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Recipes from The Art of Temptation

Irish Whiskey Cake

(Which Sean's mother serves to her guests in the Prologue)
Take butter with sugar and put in this eggs and flour and a bit 'o coffee to make a nice flavour. Put in your pan and bake in your oven. Make a syrup of coffee with much sugar and a wee dram 'o whiskey and pour this into your cake. Bring to table with sweet whiskey cream and a sprinkle of nuts.

My mother used to caution, Who gossips with you will gossip of you. Nonetheless, she surely did love to gossip. She used to serve this cake when the womenfolk came for tea. She claimed it loosened ladies' tongues.

—Deirdre Delaney Raleigh, 1819

For cake:

For syrup:

For topping:

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8″ ring pan (or bundt pan) and dust well with flour. Sift the flour and baking powder together, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time. Mix in half of the flour mixture, then the instant coffee/water mixture, then the rest of the flour. Stir in the milk. Put batter in the prepared cake pan and bake for 35–40 minutes, or until a toothpick poked inside comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool. Wash and dry the pan.

To make the syrup, put coffee and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in whiskey. Transfer syrup into a spouted cup to make pouring easier. Return the cooled cake to the clean pan. Slowly pour the syrup over it, being careful to fully cover cake. Allow to sit for several hours until the syrup soaks into the cake.

To serve, beat whipped cream with powdered sugar and whiskey. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate and top with cream and chopped hazelnuts.

Lauren's notes: The syrup will be very thin and liquidy rather than syrupy, but don’t worry about this, as your cake will turn out delicious! This is a coffee cake that actually tastes like coffee (and whiskey!). It's super yummy, and (in my opinion) doesn’t even need the whipped cream/hazelnut topping. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cakes

(Which Corinna brings to Lord Lincolnshire in Chapter Seventeen)
Take four pints of Flower with Ginger and Nutmeg and rub Butter into it. Add to it Brandy and Treacle and mix it altogether. Let it lay till it grows stiffe then pinch pieces and make into little balls. Flatten cakes on a tin and add a Sweetmeat if you please and bake.

These spicy little cakes are known to raise the spirits. Not ghosts, that is, but spirits of the emotional variety. Excellent to bring when paying visits to the ill.

—Anne Chase, Marchioness of Cainewood, 1775

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease two non-stick baking sheets or cover two regular baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix flour, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl. Rub in butter until mixture is crumbly. Put jar of molasses into preheated oven for a few minutes, then take out with mitts and pour 1/3 cup into spouted measuring cup. Add brandy and stir until blended, then pour into flour mixture and combine until it forms a stiff dough. Add Karo syrup and mix in well. If dough is not stiff enough, wait a while until it firms up. Dust your hands with flour, if necessary. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into balls between your hands, about the size of a walnut or ping-pong ball. Put on baking sheet and press to flatten. If you please, top each with a slice of almond. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheet before removing. Makes about 2 dozen.

Lauren's Notes: My dough turned out plenty stiff enough—I didn’t have to wait, and I didn't have to coat my hands with flour, either. These gingerbread cookies are very gingery and not too sweet. They would go nicely with afternoon tea.

Apple Puffs

(Which Juliana serves at the family dinner in Chapter Twenty-One)
Pare the fruit and bake them. When cold, mixe the pulp of the Apple with Sugar and lemon-peel shred fine, taking as little of the Apple-juice as you can. Orange marmalade is a great improvement. Put in paste with a little Sugar inside and on top. Bake in a quick oven a quarter hour until browne.

The homely apple is always dependable. Serve at family gatherings to assure harmony.

—Helena Chase, Countess of Greystone, 1776

Preheat oven to 350°. Thaw puff pastry. Grease and flour a baking sheet or cover with parchment paper. Peel, core, and slice the apples. Put them in an oven-safe glass bowl and bake until soft. Cool, then drain and save any juice. Add lemon zest, marmalade, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar to apples. Mix well. Increase oven temperature to 425°. Cut puff pastry sheet into 4 squares and set on prepared baking sheet. Divide the apple mixture and spoon into the center of each square. Using the reserved apple juice if you have any, or water if you don’t, dampen the edges of the pastry, then fold the four corners up and pinch together at the top and along seams to seal and make little square parcels. Brush lightly with reserved apple juice or water, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake until pastry puffs and browns, about 20 minutes. Makes 4 apple puffs.

Lauren's notes: This recipe is easily doubled to make eight (not a bad idea, since puff pastry usually comes in a package of two sheets). I didn't have any juice in the bottom of the bowl after I baked my apples, but water worked just fine. These are absolutely delicious!

Almond Cakes

(Which the Chase family nibbles while waiting for Aunt Frances to deliver in Chapter Twenty-six)
Grinde halfe a pound of Almonds and mixe with halfe a pound of Sugar and Orange or Lemon Water. To this add ten Yolks of Egges beaten and the boiled skins of two Oranges or Lemons grounde fine. Mixe together with stiff Egge Whites and melted Butter gone cold and bake it all in a good Crust.

Good for nibbling during nervous occasions, such as when my daughter brought my first grandchild into the world earlier this year. Oh, my, what a day and night. I think I'd much rather give birth myself!

