Mondamin Cake – melts in the mouth like butter

Food manufactures used to produce proper books with hard covers and illustrations of their goods – I’m looking at a really nice book i have for cornflour recipes, not something I could imagine being produced these days. When I first knew my mother-in-law i noticed that her pantry had more than enough packets of cornflour, and I was a little puzzled, a little amused, and to be honest a little superior. Who on earth needs so much cornflour, who needs any cornflour? To be fair, she lived on her own and really didn’t need six packets, but I’ve been shopping and bought something I thought we’d run out of only to find we have more than enough back home in the cupboard! I did begin to use cornflour more after that, and now I make sure I always have some, in fact I think we may have two spare packs as well as the open one.

In my book, ‘Light Fare Recipes – for Corn Flour and “Raisley” Cookery’, I was intrigued by a recipe for Mondamin Cake which was describes as ‘a most delicious cake of fine texture that melts in the mouth like butter.’ What chocolate was described as ‘melts in your mouth not in your hand,’ and had an advert showing a white gloved hand opening to reveal the chocolate and not a melted mark in sight?

Back to Mondamin… where did the name come from? I looked it up and was offered:

  • Mondamin – one of the First Nations’ maize deities
  • Mondami -, Iowa
  • Mondamin Township – South Dakota, in Hand County, South Dakota
  • Mondamin – a crater on Ceres in the southern part of the dwarf planet
  • USS Mondamin – a US Navy sloop-of-war or frigate intended to be built in 1864 but was cancelled before work started

Of these names obviously the original one was the First Nation maize god who became widely known through Longfellow’s poem, Hiawatha. So the Brown and Poulson recipe is a nod to a corn god as it contains cornflour, and in fact there was a brand of cornflour called Mondamin. So this is the recipe:

Mondamin Cake

  • 8 oz Brown and Poulson’s “Patent” cornflour
  • 1 oz Brown and Poulson’s “Raisley” (a raising agent, so I guess baking powder will do the job)
  • 8 oz butter
  • 6 small eggs, 2 separated
  • 7 oz castor sugar
  • 1 oz chopped candied lemon peel
  1. beat the butter to a cream
  2. add one beaten egg to the butter with one tbs corn flour and one of sugar
  3. beat for five minutes
  4. add the other three eggs in the same way
  5.  stir in the two egg yolks of the remaining eggs
  6. together with the remining cornflour, sugar and chopped peel
  7. beat for ten mins
  8. add the “Raisley” and stir lightly into the mixture
  9. pour into a buttered cake tin and bake in a moderate oven for 45 mins
  10. remove from the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool
  11. success in making this cake depends on mixing it well, and it should always be stirred in the same way

This is interesting:

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