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Vicarage Cake


Yeast-raised cake of flour with sugar, nutmeg, ginger, eggs, melted butter and currants (Eaton 1822).

Vicarage Cake
Image: Alex Bray...

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

VICARAGE CAKE. Mix a pound and a half of fine flour, half a pound of moist sugar, a little grated nutmeg and ginger, two eggs well beaten, a table-spoonful of yeast, and the same of brandy. Make it into a light paste, with a quarter of a pound of butter melted in half a pint of milk. Let it stand half an hour before the fire to rise, then add three quarters of a pound of currants, well washed and cleaned, and bake the cake in a brisk oven. Butter the tin before the cake is put into it.

With its spices, eggs and fruit, Vicarage Cake is not cheap, as is pointed out in the novel 'Deerbrook' by Harriet Martineau the Victorian social theorist and Whig writer;
“Tea company costs so very little!” said Sophia. “At this time of the year, when you need not light candles till people are going away, and when fruit is cheap and plentiful—”
“And we will take care of the cake,” interposed Mrs Grey. “Sophia will make you some of her vicarage-cake, and a batch of almond biscuits; and Alice shall come and wait. We can manage it very easily.”
“You are extremely kind: but if our acquaintance are to eat your cake, it had better be at your house. It does not suit our present circumstances to entertain company.”
“But it costs so very little!” persisted Sophia. “Mr Russell Taylor’s father used to give a general invitation to all his friends to come to tea in the summer, because, as he said, they then cost him only twopence-halfpenny a-head.”
“I am afraid we are not such good managers as Mr Russell Taylor’s father,” replied Hester, laughing. “And if we were, it is not convenient to spend even twopence-halfpenny a-head upon our common acquaintance at present. If we grow richer, we will get our friends about us, without counting the cost so closely as that.”

See also:
Vicarage Pudding
Bible Cake
Vicarage Cake

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