Thursday, February 25, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016, Challenge No. 4: Sweets for the Sweet

The Challenge:
4. Sweets for the Sweet (February 12 - February 25) It’s sugar, and maybe spice, and definitely everything nice. Test out a historic recipe for sweets, sweetmeats and candies - but don’t let them spoil your appetite!

If the fellow foodies will remember, I've set an additional challenge to interpret dishes that are listed as served at the 80th Anniversary Dinner of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. The "Sucres" Course had many choices. Puddings are the staple sweet of the British household and would have brought to mind sweethearts and home to the Irish-Americans. So the first I will try from the "Sweets" course is Pouding Aux Amandes or Almond Pudding.

The Recipe:
From: Hotel Keeper's, Head Waiters', and House Keeper's  Guide by Tunis Gulic Campbell, 1848

To make a boiled Almond Pudding. --Beat a pound of sweet almonds as small as possible, with three spoonfuls of rose-water, and a gill of sack or white wine; mix in half a pound of fresh butter melted, with five yolks of eggs, and two whites, a quart of cream, a quarter of a pound of sugar, half a nutmeg grated, one spoonful of flour, and three spoonfuls of crumbs of white bread; mix all well together, and boil it. It will take half an hour boiling.

The Date/Year and Region: 
1800-1870, America

How Did You Make It:
  3.5 cups Almond Flour
  3 spoonfuls of rosewater
  0.5 cups cooking sherry
  2 sticks butter
  5 egg yolks
  2 egg whites
1 pint of cream
   0.5 cups of sugar
1/2 nutmeg
1 spoonful of flour**
3 spoonfuls breadcrumbs**

Combine wet to dry ingredients to make the batter.
**It's meant to be the consistency of "biscuit dough" and mine is definitely too wet, so I added a 1/2 cup of flour and a cup of breadcrumbs to bring it to the right consistency.**

Prepare cloth.
     Boil the cloth.
     Flour the cloth.
     Place the pudding batter in the cloth.
     Tie off tightly.

Boil the pudding.

Time to Complete: 
About 15 minutes to prepare and boiling for about an hour.

Total Cost: 
About $10.00

How Successful Was It: 
The last I made was a sloppy mess and this at least set up. It is tasty, very dense.
I used less cream and more flour and breadcrumbs. I started with almond meal rather than processing the almonds myself.

How Accurate Was It: 
I would say it's close.

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