Thursday, April 21, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly 8

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 8:

Literary Foods

Forgive the lack of photos. My computer died and I can't get the photos to transfer via USB or wifi. Come back later and see if I was successful. I  may rush out to buy a card reader. I'm adding some taken after I cut the cake from a micro SD card.

The Challenge: Literary Foods
Food is described in great detail in much of the literature of the past. Make a dish that has been mentioned in a work of literature, based on historical documentation about that food item. 

The Recipe: Anne Shirley's nightmare Goblin Cake or Devil Cake
" I just grow cold when I think of my layer cake. Oh, Diana, what if it shouldn't be good! I dreamed last night that I was chased all around by a fearful goblin with a big layer cake for a head."
Anne of Green Gables

This challenge was right up my alley, however, it happened to fall during my birthday and I REALLY wanted chocolate cake. I remembered the Anne of Green Gables cookbook has a chocolate goblin cake recipe, inspired by Anne's layer cake nightmare. Anne's layer cake was a golden yellow cake with red jelly in the center - not what I had in mind.

The Anne stories were published between 1907-1939. There are numerous references to chocolate cake in the books. However, the stories are set a little earlier, beginning in 1877. Anne's unfortunate cake baking incident occurs a year later, in 1878. [source: The Anne of Green Gables Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson]

Upon researching cookbooks from that year, I had a dilemma. Research revealed that chocolate cakes as we know and love them did not yet exist!

In the first half of the 19th-century, when Marilla Cuthbert was learning to bake, chocolate cake was typically a yellow or spice cake meant to accompany a drink of chocolate. By the time Marilla was teaching Anne to cook, a typical chocolate cake was as white or yellow cake with chocolate icing meant to be eaten at tea time.  Later on, chocolate was grated and mixed into the batter and Anne's children would know chocolate cake made with melted chocolate or cocoa powder. I'm not sure Susan Baker would actually bake such a thing but if Shirley asked her to, she would or if Mrs. Doctor dear invaded Susan's kitchen, she might make a chocolate cake for the children. 

The common type of icing was boiled icing often made with egg whites. More modern buttercream type frostings came into popularity in the beginning of the 20th-century.

A timeline of chocolate cake:
1877 a Canadian cookbook features a tea cake filled with chocolate
By 1886 some recipes put grated chocolate IN the cake
1887 marble cake with white and chocolate 
1889 White House cookbook cake only chocolate only has chocolate in the filling
1900 Canadian cookbook features chocolate cake and cocoa cake.
1905 Chocolate cake recipes as we know them more or less appear.

[source: and research into numerous cookbooks from the time in which the stories are set]

Since the stories take place between 1877 and World War I (World War II if you include The Blythes are Quoted or The Road to Yesterday) and there are lots of references to chocolate cake up through Anne of Windy Poplars, (there's even a mention of Anne frosting cupcakes with Little Elizabeth, though the trendy confections as we know them did not yet exist), and chocolate cake and Devil's Cake or Devil's Food cake was around when Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote her novels, perhaps she would have made this cake for her boys and thought of it when she wrote chocolate cake into the Anne novels. 

"But we couldent fix up the stewpan. Marilla had to throw it out. Thanksgiving was last week. There was no school and we had a great dinner. I et mince pie and rost turkey and frut cake and donuts and cheese and jam and choklut cake."
Davy's letter to Anne from Anne of the Island
This reference doesn't sound like a chocolate filled cake. It's not tea time, it's dessert. 

"We had cold tongue and chicken and strawberry preserves, lemon pie and tarts and chocolate cake [my ephasis] and raisin cookies and pound cake and fruit cake—and a few other things, including more pie—caramel pie, I think it was. After I had eaten twice as much as was good for me, Mrs. Douglas sighed and said she feared she had nothing to tempt my appetite.
"'I'm afraid dear Janet's cooking has spoiled you for any other,' she said sweetly. 'Of course nobody in Valley Road aspires to rival HER. WON'T you have another piece of pie, Miss Shirley? You haven't eaten ANYTHING.'
"Stella, I had eaten a helping of tongue and one of chicken, three biscuits, a generous allowance of preserves, a piece of pie, a tart, and a square of chocolate cake!"

