Fine Cakes

Sabine d'Ricoldi da Forli


Original Recipe

Take a quantity of fine wheate flower and put in an earthen pot. Stop it close and set it in an oven and bake it as long as you would a pasty of venison. And when it is baked it will be full of clods. Then searce your flower through a fine sercer. Take clouted cream or sweet butter, but creame is best, take sugar, clove, mace, saffron, yolks of eggs, so much as will seeme to season your flower. Then put these tings into the creame temper all together. Then put there to your flower. So make your cakes. The paste will be very short therefore make them very little. Lay paper under them.

The recipe I used:

6 oz unsalted butter
1 / 2 C sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 3 /4 C plain flour
1 /2 t ground cloves
1 /8 t mace
pinch ground saffron
egg white

Cream butter and add sugar, add egg yolk. Separately sift combined flour and spices. Sift the dry mix into the butter mix. Press into a square pan. Brush with the egg white and bake at 325 F for about 45 minutes.

Reasoning for differences

1. Due to flour today already being processed, there is no need to do the first step in the original recipe.
2. Sweet butter, rather than cream was used due to availability
3. The amounts used for the sugar, spices and flour are as a result of looking at current recipes for dishes like shortbread and other butter biscuits.
4. By coating the top in egg white the finished product is shiny to the top and has an interesting texture.

Source: John Partridge The Widows Treasure 1585