In 1604 Lady Elynor Fetiplace put together a commonplace book – her receipts for food and medicine. In 1986 Hilary Spurling published excerpts form this collection, with notes and explanations.
I was able to borrow this volume, but somehow I never bought a copy for myself.
It wasn’t until this century that I got the transcription from Stuart Press. (The Complete Receipt Book of Ladie Elynor Fetiplace: Late Tudor/early Stuart. Never before published in full this is a 3 volume set transcription of the whole original text. About 90% of the work is household remedies from a country gentlewoman the remainder mainly culinary. Stuart Press )
In historical documents, nothing beats the real thing. Lacking that, the next best thing is an image of the real thing, a photocopy or an electronic image, some sort of facsimile. But even then there are nuances that can be easily overlooked. Skepticism is an important tool of historical research. Transcript is next best from that, and it’s only if you assume some error and omission are present.The question is where and what…..and move forward anyhow.
And in this transcript is a recipe To make Chocolate Cream. It’s on the same page as a Barley Cream.
To make Chocolate Cream
Take a Quart of cream, 3 ounces of Chocolate grated, boyle it well together & let it stand till tis cold, & then put in ye whites of 6 Eggs beaten to a froth & sweeten it to your Taste, and then mill it up.
The Complete Receipt Book of Ladie Elynor Fetiplace. Vol. Three. Transcription. Stuart Press: 1999. p.38.
To Make Chocolate Cream in January 2016:
- Take a quart of cream – we used heavy whipping cream
- 3 ounces chocolate – we use a 2.7 ounce disk of Taza
Grate the chocolate into the cream and heat, while stirring to get the chocolate all melted
The ‘A’ plan for cooling this off was to pour it out of the pot and into a bowl, which we could put in the snow…but no snow this January day, not even very much cold (this is NOT a complaint!) so we had to haul it into a fridge to cool.
- Because 21st century chicken aren’t raised quite the way they were in the past, and Salmonella is an issue with raw eggs, I had searched , unsuccessfully for pasteurized eggs. I ended up with pasteurized egg whites, so we didn’t actually crack any eggs for this dish. used a wire whisk for the whipping, lacking a chocolate mill.
Sweetened with a little sugar, whipped some more……
There was none left.
Sometimes the past should be repeated.
Again and again.