"A warm plummy odor filled the whole house, for Priscilla was cooking in the kitchen. Presently she came in, enshrouded in a huge work-apron, with a smudge of flour on her nose, to show Aunt Jamesina the chocolate cake she had just iced.
Anne scrambled to her feet somehow, emptying two indignant cats out of her lap as she did so, and mechanically shifting her wishbone from her right hand to her left. Priscilla, who would have had to cross the room to reach the kitchen door, lost her head, wildly plunged the chocolate cake under a cushion on the inglenook sofa, and dashed upstairs."

Anne of the Island

That's my justification for the recipe, anyway. Hey, it's my birthday and I'm not about to eat a non-chocolate cake! 

Devil Cake

Custard part:
Half cup grated chocolate, half cup sweet milk, one cup dark brown sugar, yolk of one egg. Stir all together on stove; cool slowly and set aside to cool.
Cake: One cup brown sugar, half cup butter, two eggs. Half cup sweet milk, two and a half cups flour. Cream butter and sugar, yolks of eggs; add milk and sifted flour and whites of eggs, beaten stiff; beat all together and stir in custard; lastly, add one teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a little warm water. Bake in layers and ice with chocolate.
Vogue Cookbook, News Publishing Co. Toronto, 1900

"Chocolate cake that is made with sour milk and soda is usually softer and darker in color than that made with sweet milk and baking powder Chocolate contains starch which thickens the batter so that less flour is needed for chocolate cake than for white cakes. Alkali darkens a chocolate mixture and a little soda added to the melted chocolate before putting it into the batter will not only darken the cake but also neutralize any free fatty acid in the chocolate and help to make the cake light. The large amount of soda in some recipes for chocolate cake serves the same purpose."
Wesley Hospital Bazaar Committee, The New Century Cookbook, Chicago, Ill., 1899

Marshmallow paste
¾ c. sugar
¼ c. milk
¼ lb. marshmallows
2 T hot water
½ tsp. vanilla
heat milk and sugar slowly until boiling point without stirring. Boil 6 minutes. Break marshmallows into pieces and melt in double boiler. Add hot water. Cook until smooth, then gradually add hot syrup stirring constantly. Beat until cool enough to spread. Add vanilla.

Chocolate fudge frosting
1 ½ T. butter
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ c. confectioners’ sugar
few grains salt
¼ c. milk
½ tsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add cocoa, sugar, salt and milk. Heat to boiling. Boil 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat until creamy. Add vanilla. Pour over cake.

Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Book, United States 1913

Date and Region: 1900, Toronto, Ontario, Canada/ 1913 United States 

Anne is a Canadian icon and I really wanted to find a cookbook she might use. I settled for using one Lucy Maud Montgomery may have seen after her marriage and move to Ontario.

I chose the more modern frostings from Fanny Farmer.

How did you make it: I intended to follow directions. I made my chocolate custard first and spiked the custard with ¼ tsp. Godiva chocolate liquor. (I know Marilla would NOT approve)Then I discovered I didn't have enough brown sugar for the cake. I tried to make my own mixing molasses and white sugaand it was an epic failure. The molasses made the white sugar clumpy. I tried to sift it but it was too sticky and thick to sift. I ran to the store to find brown sugar but alas, they had none. My dear Miss Cuthbert, (may I call you Marilla), brown sugar IS useful for something. I'm not sure I could use 20 lbs. either but I could have used some of that bag Matthew brought home. I also substituted sour milk for sweet milk, making sour milk with a bit of apple cider vinegar in sweet milk because I wanted a rich, dark cake. 

I then tasted the batter and it wasn't sweet enough. I added some semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter and ½ tsp. vanilla.

I sprayed layer cake pans with PAM + butter because I  had only a small amount of butter left was too lazy to butter and flour pans. I baked the cakes 30 minutes in “jelly pans” 

After freezing the cakes, I made the frostings. I spread a layer of marshmallow cream in the middle and frosted the outside with chocolate fudge.

