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by Noellen Newton
This lovely light cake is very similar to a sponge cake and lends itself to being served with delicious strawberries and cream. Mmmm!
Using rice flour widens the appeal of this cake to those who cannot eat wheat flour.
I read the recipe and noticed that the total beating time of 25 minutes was quite substantial! It really is necessary to beat the ingredients in order to give volume to the mixture.
I’m taking the modern day approach to mixing this cake. My electric Mixmaster looks like it needs a workout and I’m happy to oblige!
1913 ingredients and mode
Ingredients: 4 eggs, ½ lb. soft white sugar, ½ lb. rice flour, 1 teaspoonful baking powder, essence of lemon or almonds.
Mode: Beat eggs for 10 minutes. Add sugar, beat 10 minutes, then flavouring and rice flour, first adding baking powder with latter. Beat 5 minutes. Bake in a well buttered mould in a moderate oven.
Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p133.
Modern ingredients and (less physical exertion) mode
I used 4 x 50g eggs; 1 cup sugar; 2 cups rice flour; 1 teaspoonful of baking powder; and a few drops of lemon essence.
Using the Mixmaster cuts the beating of the eggs down to five, not 10, minutes. The eggs are light and fluffy and once the sugar is added the mixture thickens up nicely. It is important that the sugar has mostly dissolved otherwise the cake may be ‘grainy’. Following the recipe is easy and the mixture should appear quite thick but runny. Total beating time with the Mixmaster was about 15 minutes all up.
This mixture filled three small well-buttered bar tins. Cooking time was 30 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius in a fan forced oven.
Another winning recipe that is very easy to make. Your friends and family should be impressed with this … time for a cuppa!
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Glorious Days: Australia 1913 was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 March to 13 October 2013.