A wonderful and very well known Regency recipe for individual cakes studded with fruit and flavoured with rosewater and almonds; I am sure Jane Austen would have served these for afternoon tea on dainty plates with her bone china cups and saucers! I remember making these with my Mum when I was little, and of course licking the wooden spoon and scraping out the mixing bowl! They are easy to make and are delicious with an afternoon cuppa or for a lunch box treat. I have not found out the true meaning behind their name yet - but maybe they were aptly named as they were "fit for a Queen" to eat! The use of rosewater and almonds is a lingering memory left over from our Medieval cooking days and was still very much in evidence throughout the Regency period. This recipe makes about 24 to 30 Queen cakes - depending on the size of your tins, but the quantities can be cut back with ease. However, they DO freeze very well, so maybe making a full batch is a good idea - as long as they make it to the freezer!
- Pre-heat oven to 190C/374F/gas mark 5.
- Sift the flour and mace together.
- Beat the eggs.
- Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly.
- Beat the eggs, rose water and melted butter together.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
- Add the liquid mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Add the currants, sugar and the ground almonds and mix well.
- Put a heaped spoon of the cake mixture in to the paper cases, or a well buttered patty or muffin tin.
- Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until well risen, firm and golden brown.
- You can ice them if you wish, using a thin mixture applied with a brush, more like a glaze.
- Serve with elegant china and some freshly drawn English tea in the drawing room or the parlour!