Brandy Peaches from Handy Cook Book, 1900, Marion Harland
Antique Recipes

Marion Harland’s Sponge Cake Recipe

Marion Harland’s Sponge Cake Recipe:  This recipe is from The Dinner Year-Book by Marion Harland, published in 1878 by Charles Scribner’s Sons as part of the “Common Sense in the Household Series.”  What I love about this this recipe–and much of this entire cookbook–is Harland’s almost poetic language.  I get a vision of a cook’s beating the egg whites “with a few swift strokes,” then adding the flour in “great, loose handfuls.”  Can’t you see the flour in the air?

The ingredient amounts are interesting, too.  “6 eggs.  The weight of the eggs in sugar.  Half their weight in flour.”  In 1878, did housewives have scales in their kitchens?  How would a cook know the weight of the eggs?  Here’s the recipe:  Marion Harland, The Dinner Year-Book   And here’s the cover of The Dinner Year-Book:  Dinner Year-Book, Marion Harland

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