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Posted 14 October 2021

Behind the scenes

Recipes from Waddesdon's Archive

To celebrate National Baking Week we've delved into our archives to bring you some delicious recipes to try at home.

We visited the archives at Waddesdon where Head Archivist Catherine Taylor showed us some of the historic recipes we hold, from coffee jelly and champagne sorbet to chocolate pudding and apple clafoutis. Dating from around 1920 to 1950, when James and Dorothy de Rothschild owned Waddesdon, the recipes would have been used by the chefs who worked in Waddesdon’s kitchens.

We’ve picked a few of our favourites to share with you below. Why not have a go at baking one? We’d love to see the results!

1. Fruit cake

Ingredients: 12 oz flour,  1 tsp baking powder, 8 oz butter, 8oz sugar, 6 eggs, 8oz glace cherries, 6 oz currants, 6 oz sultanas, 8 oz dates (cut into pieces, not too fine)

  • Cream the butter and sugar together
  • Work in the eggs one by one and beat well
  • Add the fruit, flour and baking powder
  • Bake in a well greased tin for 1 1/2 hours at a medium heat

2. Chocolate cake

Cake ingredients: 6 oz butter, 7oz sugar, 6oz melted chocolate, 4oz flour, 4oz ground almonds, 1 tsp baking powder, 4 Eggs

  • Cream the butter and sugar together
  • Add melted chocolate, flour, ground almonds, and baking powder
  • Stir four egg yolks into the mixture one at a time
  • Whip four egg whites and mix into the rest of the mixture lightly
  • Bake in the oven

Icing ingredients: 2 egg whites, 4oz fine chocolate, 4 oz sugar

  • Beat two egg whites very firmly
  • Mix in 4oz of fine chocolate and 4oz of sugar
  • Pour this over the cake when baked
  • Let it dry

3. Ginger nuts

1 lb flour, 1/2 lb butter, 1/2 lb demerara sugar, 1/2 lb golden syrup, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp bicarbonate Soda

4. Guards pudding

Ingredients: 6oz butter, 6oz breadcrumbs, 4oz caster sugar, 2 tbsp strawberry jam, 3 eggs, 1 tsp bicarbonate soda, 1/8 litre (125ml) Milk

  • Cream butter and sugar together
  • Beat in eggs one at a time
  • Add breadcrumbs, jam and soda
  • Mix with the milk
  • Steam for three and a half hours

5. Coffee jelly

Ingredients: 1 pint of strong coffee, 8 lumps (each lump between 3-6 grams) of sugar, 5 tbsp water, 4 leaves of gelatine (5 if small)

  • Boil together the sugar and water to make a syrup
  • Add the syrup to the pint of coffee
  • Stiffen this mixture with the gelatine
  • Pour into a mould and allow to get cold, then serve

6. Christmas pudding

Ingredients:  1 1/2 lbs suet, 3/4 lb plain flour, 1 1/2 lbs toasted white breadcrumbs, 3 lbs raisins, 3/4 lb sultanas, 3/4 lb currants, 1 1/2 lbs grated apples,  1/2 lbs brown sugar, 9oz chunky marmalade, 15 eggs, 7 1/2 tbsp milk, 4 1/2 oz shredded almonds, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp nutmeg, 3/4 tsp cloves, 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 1/2 Lemons (the juice and grated rind), 12 tbsp rum, 12 tbsp barley wine

  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Pour into dish, and cover with foil
  • Steam for 6 hours

Why not give one of these recipes a try, we’d love to see the results. Share them with us by using #mywaddesdon or tag us @WaddesdonManor. Get Baking!