Saturday, November 1, 2014

HFF #11: Foods Named After People

Going the easy route with Mrs. Beeton's Victoria Sandwiches (ie, Victoria Sponge/ Victoria Cake, not that either of those terms is showing up on Google books up to 1890).

The Challenge: Make a food that is named after someone.

The Recipe: Victoria Sandwiches

Date/Year & Region: 1861, British

How Did You Make It:  Weighed 4 eggs (10 oz including shells for 4 AA large eggs).  Beat the eggs.  Creamed 10 oz. of butter.  Added 10 oz. each of sugar and flour to the butter and incorporated thoroughly.  Mixed in eggs and continued mixing the entire thing for about 10 minutes, making a fluffy sort of batter.  Baked at 350F for about 30 minutes (called for 20 on a moderate oven, could have probably used a few more minutes).  Sliced cake in half, spread with blackberry preserves, and replaced upper portion; cut into slices (sandwiches).

Time to Complete: About 20 minutes prep, 30-35 to bake, and another 5 to arrange.

Total Cost: Uncertain.  About $4.

How Successful Was It: Tastes alright. Plain and somewhat dense for a cake (as expected, given the ingredients), but nice.  I could see this making a lovely strawberry shortcake.  The density made the cutting step neater and less crumbly than I expected it to be.  The preserves did squish around when sliced, so I'd be tempted to slice the piece next time before halving and adding the filling.

How Accurate Was It: Pretty good.  Lacking a 'yorkshire pudding' tin (which has apparently changed shape in the last 150 years), I opted for a square glass cake pan.  Based on how long it was taking to cook through, I would next time try it with a casserole dish or sheet cake pan, making a thinner cake.  I also realized half-way through that "pounded sugar" probably meant powdered rather than granulated, but it turned out alright.

Victoria sponge cake sandwiches, 1861 recipe.

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