When I was writing Christiana's story, I spent a lot of time trying to find out about the chocolate creams which she used in her poisoning spree. I wanted to know what they what looked like, what they tasted like and so I searched and searched for a recipe. After many unsuccessful attempts, I accepted that Mr George Ware's recipe for chocolate creams, those used by Christiana, had likely died with his business. I did, however, find a number of other recipes from this period which are now in the public domain and which give a sense of what Victorian chocolate creams really looked and tasted like.
So, for those enthusiastic bakers out there, here are a selection of recipes for you to try. I'd love to hear from anyone who makes them! Poison is, of course, optional!
This first recipe is taken from The Royal Cookery Book by Jule Gouffe, published in London in 1869:
Here's another by Jules Gouffre, taken from his 1871 book, The Books of Preserves:
Here is a selection of my favourite Victorian Christmas cards. Because nothing quite gets you in the festive mood like depressed snowmen, dead robins and children trapped in teapots! Happy Christmas to you all!