GEORGIAN TEA-TIME TREATS
As part of our Georgian studies this half-term my daughter wanted to have a go at making Queen Cakes. These are dainty little cakes flavoured with mace and currants which gives them a slight spiced edge. She was able to make these on her own as it is a quick and easy recipe. We adapted the recipe from Felicity’s Cooking Studio, an American Girl book which focuses on the ) American Girl doll Felicity Merriman, circa 1774. My daughter received the Felicity mini-doll in her Christmas stocking about 4 or 5 years ago and since then I serendipitously discovered the Felicity’s Story Collection in a local charity shop. A couple of weeks ago we discovered that there was also a range of recipe books published to accompany the dolls (and paper-doll kits, magnetic doll books, and so on but most are out of print and very expensive!) and we managed to find one cheaply online. There are quite a few recipes in there that look do-able and there’s also ideas for hosting tea-parties, dinners, picnics and so on, plus historical background information.
Queen Cakes (makes about 12 cakes)
Ingredients: 115g softened butter or cooking margarine (e.g. Stork); 65g sugar (we used light brown Muscavado); 2 eggs; 2 tbsp rose water; 1/4 tsp mace; 1/4 tsp salt; 65g self-raising flour, plus 1 tbsp flour extra; 75g currants.
Pre-heat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius. Line a fairy-cake or muffin tin with paper cake cases.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Then crack the eggs into the mixture one at a time, beating after adding each egg.
Add the rose water, mace and salt. Mix well.
Add the flour, about a quarter at a time, stirring well after each addition until the mixture is smooth.
Put the extra tablespoon of flour into a small bowl, add the currents and then stir together coat the currents with the flour. Stir it all into the main batter.
Divide the mixture between the paper cases. The recipe we were following said to half-fill each muffin cup but we found this produced a rather small, flat cake. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown. You may have to keep an eye on them and judge it for yourself. Our recipe said to cook got 40 minutes but ours were easily cooked after 20. 40 minutes would have roasted them! You can sprinkle sugar over the cakes when they are cooked.
The result is a delicately flavoured little cake. They aren’t fancy but they make a very pleasant treat to have with a cup of tea!