Nova Scotia Archives

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Food, Drink and the Pleasures of Eating in Old-Time Nova Scotia


Composition Cake

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Modern Method

Composition Cake
2 lbs. flour
1 lb. sugar
1 lb. butter
6 eggs
1 glass brandy
1 pint milk
1 teaspoon pearlash, dissolved in a little milk and added quick before putting the cake in the oven.

Modern Adaptation:
3 ¼ cups flour
1 cup butter
3 eggs
1 1/8 cups sugar
8 ounces milk
6-8 ounces brandy
1 teaspoon baking powder

Grease and flour a 9-inch round pan. Cream softened butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat eggs and add. Then add flour, milk and brandy alternating and mixing each time. Place a small amount of milk in a glass jar, add baking powder, screw on top and then shake well until mixed. Add to bowl and mix quickly. Put in pan and bake in heated oven at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.

The Militia Laws of the Province of Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1828) includes hand written recipes glued into the published book. The reverse of a recipe for "Blackberry Wine" has the name Miss Millar. It is interesting that Nova Scotia Archives has another copy of Militia Laws without hand written attachments and the owner's name is Garret Miller (V/F vol. 143 no. 23). The Miller family Papers include a large collection of manuscript recipes in MG 1 volume 652 no. 7 and MG 1 volume 693 folder 3.

Date: ca. 1828

Reference: Miscellaneous Manuscripts Nova Scotia Archives  MG 100 vol. 1 no. 5