Friday, August 12, 2011

Gourmets 50 Most Influential Women in Food...# 10 Hannah Glasse and Mrs. Isabella Beeton

Bakewell Pudding
Gourmet picked two women to share the number 10 spot. Both from England and both, I have to admit, I knew nothing about. Both come from a different time in history, a different century. Long before Martha Stewart there was Hannah Glasse.  She was known as the first domestic goddess; the queen of the dinner party. She was one of the most important cookery writers of her time. She was born in London in March 1708 and died September 1st 1770. She is best known for her cookbook, "The Art of Cookery" published in 1747. 
Then there is Isabella Beeton, universally known as Mrs. Beeton. She was also born in England in 1836 and died at age 28 in 1865. She actually died after giving birth from puerperal fever. Her husband had a publishing company and she started out publishing articles for his magazines. A women ahead of her time, commuting with her husband to work each day by train. Her cookbook is called  "The Book of Household Management" and,  was published in  1861 when Isabella was just 25.  These women were fascinating to read about however, I can't do their stories justice in one short blog post.  
Finding the recipes was a bit of a challenge. Trying to make sense out of them was intriguing. Most of the recipes had ingredients that are foreign to people of this century. Reading through the recipes was interesting and amusing. The pound cake had instructions that read  "beat with wooden spoon by hand for 1 hour". These women  did not have to go to a gym to get their exercise. We are just so lucky to have all the wonderful appliances that make our lives so much easier. What would I do without my trusty Kitchen Aide mixer? Oh, and  I can't tell you how much I rely on my food processor.
The recipe I chose to represent Hannah Glasse is "Another Sort of Little Cake". This is actually a little butter cookie similar to shortbread. I cut this recipe in half and it made about 2 dozen cookies.

Another Sort of Little Cake
Modern Redaction 
450g plain flour 
225g granulated sugar 
450g butter, softened 
Method: Beat the butter until creamy then cream together with the sugar. Add the flour, a little at a time, beating thoroughly to mix. Form into little cakes and place these on a greased baking tray. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180°C and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack and serve warm. 
These are called "Another Sort of Little Cake"
Perfect for an English Tea

A delicious little butter cookie

I picked Bakewell Pudding to represent Isabella Beeton. This was really delicious and was more like a bread pudding.

Bakewell Pudding

450ml/3⁄4 pint breadcrumbs
600ml/1 pint milk
3 eggs
55g/2oz sugar
80g/3oz butter
25g/1oz ground almonds

Butter a pie dish, add the breadcrumbs, covering them with a layer of strawberry or any other kind of jam.

Mix the milk with the beaten eggs, the ground almonds, and the butter and sugar.
Beat all the ingredients together, pour into the dish and bake for 1 hour in a 350 oven.

The bread crumbs were actually little pieces of day old bread

Just out of the oven

Really could have used some ice cream on the side
These are the other blogs that are involved in the project of  Gourmets list of the 50 Women Game-Changers in food. Thank you Mary of One Perfect Bite for organizing this group.  Check out these other talented ladies to see what they came up with for this challenge! 

Val -  More Than Burnt Toast  
Joanne - Eats Well with Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey   
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
 Mary - One Perfect Bite
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island 


  1. I love your tribute to these two women. You certainly were ambitious this week choosing to create recipes by both of the women; I could only get to one! The cookies and pudding look delicious!

  2. I am so impressed that you made two recipes...and both look fantastic. I love the little "cakes"...they do look perfect for tea. And the bakewell pudding couldn't be simpler, either. Lovely!

  3. OMG, the little cakes and the bread pudding look fantastic! Yum!

  4. Wow, Kathy-such a fascinating post about these two women back in history from over two hundred years ago. Love the old recipe, and what a great challenge.
    Never had a bread pudding like this, or the cookies. You have an amaing spirit to these challenges! What a great group for this project.
    Congratulations my dear friend...well done!

  5. I really enjoyed your post! I have heard of Mrs. Beeton but not the other lady and both of your dishes look delicious! The biscuits on the blue china look so beautiful and makes me want to sit down for an English tea!

  6. I'm so glad to finally know what bakewell pudding is---I've always wondered! The 'little cakes' must be early versions of the shortbread cookies I love to bake. I am also impressed that you made two dishes, just reading through the recipes was hard work!

  7. Jolly good job, old girl :-). This was a terrific post.I'm so glad you are with uson this journey. You a great addition to our group. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  8. I know nothing about these women either, Kathy, but your posts makes me want to! I am sure I have seen their books in the old book stores I go to and probably have picked up The Art of Cookery and looked through it. both of these recipes look so good and I will have to try them both. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

  9. I love this many great posts...and so many great women. I missed your FFwD post today, but you were definitely not alone in sitting this one out. Have a fabulous weekend!

  10. What an interesting cooking group you have here! Love your pick of women and their recipes, those cookies are adorable while the bakewell pudding is only one step away from bakewell tart, which I LOVE!

  11. That is such an interesting post. Those recipes certainly look inviting.
    I just bookmarked the zucchini - ricotta tart, I think that is something
    this family will definitely go for. Thank you for all the lovely comments
    and birthday wishes, it's been quite a week.

  12. Great job on the recipes and excellent tribute! Love the shortbread type "cakes", so easy!

  13. Fuss-free, and eash. I like both recipes. Bread pudding looks so great after coming out from the oven.

  14. How interesting to learn about these women. "Stir with wooden spoon hour" I just love that. I haven't really thought about the history of women in cooking but now you have me quite intrigued. Thank you.