To Prepare Butter for Rich Cakes

Method

For all large and very rich cakes the usual directions are, to beat the butter to a cream; but we find that they are quite as light when it is cut small and gently melted with just so much heat as will dissolve it, and no more. If it be shaken round in a saucepan previously warmed, and held near the fire for a short time, it will soon be liquefied, which is all that is required: it must on no account be hot when it is added to the other ingredients, to which it must be poured in small portions after they are all mixed, in the way which we have minutely described in the receipt for a Madeira cake, and that of the Sutherland puddings To cream it, drain the water well from it after it is cut, soften it a little before the fire should it be very hard, and then with the back of a large strong wooden spoon beat it until it resembles thick cream. When prepared thus, the sugar is added to it first, and then the other ingredients in succession. For plum-cakes it is better creamed than liquefied, as the fruit requires a paste of some consistence to prevent its sinking to the bottom of the mould in which it is baked. For plain seed-cakes the more simple plan answers perfectly.