Historical Food Fortnightly Challenge #20:
The Challenge: Foods served at notable events in history
What kind of food was served at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth? What did Benjamin Franklin eat at the Constitutional Convention? Find a food item that was served at a notable event in history, research the recipe, and recreate the dish.
The event I initially chose was Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. Marking 50 years on the throne, the empire-wide celebration lasted all day on June 20, 1887. It began with an outdoor breakfast at Frogmore where Prince Albert was buried and ended with an elegant banquet for foreign kings and princes, along with the governing heads of Britain's overseas colonies and dominions. (Wikipedia)
Regular people celebrated with recipes they could make at home. Recipes like Jubilee Cakes, Jubilee Tea Cakes, Jubilee Buns, and Jubilee puddings appeared in cookbooks.
Ivan Day, "Jubilee Food Revisited", Food History Jottings
Ivan Day found this recipe for Jubilee Cakes
|Robert Wells, The Bread & Biscuit Baker's and Sugar Boiler's Assistant. 2nd Edition (London: 1890).|
Life Magazine, Vol. 40, no. 7, Sept. 7, 1959.
|Reading Eagle, August 28, 1959|
Apparently, Eisenhower was so taken with the drop scones served for tea, he request the recipe. On January 24, 1960, the Queen sent a handwritten reply to his request along with the recipe.
|Click Americana Queen Elizabeth II, via the National Archives American Bicentennial exhibit, 200 Years of Collections at the National Archives|
How Did You Make It:
First I made my own castor sugar by grinding granulated sugar in my Rocket Blender.
I halved the recipe and then stupidly blindly followed directions, forgetting to proof the baking soda in milk and cream of tartar.
The mixture did bubble and start to rise. I had to add more flour because the dough was very very wet.
I scooped out the batter onto greased baking sheets.
The recipe did not include baking temperature/time so I consulted Mary Berry's scone recipe and baked my scones at 425 for 13 minutes.
Time to Complete: Half an hour.
How Successful Was It?:
So-so. Not something I'd serve to Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry on the Great British Bake Off/British Baking Show but decent. The bottoms came out a bit too brown. They taste like biscuits rather than the Scottish scones I'm used to. I'm still waiting for my clotted cream to come in the mail so I made do with margarine and blueberry preserves.
How Accurate Is It?:100% for Queen Elizabeth II, moderately for Queen Victoria.