Modern recipes and preparing assistance
from Modern Cookery for Private Individuals by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Natural, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the advent of the making press in the 16th and 17th ages, numerous publications were published on how to manage families and prepare food. In Holland and Britain competition became between the respectable families as to who could prepare probably the most lavish banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had progressed to an art form variety and great cooks were in demand. Most of them published their own publications detailing their recipes in competition with their rivals. Several books have been translated and can be found online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability brought about the emergence of cookery writing in its modern form. Although eclipsed in reputation and respect by Isabella Beeton, the first modern cookery author and compiler of recipes for the house was Eliza Acton. Her groundbreaking cook book, Modern Cookery for Personal Individuals printed in 1845, was aimed at the domestic audience as opposed to the professional cook or chef. This was immensely important, establishing the structure for contemporary authoring cookery. It presented the now-universal practice of listing the ingredients and recommended preparing situations with each recipe. It included the initial menu for Brussels sprouts. Modern cooking Delia Smith named Acton “the most effective writer of recipes in the British language.” Contemporary Cookery extended survived Acton, outstanding on the net until 1914 and accessible more recently in facsimile.

Acton’s work was an essential impact on Isabella Beeton, who printed Mrs Beeton’s Book of Home Management in 24 monthly parts between 1857 and 1861. This is a guide to owning a Victorian home, with suggestions about fashion, kid attention, pet husbandry, poisons, the administration of servants, science, religion, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, over 900 covered recipes. Many were highlighted with coloured engravings. It is stated that most of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier authors such as for example Acton, nevertheless the Beetons never claimed that the book’s contents were original. It had been intended as a trusted manual for the aspirant heart classes.

The American cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) printed in 1896 her famous work The Boston Preparing College Cookbook which covered some 1,849 recipes.