Fine Cakes

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PERIOD: England, 16th century | SOURCE: The good huswifes Iewell (1596) | CLASS: Authentic DESCRIPTION: Small leavened cakes flavored with cloves & mace. (


  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • .25 cups Sugar (granulated)
  • 3 Eggs (yolk)
  • .5 teaspoons Hartshorn
  • 1 tablespoon Rosewater
  • .25 teaspoons Salt
  • .25 teaspoons Cloves
  • .25 teaspoons Mace
  • 1 pinch Saffron
  • 1.25 cups Flour

Cooking Instructions

Cream together the butter & sugar until smooth; beat in the egg yolks. Blend in the dissolved hartshorn or ammonia and the rosewater, then the salt & spices. Stir in the flour and work until a ball of dough is formed. Knead gently until smooth, working in more flour if necessary.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 1/4in thickness. With a floured butter knife, cut the dough into small squares or rectangles. Make decorative vent holes on the cakes by pricking with a fork, then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a preheated 300° F oven for 14-15 minutes until just done. Be sure that they do not brown on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.

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