How Successful Was It?: 
The cake baking was successful. I had trouble with the frostings. When I boiled the sugar syrup for the marshmallow frosting and followed the directions to NOT  stir it, the mixture burned! When I beat the chocolate fudge frosting mixture with an electric beater, it seized up and turned gross.  I tried again to cream the butter and sugar in a modern stand mixer, again without success. I went back to the original directions but mixed by hand this time for a successful fudge frosting. The cake baking went much better than poor Anne's did anyway. I did forget the vanilla in the frosting but I didn't confuse vanilla with liniment. 

ETA: YUMMMMM! This cake is a success. It's best eaten warm. The frosting makes it sweeter and richer. It got a thumb's up from the family. 

Time to Complete:  An hour or more for the whole thing. I did it in stages so 3 days total.

Total Cost:  Because I fail at frosting 101, I had to get more butter and cream. I don't feel like looking up how much that was but those ingredients would have come from the cows on the Green Gables farm. 

How Accurate Is It?: Well, the cake recipe is mostly accurate. The frosting recipes are accurate and the whole cake is accurate to the time period the Anne stories were written in. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly 7

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 7:

Pretty as a Picture

The Challenge: Pretty as a Picture
If you’re a fan of cooking competition shows, you know how the saying goes: we eat first with our eyes. Make a dish that looks just as spectacular as it tastes. Extra points for historically accurate plating - and don’t forget to post pictures! 

The Recipe: 
It's my mom's birthday and I offered to make her something from her childhood as a birthday cake. I thought she would pick a pie, which she says is her favorite, or let me choose. She had a craving for gingerbread with cream cheese frosting. It was difficult to find a period recipe from the 50s or 60s for gingerbread, let alone gingerbread with cream cheese frosting. A little digging revealed Betty Crocker produced a gingerbread cake mix and pre-made cream cheese frosting. I went back a little earlier in time, knowing my grandmother could NOT cook when she married in 1944, her mother wasn't well enough to cook, so my grandmother used her mother-in-law's recipes. We did not have one for gingerbread cake in the family files so I turned to the Internet for help. 

The recipe I chose was:  "My Best Gingerbread" as found on A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn.
1940s United States.

For the frosting I chose Philadelphia's recipe. I don't know what year the ad is from but it looks vintage. Cream cheese frosting uses the same ingredients in every recipe, only the proportions change.

How did you make it:
I followed the directions on the card. I used butter instead of shortening for a richer flavor.  
soupy cake batter 

I baked at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

The cake finally done after baking. The middle sunk a bit.

I followed the directions for the frosting but used a little less powdered sugar. The full amount was just too sweet for this type of cake. 

I then frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting. I decorated with chocolate bits and slivered almonds to make the daisy pattern seen in this ad

How Successful Was It?: It took a little longer to bake than the blogger's cake. The center was very wet. 
The frosting is very successful but it would not make enough for two 9" cakes as the recipe says. 

Taste-wise it was a success. My mom said it was exactly what she was wishing for and if she didn't have a dress to fit into she would have a second piece. The other adults gave it a thumb's up and I liked it too. It's a classic dense molasses gingerbread. The children only liked the chocolate chips on top. 

Time to Complete: about 1 1/2 hours total.

Total Cost:  We had to buy more molasses and regular cream cheese. We had everything else on hand.
Given the popularity of gingerbread during the colonial times and again during the Depression and World War II, this cake needs little sugar and was less expensive than other types of cakes and fit the wartime rationing rules. 

How Accurate Is It?: 100% down to the plate, which was my paternal grandmother's from the 1950s or 60s.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly Challenge 6

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 6:

Juicy Fruits

The Challenge: Juicy Fruits
It’s fruits! Do something with fruits. It doesn’t get more simple than that. Bonus points for use of heritage crops and ingredients!
The Recipe: 


2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup raisins or currants
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. grated orange rind
1/2 to 2/3 cup milk (enough to make a soft dough)
Heat oven to 425° (hot). Mix Bisquick, raisins, sugar, orange rind. Stir in milk. Roll dough around on board lightly dusted with Bisquick. Roll into 9″ round. Brush top with milk, sugar. Cut in triangles. Bake about 10 min. on ungreased baking sheet. Serve hot. Makes 12.

