"Every body in and about Highbury, who had ever visited Mr Elton, was disposed to pay him attention on his marriage. Dinner-parties and evening-parties were made for him and his lady; and invitations flowed in so fast that she had soon the pleasure of apprehending they were never to have a disengaged day.
...No invitation came amiss to her. Her Bath habits made evening-parties perfectly natural to her, and Maple Grove had given her a taste for dinners. She was a little shocked at the want of two drawing-rooms, at the poor attempt at rout-cakes, and there being no ice in the Highbury card-parties. Mrs Bates, Mrs Perry, Mrs Goddard and others, were a good deal behind hand in knowledge of the world, but she would soon shew them how every thing ought to be arranged" (Jane Austen, Emma, Chapter 34)
If you ever wondered what rout cakes were, they are something in between biscuits and mini-sponge cakes. I have recently bought a book "Dinner with Mr Darcy" by Pen Vogler, which is a cook book inspired by Jane Austen's novels and letters.
My attempt at rout cakes is a variation on the recipe from the book.
100g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
50g softened butter
50g caster sugar
1 medium egg
50g dried blueberries (or currants)
1tsp orange blossom water
1tsp rose syrup
Mix the flour with the softened butter and baking powder. Add the sugar and blueberries, then add the egg and all the liquid ingredients.
Now the recipe in the book suggests heaping teaspoons of the mixture onto greased baking sheets, but I was right to be suspicious about it. I only added 4 teaspoons onto the tray, and in the hot oven they immediately melted into one big puddle. I took the tray out at once, scraped the contents into the mixing bowl, and then spooned the cake batter into a cupcake tray (which has been sprayed with oil). Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180C, until golden brown.
My rout cakes were more like sponge cakes in texture rather than the rock buns.
The original rout cakes were baked with dried currants, but I only had dried blueberries.
I suspect the snooty Mrs Elton would consider my attempt at rout cakes poor indeed, but they were lovely nevertheless, and there are none left.
Chris from Cooking Round the World and I are inviting you to recreate a meal, inspired by books and join in our #ReadCookEat challenge.
The idea is to choose a fiction book, either a world classic or modern fiction, and pick up a dish mentioned or described in that book and then recreate it in a recipe. Please say a few lines about your chosen book, and maybe even do a quote from the book.
If you decide to take part, please add the badge to your post and link up back to Chris and me, and either use a link-up tool or add the url of your post as a comment. Alternatively, email either of us with the link to your post (my email is sasha1703 at yahoo dot com).
The challenge will start on 1 May and will end on 30 May 2014.
I promise to Pin all blogs posts taking part in this challenge, as well as RT and Google+.