Wednesday, 10 May 2017


I am returning to boiled cakes, always a favourite, especially with my husband, but I have no idea why this particular version would have such a strange name. I am baking it exactly as printed in the 1917 Modern Cookery book. Looking at the ingredients, I just know it will be good and moist.

I used a 7” spring form cake tin, lined. [8” would be OK too] No temperatures are given [of course] and from the charts I use, a moderate oven would be around 160C. Now, I think that is too hot, so will pop it in at 150C.

12 oz plain flour
8 oz dripping
6 oz demerara sugar
4 oz currants
4 oz raisins
pinch salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 pint warm water

Place the water, dripping, fruit and sugar into a large saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until it boils. Let it continue boiling for 5 minutes, then allow it to go cold. Mix in the flour, salt and spice. Stir then add the bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in a teaspoonful of warm water. Mix well.

Turn into your prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour 45 minutes. I turned it down to 140C after one hour and covered the top. [the original recipe said 2 hours - far too long for today’s modern ovens]

The result? Just delicious with a wonderful flavour. Yes, I know it contains dripping, but it is a natural ingredient and research these days show it is not as evil as we were once told. Our ancestors knew what they were doing!! Trust me.

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