22, 23 and 24 of the vintage cookbook: Betty Crocker’s Bisquick Party Book that was published in 1957 by General Mills.  found on

The date, year and region : 

1957, United States

Bonus: Blueberry Compote


Pick over a quart of huckleberries or blueberries, wash them and set over to boil in a porcelain-lined kettle or earthen bowl. Do not add any water to them. Sweeten with half a cup of sugar, and spice with half a teaspoonful of cinnamon. Just before removing from the fire, add a teaspoonful of cornstarch which has been wet with a little cold water. Do this thoroughly in a cup and stir with a teaspoon so as not to have any lumps in it. Pour into a glass bowl. Eat cold.

Aunt Babette's Cook Book: Foreign and domestic receipts for the household: A vaulable collection of receipts and hints for the housewife, many of which are not to be found elsewhere. By "Aunt Babette" Cincinnati: Block Pub. and Print Co. co., c1889

How did you make it?:
Well, it's winter in New England and heritage crops are non-existent at the moment. The hothouse berries offered at the grocery store looked pretty gross and are completely tasteless, and I hate most other fruits, so I went with dried fruit. 

I made the scones almost exactly as the recipe says. I used Aunt Jemima Original Complete Pancake Mix instead of Bisquick. The main ingredients were the same. I loathe raisins and currents so I used Craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries) instead. I served with Smuckers Triple Berry and Honey jam for extra fruit and some whipped cream.

The compote I made without a recipe. I tried to remember this recipe but failed. First I took dried blueberries and soaked them overnight in a bowl to plump them up a bit. 

It worked to a certain extent. Then I let them sit on a paper towel overnight to drain. 

I put the berries, some water and 1/8 c. sugar in a sauce pan and brought to a boil on low heat. 

After most of the water drained off I added in a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to thicken.

How Successful Was It?:
The scones got a little burned on the bottoms. The new oven is much hotter than the old one and I haven't figured out baking times yet. Otherwise they were successful and very tasty.

The compote needed more sugar and less cornstarch. I put it on top of French toast with maple cream and it was fine. 

Time to Complete: 30 minutes for the scones, 2 days plus a half an hour for the compote

Total Cost:  $4.79 for Craisins, $3.29 for the dried blueberries. Everything else I had on hand.

How Accurate Is It?: Mostly accurate. This wasn't a tough challenge once I decided to make 20th century scones. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly: Challenge 4

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 3:

History Detective

The Challenge: Sweets to the Sweet
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! 

The Recipe: Chocolate Biscuits and bonus challenge: Chocolate Cream

Chocolate Biscuits Batch 2

The date, year and region : 18th century England

Chocolate was introduced to Europe in 1502 when Christopher Columbus wrote about cocoa beans during his second voyage. In 1519 Hernán Cortés wrote about the Aztecs drinking chocolate and using it for currency. He brought cocoa beans and chocolate drink-making equipment back to Spain. Wealthy Spaniards enjoyed sipping hot chocolate sweetened with sugar and cinnamon. In 1615, the daughter of Spanish King Philip III wed French King Louis XIII in 1615, she brought her love of chocolate with her to France. The custom of drinking  chocolate spread across Europe and reached England in the 1650s and was popular in the court of Charles II. Europeans cacao plantations spread and chocolate houses, where nmen could go to socialize, eat and drink the special chocolate drink. Chocolate houses sold a pressed cake of chocolate for making the drink at home. 

Sources: History Channel. The Sweet History of Chocolate.
Cadbury. Discovering Chocolate.

The earliest recipe for chocolate cookies or biscuits as they were called, appears in John Nott's The cooks and confectioners dictionary in 1733.
I found several historic recipes for a chocolate meringue cookie and many for chocolate cream dating back to the Elizabethan era. Fellow Challenger Joyce White researched the history of chocolate biscuits, which you can read on her blog A Taste of History. Carolina from Historic Cookery also has an excellent history.

Chocolate Biscuits 

Scrape a little Chocolate upon the Whites of Eggs, so much as will give it the Taste and Colour of the Chocolate. Then mingle with it powder Sugar, till it becomes a pliable Paste. Then dress your Biskets upon Sheets of Paper in what Form you please and set them into the Oven to be bak'd with a gentle Fire both at top and underneath.

