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Rout Cakes


Tiny rich sweet cakes made for 'routs', or evening parties.

Rout cakes are mentioned time and again in the literature of the 18th and 19th centuries - in Jane Austen's 'Emma', in Flaubert's 'Bouvard and Pecuchet' and in Thackeray's 'Vanity Fair', where "Joseph Sedley contented himself with a bottle of claret besides his Madeira at dinner, and he managed a couple of plates full of strawberries and cream, and twenty-four little rout cakes that were lying neglected in a plate near him". See also: Rout Biscuits

Rout Cakes
Image: Alex Bray...

Original Receipt in 'The Cook and Housekeeper's Dictionary' by Mary Eaton (Eaton 1822);

ROUT CAKES. To make rout drop-cakes, mix two pounds of flour with one pound of butter, one pound of sugar, and one pound of currants, cleaned and dried. Moisten it into a stiff paste with two eggs, a large spoonful of orange-flower water, as much rose water, sweet wine, and brandy. Drop the paste on a tin plate floured, and a short time will bake them.

Original Receipt from 'The Modern Housewife' (1850), by Alexis Soyer (Soyer 1850)

866. Rout Cakes. Procure one pound of ground almonds, to which add one pound of powdered sugar, mixing them together with yolks of eggs until forming a stiffish but flexible paste, when form it into small biscuits of the shapes of coronets, bunches of filberts, birds' nests, or any other shapes your fancy may dictate; let them remain five or six hours, or all night, upon the baking-sheet, and bake them in a warm oven.

867. Rout Biscuits. Boil a pound and a quarter of lump sugar, upon which you have rubbed the rind of a lemon, in half a pint of milk; when cold, rub half a pound of butter with two pounds of flour, make a hole in the centre, pour in the milk with as much carbonate of soda as would he upon a sixpence, and a couple of eggs, mix the whole into a smooth paste, ay it out upon your baking-sheet in whatever flat shapes you please, and bake them in a very warm oven.

The proper way to shape these biscuits is by wooden blocks having leaves, pine-apples, and other devices carved upon them.

Original Receipt from 'Pot-luck; or, The British home cookery book' by May Byron (Byron 1914)

821. ROUT CAKES (Middlesex)

Rub into two pounds of flour an ounce of fresh butter, washed in orange-flower water; then add half a pound of well beaten loaf sugar, the same weight of candied orange and lemon cut into strips, and a quarter of a pound of well-dried currants; mix all these ingredients well together with five eggs, well beaten, and half a glass of brandy or ratafia, or a little of both; drop this paste in small rough knobs upon floured tins, and bake in a quick oven; they will require but a very short time to bake, as they must not be high-coloured.

Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 6 July 1795

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