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From My Manuscript Book. -----♦-----
As the majority of women have manuscript cookery books, and are ever on the lookout for new recipes to paste therein, I have selected a few which I feel sure will appeal to the majority. When a certain dish has been tried and duly approved of
it is considered a great compliment if the hostess presses the recipe on one. Now and again one comes across certain recipes guaranteed to be "true to label," as the wine merchants say. But they are by no means correct. Take, for example, the directions which are often given for Turkish De- light, and, again, those for Laming- ton cake and velvet cake. It is only now and then that the correct recipe ia given for the famous Turkish iweet. for few people understand what
ie meant by "wheat starch," which is one of its principal ingredients. Personally, I never yet came across a salesman in a provision store who (jould tell me exactly what "wheat starch" is. As may be guessed, how ever, the name is purely an American one. As corn-starch to them, is corn- flour to us, it may be concluded that wheat-search is but wheat flour. Be-
gin the sweet by making a syrup with 1lb of loaf-sugar and one pint of water, clearing it with the white of one egg and half a lemon. Mean- while dissolve 2oz. of the finest wheat starch in a gill of cold water. After getting it as smooth as possible, strain through muslin, and add to the syrup whilst it is boiling. Let all fcoil together until it is quite thick and ropey; then add the flavouring
of either rose or orange-flower water. Have ready two shallow pans ; brush one over with either almond or sweet oil, and the other dust thickly with icing sugar. Pour the mixture out on to the oiled plate, and after it has cooled a few minutes turn on to the sugared plate, after carefully removing every trace of the oil. Cut into squares. Dust these thickly with more icing sugar, and when quite dry store away in air- tight boxes, with waxed or grease proof paper in between each two layers.
Another sweet which is much liked is marsh-mallow, this, however, being rarely included in the home-made varieties. Some years ago one of my correspondents very kindly sent it. to me, and the recipe has been classed amongst my most uncommon ones. Her ingredients were 1/2 pint of water, 1/4lb. best gum arabic, 1/4 lb. of icing sugar, the whites of two eggs, some powdered starch, and some es- sence of vanilla. Dissolve the gum arabic thoroughly in the water, strain, and thon add the sugar. Place in a
small enamelled pan, set on the stove, and keep the mixture stirred until it is just like honey. Whisk the whites of eggs well, and add them gradually to the contents of the pan. Flavour with vanilla. Remove from the fire, stand the pan in a basin of cold water, and whisk hard until all stickiness is removed; and the mix- ture is quite stiff. Dust a shallow pan with plenty of icing sugar, turn the mixture on to it, cut into squares, and afterwards pack away in grease- proof paper, dusting each layer with a plentiful supply of icing sugar and powdered starch sieved together. ♦♦♦♦♦♦ When I first tried a velvet cake I pronounced it excellent, and the maker of it kindly produced her manuscript book and copied the directions tor me. She was a capital cook, her cakes being "extra special." When making velvet cake it is almost neces- sary to have someone to assist you, as the eggs have to be beaten separ- ately, and the mixing of the ingre- dients takes a good deal of time. When cooked the cake should have an almost "cold" flavor, which is quite different from any other cake I know. You will need the yolks of six eggs, and the whites of three, two cups of sugar, one cup of boiling water, two and a half cups of flour, one large teaspoonful of baking pow- der, and a generous flavoring of es- sence of vanilla. Pour the yolks of eggs and sugar together, and beat hard for 15 minutes. Beat the whites until they will stand, when add to the mixture with the flour, and powder, boiling water, and flavoring. Bake in a square, shallow tin. While the cake is cooking make an icing with the whites of eggs and sufficient icing sugar, and ice the cake just as soon.
as it is out of the oven, and before it has had 'time to cool. When quite cold, cut into small squares or fingers. ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
The little brqwn-and-white Neenish tarts which are so much liked, and which I have never yet seen an ama- teur attempt, are well worth trying, and are not nearly so difficult to make as might be imagined. The directions which were given to me were a trifle vague, and discretion must be used, so far as the filling is
concerned; but in the first place you must make the shell of the tart from 1lb. of ground almonds, 3/4lb. of icing sugar, the whites of four eggs beaten to a stiff froth, and one handful of flour. If the ingredients are thought too large and you intend only making a few tarts for a beginning, they can easily be halved. Make into a stiff
paste, and then get your plain, rather shallow patty-pans, and press the mixture in with your fingers lining the tins evenly to the depth of about one-quarter of an inch. Place in a
moderate oven, and bake until the tarts are firm and brown. For the filling you must begin by making a very thick custard of eggs and milk thickened with cornflour. This- must be allowed to cool until it sets almost like blanc-mange ; then put some on a plate, and beat in sufficient fresh
butter to make it light and frothy with plenty of vanilla flavoring. Fill the little tarts nearly to the top, and then run over a thin layer of white icing. Now you will need a little coffee glaze for the one-half of the tarts. This is made with 3/4lb of icing sugar and three tablespoonfuls of strong liquid coffee . Stir the in- gredients over the fire until just warm, when use at once. This is the way in which professionals put the
icing on to the tarts. Dip a rather long knife into the mixture, and then lay the back of it exactly in the centre of the tart, and draw the knife quickly off, keeping the blade per- fectly flat all the time. This, will give the right proportion of coffee, and will ensure the centre having a perfectly straight line, almost impos- sible to obtain in any other manner Practice will soon make perfect, and after a time you will know exactly how much liquid to allow the blade of the knife to hold.