—Elizabeth Chase, Countess of Greystone, 1736

Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out and cut pie dough into rounds to fit into 12 muffin cups. Line cups, prick the bottoms with a fork, and sprinkle with a little sugar. Melt the butter and set aside to cool (but don’t allow to harden). In a large bowl, combine ground almonds, lemon zest, and orange juice, and mix well. Beat the whole eggs and combine with almond mixture and melted butter. Beat the 2 egg whites until partly stiff, then fold into the mixture. Fill pastry-lined muffin cups ¾ full with mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, or until slightly puffed up and well-browned on top. Makes 1 dozen.

Lauren's notes: I'm entirely too lazy to grind almonds, but Trader Joe’s sells packaged Just Almond Meal that works perfectly. (If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s market nearby, poor you! It’s the best.) After these are baked, they will be dry on top but still very moist inside, rather like a modern macaroon. They might seem raw to you, but no amount of baking will dry them out completely (trust me, I tried :-)). These almond cakes are not very pretty, but they taste really good!

Rout Cakes

(Which Alexandra brings to the art reception in Chapter Twenty-Eight)
Take Flour and mix with Butter and Sugar and Currants clean and dry. Make into a paste with Eggs and Orange Flower Water, Rose-water, sweet Wine, and Brandy. Drop on a floured tin-plate and bake them for a very short time.

My mother said these cakes bring luck, and indeed, I fed them to my husband the day he proposed! Serve to ensure the success of your rout or any other event you'd like to see turn out well.

—Katherine Chase, Countess of Greystone, 1765

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Rub in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add sugar and mix well. In a small bowl, mix beaten eggs, orange juice, rose water, wine, and brandy. Add slowly into flour mixture and combine to make smooth, sticky dough. Add currants and mix in. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet to make dollops about an inch across. Bake for 16–18 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 18.

Lauren's notes: Like most cakes (cookies) from this era, these aren’t too sweet. They are small and would go well with coffee or tea.

Iced Cakes

(Which Juliana serves at Aunt Frances's house in Chapter Thirty-Four)
Mix sugar together with butter and rose-water. Mix this together with six eggs leaving out two whites and beat for a quarter of an hour. Put in your flour and mix them together well. Put them in your patty pans in an oven as hot as for manchet. Then make your icing. Put fine sugar in a mortar with rose-water and the white of an egg. When the cakes are cold put them on a tin then dip a feather in the icing and cover them well. Set the cakes back in the oven to harden.

These are sweet as a newborn baby. Eat them for the baby's health.

—Belinda Chase, Marchioness of Cainewood, 1799

For cakes:

For icing:

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter enough muffin pans to make 24 cakes. In a large bowl, beat softened butter with rose water. Add mace and sugar, then eggs, then flour a little at a time, mixing well between each addition until well blended. Add milk and mix again. Divide dough, putting a dollop into each of the 24 muffin cups. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until just browning around the edges. Remove pan(s) from oven, but do not turn oven off.

While cakes are cooling, make icing by beating the egg white, then adding powdered sugar and rose water and mixing well. Remove cooled cakes and place on one or two baking sheets, then brush with icing. Put back in oven for 3 minutes, until the icing has hardened. Cool again before serving. Makes 2 dozen.

Lauren's Notes: The dough is thick and won’t spread to fill the muffin cups until they're in the oven. These don't really rise, either, so they do come out looking much more like little cakes than muffins!

Orange Custard

(Which Juliana brings to visit Aunt Frances’s new baby in Chapter Forty-Six)
Boil a pint of Cream with a little sack. When it be cold, take four Yolks and two whites of Eggs, a little juice of Orange and peel of Orange and Sugar to your palate. Mix them well together, and bake them in cups. Before serving, put your cups on ice.

This tastes lovely, and brings love as well. My sisters and I each made this when we were looking for love, and we found it.

—Anne Chase, Marchioness of Cainewood, 1772

In a saucepan, bring the cream and brandy to a boil, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350°. Put eggs and extra yolks, orange juice, orange zest, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Beat well. Add cooled cream mixture and beat until very well combined. Pour into 4 custard cups. Place cups in a casserole dish, then fill dish with water to a level half as deep as the cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until custard is set and tops are browned a little. Chill before serving. Makes 4 cups of custard.

Lauren's notes: This is easy to make and oh-so-scrumptious! It smells lovely…my kids came downstairs to see what I was making before it was even finished.

Orange Brandy

(Which Juliana serves at her mother-in-law’s wedding in Chapter Four)
Take a quart of Brandy, the peels of eight Oranges thin pared, keep them in the Brandy forty-eight hours in a closed pitcher, then take three pints of Water, put into it three quarters of a pounde of loaf Sugar, boil it till half be consumed, and let it stand till cold, then mixe it with the Brandy.

This was served at my grandparents' wedding breakfast, and their marriage was blessed with love and health. We have had it at family weddings ever since.

—Eleanor Chase, Marchioness of Cainewood, 1730

Pare the rind off the oranges with a peeler, taking all the colored part and leaving behind as much of the white inside as possible. Add peel to the brandy, cover, and let stand for 48 hours. In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water and boil mixture until volume is reduced to between 3½ and 4 cups. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain brandy to remove orange peel. Add sugar/water mixture and stir to combine. If you wish, chill before serving.

Lauren's notes: I don’t actually care much for brandy, but this stuff is pretty good! It’s only about 1/3 brandy, so not as strong or alcoholic as the real thing. It's very sweet and tastes extra-good if you drink it while soaking in a jacuzzi. :-)

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