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African Cakes


Enriched individual cakes with a sugary topping. Known from receipts and advertisements throughout the 19th Century, the connection with Africa (if any) is unclear.

Original Receipt in 'The Encyclopedia of Cookery' by Theodore Garrett (Garrett 1891);

African Cakes. - Separate the yolks and whites of fifteen eggs, beat the yolks with 1lb. of caster sugar, and sift in 31 breakfast-cupfuls of flour; when quite smooth, whip the whites of the eggs, and stir them in with the yolks; put the mixture in a biscuit-bag with a funnel about fin. in diameter, and press out pieces of paste on to a buttered baking-sheet, making them about the size of a penny. Put them in the oven, and bake for half-an-hour. When they are done they should be of a light colour; take the Cakes off the tin and let them cool. Scoop a little out of the centre of each round, fill each hollow with a little sweetened vanilla-flavoured whipped cream, and put one Cake over another; when all are done this way, ice them over with chocolate icing, and serve when the icing is cold.

Original Receipt from 'Saleable Shop Goods for Counter-Tray and Window:' by Frederick T Vine (Vine 1907)

No. 53.- African Cakes.

2 lbs Soda Flour (No 1); ½ lb Sugar
6 oz Butter; 3 Eggs

Mode, - Cream up the butter and sugar, adding the eggs in the usual manner; mix in the flour with the milk, rather stiff, but not too tight; turn on to the board, dry over, and scale off into 5 ½ oz. pieces; divide in two; mould up round; flatten out under your hand; cut once across the top with a scraper; wash over with egg and milk, turn over on to coarse sugar-nibs, and place on to flat greased tins, and bake in a hot oven. Sell at 1d. each.

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