John Nott. The cooks and confectioners dictionary; or, The accomplish'd housewifes companion (1733) 

Chocolate Biscuits-

No 18 CHOCOLATE BISCUITS Take a quarter of a pound of chocolate and put it on a tin over a stove to make it warm, then put a pound of powdered sugar in a bason and when the chocolate is quite warm and soft put it in with the sugar and mix it well with about eight whites of eggs. If you find it too thin mix more powdered sugar with it just to bring it to a paste so that you can roll it in lumps as big as walnuts. Let your oven be moderate, put three papers under them. Let the oven just raise them and make them crisp and firm, let them be quite cold before you take them off the paper.
Frederick NuttThe Complete Confectioner, or, the Whole Art of Confectionary (1819)

Chocolate Puffs- 
Chocolate Puffs. Having beat and sifted half a pound of double refined sugar scrape into it an ounce of chocolate very fine and mix them together. Beat the white of an egg to a very high froth and strew in the sugar and chocolate. Keep beating it till it is as stiff as a paste. Then sugar the paper drop them on the size of a sixpence and bake them in a very slow oven.
 John Farley.  The London Art of Cookery and Domestic Housekeeper's Complete Assistant (1811).

Another old recipe and a modern adaptation  can be found at Baking History.
From the original recipe by Amelia Sulzbacher in: “The Good Housekeeping Woman’s Home Cook Book”, c1909—USA

Chocolate Cream
Chocolate Cream or egg cream is a type of custard dessert that dates back to Elizabethan times. It uses up the egg yolks left over from the chocolate biscuits.

Elizabethan Chocolate Cream 
Take a Quart of cream, 3 ounces of Chocolate grated, boyle it well together & let it stand till tis cold, & then put in ye whites of 6 Eggs beaten to a froth & sweeten it to your Taste, and then mill it up.
The Complete Receipt Book of Ladie Elynor Fetiplace. Vol. Three. Transcription. Stuart Press: 1999. p.38.

I found this version on the next page after the Chocolate Biscuits recipe in John Nott's cookbook.

Chocolate Cream

How did you make it:
I used modern adaptations as a guideline for oven temperature and consistency but pretty much followed the original recipes.

I preheated the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

First, I had to make refined sugar. I ground regular granulated sugar in a blender until soft and powdery. 

superfine sugar

For the first batch, I used American Heritage Chocolate I picked up in Colonial Williamsburg years ago. It is bittersweet chocolate with added spices to mimic the taste of 18th century chocolate that had been ground in a mortar and pestle.
The last of my Heritage Chocolate

I grated the chocolate into a bowl and melted it a bit over a double boiler. 

Then I followed the directions! I put my melted chocolate into the bowl of a modern stand mixer and added the sugar. 
Chocolate added to sugar

Next I separated my eggs and whipped the whites with an electric hand mixer until fluffy. 
fuffy egg whites
I added a tablespoon of egg whites into the chocolate mixture and blended it with the mixer on low speed. I added about 4-5 tablespoons of egg whites before my mix became too runny. 

I added too much egg white. I tried to add more sugar to stiffen it up a bit but that only made the mixture too gritty and sweet. I quickly dropped the soupy batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and baked for about 15 minutes. 

I tried again with Mexican chocolate which has sugar added.  I reduced the amount of sugar added less egg whites until my mixture was a soft paste. I scraped some into my hands and rolled into a walnut sized ball. I rolled that into sugar, placed on a parchment lined cookie sheet and flattened with my hands. 
Unbaked cookies
I baked at 300 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I let cool a bit on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
Chocolate biscuits batch 1

Bonus challenge:
I had leftover egg yolk with bits of grated chocolate mixed in so I tried to make egg cream.
I warmed whole milk on the stove with sugar and a cinnamon stick until boiling. I then added 3 squares of Mexican chocolate and stirred until mixed and added a dash of real cassia cinnamon. Next I added the egg yolks and whisked. 
My milk/chocolate mixture was too hot and the egg yolks turned to scrambled egg. Yuck! 
Chocolate Cream meets scrambled eggs?

