is sufficiently baked, plunge a knife into it,
draw it instantly away, when, if the blade is sticky, return the cake
to the oven; if, on the contrary, it appears unsoiled the cake is
The lightness of cakes depends upon the ingredients being beaten
well together. All stiff cakes may be beaten with the hand, but pound
cakes, sponge, &c., should be beaten with a whisk or spoon.