Beth McConnell (LJMU 3rd year student)
I chose to bake a carrot cake because not only is it my specialty, but it also appears to be a quintessential Victorian bake. I managed to find the recipe from Mrs Beeton’s very own cookery book (1861), although she called it ‘Carrot Pudding’.
The thought of making this cake without using any modern electrical appliances was initially very daunting! Once I got into it I found that it was worth the challenge. However, I did find the imperial measurements difficult. Having only a set of metric scales I was forced to get the old mental maths skills going. This was necessary because I am not an overly-experienced baker and I was forced to rely on these measurements. I appreciate that others (particularly bakers from the Victorian period) would have been more inclined to ignore the measurements. They probably would have just used their senses and hands to measure the ingredients, a skill I simply do not possess!
The finished product from the instructions/recipe I was given left me with a plain-looking cake. As it was for the Victorian tea-party at LJMU I decorated it with buttercream icing and walnuts. I am aware that this is an American influence and is one now often looked upon as a cake from the US, but I guess I just wanted the finished product to look more appetizing to my more modern guests.