Since the original directions say to pour through a sieve, that's what I did. I poured the mixture through a strainer and into a mug. It made tasty hot chocolate. 

How Successful Was It?:
Contrary to what the adapted recipe says, the chocolate biscuit recipe did NOT fail! The cookies actually came out light and puffy with a glossy top. They crumbled when I took them off the baking sheet though. They taste good anyway - a cross between a cookie and a candy. 

The second batch was successful in so far as making a paste I could work with my hands but they didn't bake up as pretty. They taste really good - less sweet than the first batch and less crumbly. 

The egg cream was not successful. 

Time to Complete: Not too long after I made the sugar. About an hour or so.

Total Cost:    I had all ingredients on hand.

How Accurate Is It?: Almost 100%Except for using modern kitchen equipment I made both recipes as the original recipe said to and I even used chocolate that was close to the kind available in the 18th century.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016 Challenge 3

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 3:

History Detective

The Challenge: History Detective
For this challenge, you get to be the detective! Either use clues from multiple recipes to make a composite recipe, or choose a very vague recipe and investigate how it was made. 

The Recipe: Waffles/Gaufres/Flemish Waffles

The History: 

I knew that I needed to look far back in time for a vague recipe. While browsing for inspiration, I came across a somewhat vague early recipe for one of my favorite foods - waffles!

The recipe from 1683 
"To Fry Waffles
For each pound [one English pound, or 454 grams] of Wheat-flour take a pint [about a half a litre] of sweet Milk, a little tin bow, of melted Butted with 3 or 4 Eggs, a spoonful of Yeast well stirred together."
---De Verstandige Kock (The Sensible Cook) [Netherlands, 1683?], Translated and Edited by Peter G. Rose [Syracuse University Press:Syracuse] 1989 (p. 76)

The earliest recipe for waffles I came across in English is from 1725

Court cookery: or, The compleat English cook

By Robert Smith 1725

"Take Flower, Cream, Sack, Nutmeg, Sugar, Eggs, Yeast, of what Quantity you will ; mix these to a Batter and let them stand to rise; then add a little melted Butter and bake one to try ; if they burn, add more Butter: Melt Butter with Sack refin'd Sugar and Orange Flower Water for the Sauce."

I then set about learning how to make yeast-raised waffles and the history of waffles.
The short history is :

Waffles were a thin yeast-leavened tea cake or dessert popular through the 19th century. As leavening agents (cream of tartar, baking soda and baking powder) and modern appliances were introduced, waffles became easier to make. I concluded from the rich ingredients in these early recipes that "ye olde" waffles weren't your typical diner Belgian waffle but something more like a European Belgian waffle known as Gaufres. They were baked in irons over an open fire. The two pieces of the waffle iron fit more closely together than a typical modern waffle iron. 

Waffle iron from Wikipedia
Français : Moule à gaufres, Musée Lorrain (Musée des Arts et Traditions populaires)
English: Waffle iron, Musée Lorrain (Popular Arts and Traditions Museum)

Jessup Whitehead in The American Pastry Cookbook (1894) explains:
"Goffers are gaufres, and they are wafers or thin cakes, whence waffles which are, or used to be, called also soft wafers. But thin cakes were of more than one sort. Almond gaufres and some others area kind of candy cakes thin and crisp. Flemish gaufres are our waffles but made so rich that they are used as a pastry dish for dinner with jellies and marmalades. They are also used in all their richness for breakfast, where expense is no object but can hardly come under the head of breakfast bread in ordinary.

Flemish Waffles or Gaufres Very rich and delicate when directions are followed. "

You can read more about the history of waffles at The Historic Foodie and Manuscript Cookbooks Survey and read a history in French or see more images of antique waffle irons at La Cuisine Francasie D'Antan

How did you make it:
I chose to combine the original English recipe and the original Dutch recipe. I used Chef Peter Rose's modern adaption as a guide for measurements and cut that in half.

