Category Archives: Icing and Decorating Cakes

Day 258: Whipped Cream Filling

I decided to make an icing or filling for yesterday’s sponge cake. I thought the Whipped Cream Filling might be good and the recipe was contributed to The New Galt Cook Book (1898) by someone new — Miss Allie Elliott of London.

I whipped 1 cup of cream and then added 1 1/2 tablespoons of icing sugar. Once that was blended I added a bit of rosewater and decided the lemon should be lemon flavouring rater thn lemon juice. Finally I added the almonds and then spread it between the layers of cake. Time to taste.

Miss Allie Elliott of London is a mystery. I’d assumed she’d be easy to find. I’m assuming the London refers to London Ontario not London England.

The whipped cream filling works well with this cake. It is light tasting. I happen to like rosewater and it combines well with almonds.

Miss Allie Elliott, London

One pint cream whipped stiff; three tablespoonfuls powdered sugar, one-half pound sweet almonds blanched and cut into mall pieces. Flavor with lemon juice and rosewater. It should be put between the layers and on the top and sides of the cake. If the cream is not stiff enough one teaspoonful of dissolved gelatine may be added. Very nice.


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Day 232: Almond Icing

I made a cake last night and thought it would be a good idea to try icing it tonight. The cake has almonds in it so I think Almond Icing would be a good complement. A woman in Woodstock Ontario named Mrs. Robertson contributed the recipe for the 1898 New Galt Cook Book.

Just as I cut back on the cake recipe, I’m going to reduce this recipe too. I’m cutting it to 1/3rd. I separated 1 egg and whisked it until it was very light. Then I whisked in 3 1/3 tablespoons of fine white sugar. Once those were well blended I added the 1/3 cup of ground almonds along with a drop of bitter almond. I stirred it and then started to spread on the cake. I cut a piece to sample.

Mrs. Robertson might be Jessie Fisher. She was born in Scotland in 1841 and was about 12 when the family emigrated to Scotland. They settled in Galt and it was there that Jessie married Duncan Robertson. They went to Woodstock. An 1894 city directory shows that Jessie is widowed and living at 514 Canterbury. I had a look at it via Google map and it looks like the house is still there. I have a friend who works in Woodstock so I’m hoping she can go and check it out. Jessie died in 1920.

As I took my first bite of iced cake I started to wonder if this was an icing that was supposed to be browned in the oven. I didn’t think it was a cooked icing but perhaps it is like a meringue and needs to be broiled. I decided to taste it “raw” and then judge. It is fine as is but could be interesting if it was toasted. It certainly enhances the almonds in the cake and I actually like it. Of course these days we don’t trust anything with raw eggs. Perhaps it could be made with pasteurized egg whites? I used ground almonds but chopped almonds would be better. Bitter almond can be hard to find. I get it in a little tiny bottle at a baking supply store that specializes in cake decorating.

Mrs. Robertson, Woodstock

Three eggs, whites, beaten light, one cupful blanched almonds, chopped fine, ten tablespoonfuls pulverized sugar; flavor with a little bitter almond.

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Day 213: Icing for Cake

Last night I made a cake so tonight I’m going to ice it using Mrs. Walker of Calgary’s recipe Icing for Cake. It’s in the Icing and Decorating Cakes section of the 1898 New Galt Cook Book.

I measured out the 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup milk and put it in a saucepan. I turned up the heat and stirred until it starts to boil. As soon as it boiled I stopped stirring and waited for three minutes. Well that was the idea but this recipe would work far better on a wood stove than with an electric stove. I ended up holding the pot over the burner until I reached the point that it was bubbling but not boiling or risking it burning. After three minutes I removed the an from the heat and started beating. I wasn’t sure how long to beat it but began to realize it was becoming a bit thicker and whiter. I stopped when it was starting to be thick on the sides of the pan and the sound it made as I beat changed to a sort of slop sound. I poured the icing over the cake and it ran but then set quite quickly. It was time to taste.

Mrs. Walker of Calgary has to remain a mystery since there are many Mrs. Walker’s in Calgary in 1891. Perhaps I’ll discover someone in Galt who ends up in Calgary but for now she is an unknown.

This is a very sweet icing. It reminds me of the icing on some doughnuts. I think it could use some flavouring but it turned out to work well with the Tilden Cake from yesterday. I might just keep this recipe handy. It makes a reasonable amount and is quite simple to make.

Mrs. Walker, Calgary

One cup granulated sugar, one-quarter cup milk. Boil together thee minutes. Stir until it boils, when it is boiling do not stir. Move back and only let it bubble and not burn (for three minutes). Then beat well, put on cake rather thin as it gets hard soon. If not even take a knife wet it in cold water and smooth it over.

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Day 58: Icing with Cream

Although yesterday’s cake was okay I thought I’d try improving it by making an icing using a recipe from the 1898 New Galt Cook Book. I selected Mrs. Killer of Waterloo’s recipe for Icing with Cream.

This is a very simple recipe that makes just the amount of icing needed. I decided to put 1 cup of icing sugar (powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar) in a small bowl. Today we don’t see the term sweet cream but it simply means cream that isn’t sour. It is fresh cream vs sour cream. There’s no need to add anything to your carton of cream. I used whipping (35%) cream but you could use whatever you have on hand. How much cream should I use? I started with 1 tablespoon of cream and stirred. I needed more cream and ended up adding another 2 tablespoons before the icing was a spreadable consistency. I spooned it onto the cake and spread it out. I let it sit a few minutes before cutting a slice of cake and sampling the icing.

Mrs. Killer could be one of three women married to men with the surname Killer living in the town of  Waterloo in 1891. Is she Hannah Charlotte Sugget wife of merchant Caspar Killer, Elizabeth Mogk wife of John Killer, or is it Christina Schneider wife of Johannes Nicholas Killer and mother of John and Caspar?

This is the sort of icing I know from childhood since we always mixed icing sugar with warm water or milk. It was a special occasion if we made a butter icing. This sort of icing suits yesterday’s eggless cake. Next time I’ll add the nuts as I think it would have complemented the spices and raisins in the cake.

Mrs. Killer, Waterloo

Take icing sugar and mix with sweet cream until stiff enough, and then spread it on. It is very nice with chocolate icing over the white or with nuts cut up and put into the icing.

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