This recipe comes from Hannah Glasse’s 1747 book, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. Fortified wine, known as "sack", was used in the original recipe. Sack was like a dry sherry, which serves as an excellent modern equivalent.

Makes 180 small cakes


5lb/2.4kg butter

5lb/2.4kg plain flour

5lb/2.4kg granulated sugar

4½fl oz/125ml rosewater

4½fl oz/125ml dry sherry

40 eggs

2.43lb/1.1kg currants


1. Put the currants in a bowl and measure the sherry and rosewater over them.

Set aside to allow the currants

to plump up.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and flour.

3. Rub in the butter.

4. Add the eggs and beat well. The mixture will become light and smooth.

5. Stir in the currants and the soaking liquid.

6. Put the mixture into greased patty pans and bake at 200?C/ 400?F for 15 minutes until the cakes are a golden colour.


=== Did you know? ===

l The long-running wars with the French during the 18th century made it hard to import French wines and increased the appeal of wine from Spain and Portugal

l The first curry recipe printed in England appeared in Hannah Glasse’s cookery book 260 years ago