Eliza Leslie offered a similar recipe to the early Dutch one: 

Put two pints of rich milk into separate pans. Cut up and melt in one of them a quarter of a pound of butter, warming it slightly; then, when it is melted, stir it about, and set it away to cool. Beat eight eggs till very light, and mix them gradually into the other pan of milk, alternately with half a pound of flour. The mix it by degrees the milk that has the butter in it. Lastly, stir in a large table-spoonfull of strong fresh yeast. Cover the pan and set it near the fire to rise. When the batter is quite light, heat your waffle-iron, by putting it among the coals of a clear bright fire; grease the inside with butter tied in a rag, and then put in some batter. Shut the iron closely, and when the waffle is done on one side, turn the iron on the other. Take the cake out by slipping a knife underneath; and then heat and grease the iron for another waffle. Send them to table quite hot, four or six on a plate; having buttered them and strewed over each a mixture of powdered cinnamon, and white sugar. Or you may send the sugar and cinnamon in a little glass bowl."
---Directions for Cookery in its Various Branches, Miss Leslie [Philadelphia, 1849]. (p. 359)

I was also inspired by Jessup Whitehead's recipes, cutting the recipe in half for a quarter the quantity of hotel waffles. I used dry yeast and electric appliances including a modern electric waffle iron. I also adjusted the flavors for taste and made a sauce inspired by colonial flavorings. 

French Sweet Waffles or Gaufres Made without yeast

1 pound  flour
6 ounces of sugar
 14 eggs separated 
1 pint of milk
1 pint of cream
1 ounce of butter melted
1 cup of brandy
Separate the eggs. Mix flour sugar and salt dry in a pan. Beat yolks and milk together pour them in the middle and stir to a batter smooth and without lumps. Then add the brandy and melted butter. When about to bake whip the pint of cream to a froth and mix it in and then beat the whites up firm and add likewise. Bake soon while the mixture is creamy and light When the batter must stand and wait during a long meal a little baking powder should be beaten in after the lightness of the cream and egg whites has evaporated. This makes fine pancakes as well.

I left out the brandy and added nutmeg and some orange juice to the batter of Whitehead's recipe for "Gaufres without yeast." I accidentally looked at the directions for waffles which say to beat the egg whites frothy instead of firm so I didn't beat my egg whites firm. That undoubtedly would change the texture of my pitiful waffle attempt. I ended up with something like pancake batter. I added some extra sugar to the batter to get the waffles to brown better at a lower temperature as recommended by Jessup Whitehead.

Guafres Without Yeast
My modern interpretation of the early yeast raised waffle recipes:

4 T+ butter
1/2 c. milk
2 large eggs
1 c. flour
1/8 tsp.salt
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry yeast

Melt  butter in one pan. Heat ½ c. whole milk on the stove until lukewarm. Add melted butter to the milk. Whip 2 large eggs in the mixer until fluffy. Add milk/butter mixture to eggs. Sift flour and add salt and sugar. Poured yeast into dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix. This makes a very thin batter. Leave to rise until thicker and bubbly. Stir it down. Heat electric waffle iron and spray with cooking spray. Cook your waffles according to waffle iron directions. Turn once while baking. 

I then made a sauce of orange juice (instead of orange flower water), sugar and nutmeg, leaving out the sack/sherry. 

How Successful Was It?:
Making yeast raised gaufres/waffles was a disaster. I could NOT get the yeast to make my liquids all foamy. After two failed attempted, I used the remaining yeast in the package and added it to the DRY ingredients. This was not entirely successful. My yeast seized up into clumps but I left the batter in the sun for about an hour and a half and it became thicker and a little bit airy. I stirred that down and turned on my waffle iron.

Gaufre yeast batter 
My waffles baked quickly. The taste is a little unusual - more like a bread than a waffle. The sauce adds some flavor and improves the taste. My parents both liked the yeast waffles a lot. 

Whitehead's recipe makes a more traditional waffle taste with the added taste of nutmeg. I sprinkled the waffle with sugar and cinnamon as Eliza Leslie recommends for her waffles. These waffles tasted a little better to me and my parents couldn't tell the difference between the two. Both waffles tasted better the next day heated up with cinnamon and sugar sprinkles on top.

Time to Complete: The better part of two days (hours).

Total Cost:   $13.96 plus flour and sugar, orange juice and nutmeg I had on hand.

How Accurate Is It?: 
Mostly accurate.