Health

Reviving old recipes

Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT) July 10, 2015
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Through their "Cooking in the Archives blog," Marissa Nicosia and Alyssa Connell have discovered a treasure trove of fascinating recipes from the 1600s to the 1800s. These "desart cakes," written before 1793, are more like a thin, crispy spice cookie. Click through our gallery to see more of their favorites. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
Pudding was akin to our modern love of cupcakes, Connell said. This curious recipe for "carrot pudding" from 1730 turned out surprisingly well, resulting in a pumpkin pie-like custard that was absolutely delicious. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
This "cheap soupe" recipe from a manuscript compiled between 1750 and 1825 is economical and tastes excellent. The hearty soup includes beef, onions, barley, peas and potatoes. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
Not all of the historical recipes are as tasty. "Fish custard," as it turns out, is not the best combination of fish eggs, sugar, dates, rosewater, almonds, eggs and milk. Writing about the disastrous experience was more fun than tasting it, Connell said. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
"Fry'd cream," from a manuscript dated to 1723, is like a very rich French toast made with white wine and heavy cream. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
"Beer cakes" were another favorite, similar to "desart cakes," with a nice deep flavor from the combination of butter and beer. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
"Herb soop," recorded in the late 1700s, is a green soup with vegetables and flavorful herbs. It's one of the recipes that would be easily customized to fit personal taste because of all the possible substitutions. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
"Jumballs" have become one of Nicosia's favorites, even becoming a regular part of her holiday cookie baking. These spiced cookies are very similar to shortbread. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
"Maccarons of valentia almonds" were considered "delights for ladies" in 1655. Nicosia served them at a holiday party, to the delight of her guests, and describes them as "fragrant and nutty." courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
Though many things we would consider to be cookies or muffins today were originally called cakes, these "Potingall/Portugal cakes" are actual little "moist and dense" cakes. Connell baked some of them in a madeleine pan for fun. courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia
Recently while making "soda cake," Nicosia used her own grandmother's handwritten Irish soda bread recipe to develop a method, combining her own heritage with an early 19th-century recipe from the Earl of Roden Commonplace book.

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courtesy Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia