Victorian era candy for St. Valentine’s Day. And these come from America! They appear in the first cookbook to reveal how The White House entertained; The White House Cookbook.
Published back in 1887, it is still a stand-out cookbook, as it features Chef Hugo Ziemann. As noted by the cookbook, Ziemann was caterer for Prince Napoleon (the Napoleon who died fighting Zulus in Africa), steward of the famous Hotel Splendide in Paris, “conducted” the celebrated Brunswick Café in New York, and the Hotel Richelieu in Chicago.
Mrs. F.L. Gillette co-authored the cookbook, adapting recipes “to the practical wants of average American homes.” Here is the recipe as printed, except Trumpeterhill separated ingredients, added explanations and suggested substitutions, in italics.
The 1887 White House Cookbook Raspberry Creams
1 tsp. raspberry jam
Lump of French Cream Candy (recipe follows) ~Consider substituting with Candiquick
Few drops Natural Red Dye #4/cochineal extract (see http://www.livescience.com/36292-red-food-dye-bugs-cochineal-carmine.html) ~may substitute with red food coloring of your choice
Few drops raspberry juice
Stir enough confectioners’ sugar into a teaspoonful of raspberry jam to form a thick paste; roll it into balls between the palms of your hands.
(May substitute Candiquik http://candiquik.com to shorten the candy-making process.) Put a lump of “French Cream” into a teacup and set it into a basin of boiling water, stirring it until it has melted; then drop a few drops of cochineal coloring to make it a pale pink, or a few drops of raspberry juice, being careful not to add enough to prevent its hardening. Now dip these little balls into the sugar cream, giving them two coats. Lay aside to harden.
Remember to keep stirring the melted cream, or if not it will turn back to clear syrup.
French Cream Candy
4 c. white sugar
1 c. water
Put white sugar and water into a pan and let it boil without stirring for ten minutes. If it looks somewhat thick, test it by letting some drop from the spoon, and if it threads, remove the pan to the table. Take out a small spoonful, and rub it against the side of a cake bowl; if it becomes creamy, and will roll into a ball between the fingers, pour the whole into the bowl.
When cool enough to bear your finger in it, take it in your lap, stir or beat it with a large spoon, or pudding-stick. It will soon begin to look like cream, and then grow stiffer until you find it necessary to take your hands and work it like bread dough. If it is not boiled enough to cream, set it back upon the range and let it remain one or two minutes, or as long as is necessary, taking care not to cook it too much. Add flavoring as soon as it begins to cool.
It can be made into rolls, and sliced off, or packed in plates and cut into small cubes, or made into any shape imitating French candies. … In working, should the cream get too cold, warm it.
To be successful in making this cream, several points are to be remembered; when the boiled sugar is cool enough to beat, if it looks rough and has turned to sugar, it is because it has been boiled too much, or has been stirred. If, after it is beaten, it does not look like lard or thick cream, and is sandy or sugary instead, it is because you did not let it get cool enough before beating.
It is not boiled enough if it does not harden so as to work like dough, and should not stick to the hands; in this case put it back into the pan with an ounce of hot water, and cook over just enough, by testing in water as above. After it is turned into the bowl to cool, it should look clear as jelly. Practice and patience will make perfect.