We may not be able to venture very far while lockdown is still in place, but with the help of the original domestic goddess, Aunt Kate, we can reminisce about holidays at home with these recipes from each of the four nations.
It will be a while before we will find ourselves taking road trips, camping, visiting friends in other parts of the country, and even travelling abroad.
But with these four recipes – a Welsh sandwich cake, Scotch seed cake, Irish nut buns and London gingerbread – straight from Aunt Kate’s Baking Book (1933) we can still imagine having a holiday at home.
If you hadn’t heard already, Aunt Kate was the “original domestic goddess” who used to provide household tips, tricks and recipes in the people’s Journal from the late 1880s to the 1960s.
- 1 cup of butter
- 3 squares of chocolate, melted
- 2½ cups of flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp soda
- Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually while creaming.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix well in. Add the egg yolks and beat the mixture thoroughly.
- Sift the flour with the salt and alternately (gradually) add the buttermilk. Stir in the vanilla and the soda dissolved in the boiling water.
- Lastly, fold in the stiffly whipped egg whites. Bake the mixture in two greased and floured sandwich tins in a moderate oven for 20 mins.
- When cool, spread on a generous filling of choice between the layers, and put a layer of it on top of the sandwich.
- Optional: decorate with walnuts and strips of angelica.
Scotch seed cake
- 1 dspn (10g) baking powder
- 8 oz (225g) mixed candied peel/fruits
- 8 oz (225g) sugar
- 8 oz (225g) butter
- 4 oz (110g) almonds
- 4 eggs
- 14 oz (400g) flour
- Sieve the flour into a bowl.
- Chop the peel finely, blanch (boil in water for 60 seconds, the drain and peel the skins) and shred the almonds.
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Add the flour and eggs gradually, beating thoroughly.
- Add the candied peel and nuts, and the baking powder mixed with the last spoonful of flour. The mixture should be of dropping consistency, so add a little milk if necessary.
- Turn into a prepared cake tin and place in a hot oven until risen.
- Moderate the heat and bake for 1½ hours.
Irish nut buns
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Beat the butter and sugar to cream.
- Sift the flour with the spices, a pinch of salt and baking powder.
- Add the flour mix and beaten yolks of the eggs mixed with milk alternately (gradually) to the butter and sugar.
- Slice and chop the raisins, dredge with two tablespoons of flour mix and add, along with vanilla and nuts, to the mixture.
- Lastly, fold lightly in the stiffly-whipped whites of eggs.
- Bake in buttered pans in a moderate oven.
- 1 lb (450g) flour
- 1 lb (450g) treacle
- ½ lb (225g) margarine
- 1 dspn (10g) orange peel, grated
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp almonds, chopped
- 1 dspn (10g) ground ginger
- 1 dspn (10g) mixed spice
- 1 dspn (10g) citron peel, grated
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ pint (280ml) milk
- 2 eggs
- Mix together all the dry ingredients, and add the well-beaten eggs.
- Heat the milk in a pan with the margarine and treacle and add to the dry ingredients and eggs when dissolved.
- Mix all together, pour into a prepared tin and bake for one hour in a moderate oven.
Read more in this series…