Modern recipes and cooking guidance
from Modern Cookery for Personal Families by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Natural, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the arrival of the making press in the 16th and 17th centuries, numerous publications were written on the best way to control households and prepare food. In Holland and Britain opposition grew between the respectable people as to who can prepare probably the most lavish banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had progressed to an art form kind and excellent cooks were in demand. Many printed their very own publications outlining their recipes in competition using their rivals. Many of these publications have now been translated and can be found online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability caused the emergence of cookery writing in its modern form. Though eclipsed in recognition and respect by Isabella Beeton, the initial modern cookery author and compiler of recipes for the house was Eliza Acton. Her pioneering cookbook, Contemporary Cookery for Individual Individuals published in 1845, was targeted at the domestic reader rather than the professional cook or chef. This is immensely powerful, establishing the structure for modern currently talking about cookery. It introduced the now-universal practice of list the ingredients and suggested preparing times with each recipe. It involved the initial formula for Brussels sprouts. Contemporary cook Delia Smith called Acton “the most effective author of recipes in the British language.” Contemporary Cookery long survived Acton, outstanding in publications until 1914 and accessible more recently in facsimile.

Acton’s work was a significant influence on Isabella Beeton, who published Mrs Beeton’s Book of Family Administration in 24 monthly parts between 1857 and 1861. This is helpful information to owning a Victorian family, with advice on fashion, kid treatment, dog husbandry, poisons, the administration of servants, science, faith, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, over 900 contained recipes. Many were illustrated with colored engravings. It is said that most of the recipes were plagiarised from early in the day authors such as Acton, nevertheless the Beetons never claimed that the book’s contents were original. It was supposed as a trusted manual for the aspirant heart classes.

The National cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) printed in 1896 her famous perform The Boston Cooking College Cookbook which included some 1,849 recipes.