General Information

In the beginning

Oven Management and General Information

The information given below is around 1950 vintage

Oven Management.[Approximate settings]
Electric and solid fuel ovensGas ovens
Temperature in oFGas mark
Very slow - very cool225 - 250oFQuarter to half
Slow oven275 - 300oF1-2
Moderate325 - 350oF3-4
Moderately hot375 - 400oF5-6
Hot [quick]425 - 450oF7-8
Very hot475 - 500oF9

Guide to Oven Settings and Shelf Positions

Very slow ovenMeringuesMiddle shelves
Slow oven.Christmas cakesMiddle shelves
Moderate ovenBiscuitsMiddle shelves
"Victoria sandwich
"7-inch large cakes
Moderately hot ovenShort pastySmall items upper shelves
"Fruit loavesLarge items middle shelves
"Sandwich cake
"Small cakes
Hot oven.Scones and bunsAll items upper shelves
"“Ruff Puff” pastry
"Flaky Pasty
"Choux pastry
"Bread rolls and yeast


Switch the oven on prior to the start of cooking to warm it up and grease baking sheet or tins to avoid sticking. Take care when opening and closing the oven door to avoid the cake collapsing.

Weights and Measures

Liquid Measures

3 British standard teaspoons1 Tablespoon
2 British standard tablespoonsQuarter Gill
8 British standard tablespoons1 GillQuarter Imperial pint5 Fluid ozs
16 British standard tablespoons2 GillsHalf Imperial pint
4 Gills
1 Imperial pint
20 Fluid ozs

Note The average teacup holds about quarter pint.

Handy Measures

Given below are the number of tablespoons to give one oz.

Flour = 3Cheese grated = 4Coffee/cocoa = 3
Cooking fat/margarine = 2Currents = 2Dried yeast = 2
Jam/syrup = 1Sugar (icing) = 3Sugar, granulated and caster = 3


Sugar caster sugar dissolves easily and is most suitable for cake making, being finer it is more easily creamed than granulated sugar, which is better used for rubbed in cakes and scones. Demerara and other brown sugars are often used in rich fruitcakes and gingerbreads to improve the flavour and colour. Icing sugar should be sieved if at all lumpy.

Eggs are better used at room temperature, rather than cold from the refrigerator, but this is not essential. Eggs add richness to the recipe. Break eggs separately into a cup to ensure freshness. Standard eggs are used in all recipes, unless otherwise stated.

Liquids milk adds richness to a mixture and gives a closer, heavier texture. Water gives a lighter, short texture. Very cols water in necessary for certain pastries.

Fats use the types recommended in the recipes. Butter is used for its flavour and keeping qualities, but margarine is better for giving volume in creamed cakes. Use pure lard in pastry making. Proprietary vegetable shortenings are useful, but more expensive.

Fruit buy clean fruit, or wash and dry it before use. Damp fruit will sink to the bottom of the cake. Very syrupy cherries should be halved, then washed or dusted with flour. Add fruit after flour, for fruit coated with a sugary fat is likely to sink.

Conversion Data

Initially there may be a few problems in establishing the correct balance of old weight, and flour strengths, but a little perseverance will I am sure will be rewarded. Therefore in order to try and assist in the conversion of the old recipes and quantities into modern day terms the list below, we believe, will give considerable help.

Solid Measures

Breakfast cup, heaped, moist sugar. Half pound
Breakfast cup, level, caster sugar. “
Breakfast cup, level, rice. “
Breakfast cup, heaped, lard, butter of fat. “
Breakfast cup, heaped, chopped suet. Quarter pound
Breakfast cup, level, stale breadcrumbs. “
Breakfast cup, heaped, sago semolina tapioca. Half pound
Breakfast cup, heaped, flour, cornflour. Quarter pound
Breakfast cup, heaped, raisins, currants. Half pound
Tablespoon, heaped, finely chopped suet. 1 oz
Tablespoon, heaped, flour. 1 oz
Tablespoon, level, castor sugar. 1 oz
Tablespoon, heaped, coffee. Half oz
Tablespoon, golden syrup. 1 oz
7 lumps of sugar. 1 oz
Average size egg. 2 oz

Liquid Measures

Breakfast cupHalf pint or two gills
TeacupQuarter pint or 1 gill
Wine glassHalf gill
6 tablespoonsOne teacup or quarter pint
4 teaspoonsOne tablespoon
4 GillsOne pint
2 PintsOne quart
4 QuartsOne gallon


This site is intended to be used for the preservation of old information, and we have decided to open this section of the web site to anyone who has any old recipes and is willing to share and display on this site. If you have any favourite recipes you wish to share with us please use the contact page to send us the information. Thank you.