The mixing and baking of cake requires more care and judgment than any other branch of cookery; notwithstanding, it seems the one most frequently attempted by the inexperienced.
To butter and fill pans, grease pans with melted fat, applying the same with a butter brush. If butter is used, put in a small saucepan and place on back of range; when melted, salt will settle to the bottom; butter is then called clarified. Just before putting in mixture, dredge pans thoroughly with flour, invert, and shake pan to remove all superfluous flour, leaving only a thin coating which adheres to butter. This gives to cake a smooth under surface, which is especially desirable if cake is to be frosted. Pans may be lined with paper. If this is done, paper should just cover bottom of pan and project over sides. Then ends of pan and paper are buttered.
In filling pans, have the mixture come well to the corners and sides of pans, leaving a slight depression in the centre, and when baked the cake will be perfectly flat on top. Cake pans should be filled nearly two thirds full if cake is expected to rise to top of pan.
One pint bread dough; one cup sugar, one-half cup butter, one egg, one-half teaspoonful baking powder. Spice, raisins, and citron to taste.
Mix one pint of milk with two quarts of flour and one cup of yeast, let stand in a warm place all night. In morning, beat until very light four eggs, one pound of sugar, three-eighths pound of butter, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon cinnamon, half a nutmeg; mix with the dough thoroughly, and beat for a long time. When raised again, dredge with flour, a cup of seeded raisins, half a pound of currants, one-fourth pound of citron; add to dough; put into the pan, and let stand to rise again for half an hour. Bake in an oven suitable for bread. This cake will keep a long time.