Fine Venetian Cake or Cakes

Ingredients

  • Almonds, 8 oz.
  • flour, 1 lbs.
  • butter, 8 oz.
  • sugar, ½ lbs.
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • Yolks of eggs, 3 to 4; preserve as needed.

Method

Take of sound Jordan almonds, blanched and well dried at the mouth of a cool oven or in a sunny window, seven ounces, full weight, and one of bitter almonds with them; pound the whole to a perfect paste with a few drops of white of egg or orange-flower water; then mix them thoroughly with one pound of flour and eight ounces of butter (which should be cool and firm, or it will render the paste too soft), and break this down quite small; then add eight ounces of pounded sugar, on part of which the rind of a fine lemon has been rasped previously to its being crashed to powder. Make these into a paste with the yolks of four eggs, or with rather less should they be large, for if too moist, it will adhere to the board and roller. To make a Venetian cake of moderate size, roll the paste less than a quarter of an inch thick, and cut with the larger fluted cutter, shown, six or seven portions of equal size; lay them on lightly floured or buttered tins, and bake them in a slow oven until they are firm and crisp, and equally coloured of a pale brown. Should they seem to require it, lay them one on the other, while they are still warm, and place a baking-tin, with a slight weight upon them to render them quite level. When they are cold, spread upon each a different kind of choice preserve, and pile the whole evenly into the form of an entire cake. The top may be iced, and decorated with pistachio-nuts, or grains of coloured sugar, or with a wreath of almond-paste leaves. There are many varieties of this dish, which is known by different names in different countries. It is sometimes called a Neapolitan Cake, sometimes a Thousand Leaf Cake à la Française. It is occasionally made entirely of almond-paste, and highly decorated; it may be formed also of many layers of puff or fine short crust cut of uniform size, or gradually less, so as to leave round each a clear border of an inch wide, which may be covered with coloured icing, or ornamented with preserved fruit, tinted almonds, grains of white or pink sugar candy, or aught eke that the fancy may direct.

To make the small Venetian cakes, roll the paste directed for the large one at the commencement of this receipt, into balls, flatten them with the hand to about the third of an inch thick, brush them with beaten egg, and cover them plentifully with white sugar-candy crushed about half the size of a pea: bake them in a slow oven.

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