Contemporary recipes and cooking advice
from Modern Cookery for Individual People by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Green, Audience, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the development of the printing press in the 16th and 17th generations, numerous books were prepared on how to control families and make food. In Holland and Britain competition became involving the noble individuals concerning who could make the most lavish banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had progressed to an art variety and excellent cooks were in demand. Many published their own publications explaining their recipes in competition using their rivals. Many of these publications have been translated and can be found online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability caused the emergence of cookery writing in their contemporary form. Although eclipsed in recognition and respect by Isabella Beeton, the first contemporary cookery writer and compiler of recipes for the home was Eliza Acton. Her groundbreaking cookbook, Modern Cookery for Individual Individuals printed in 1845, was targeted at the domestic audience rather than the skilled cook or chef. This is hugely important, establishing the format for contemporary authoring cookery. It introduced the now-universal training of list the components and recommended cooking times with each recipe. It involved the very first recipe for Brussels sprouts. Contemporary chef Delia Smith called Acton “the most effective author of recipes in the British language.” Contemporary Cookery extended lasted Acton, remaining in print till 1914 and accessible now in facsimile.

Acton’s work was an important influence on Isabella Beeton, who published Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Administration in 24 monthly components between 1857 and 1861. This is a guide to managing a Victorian house, with advice on fashion, child treatment, dog husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, research, religion, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, around 900 covered recipes. Many were created with shaded engravings. It’s said that most of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier authors such as for instance Acton, nevertheless the Beetons never said that the book’s articles were original. It was supposed as a trusted manual for the aspirant center classes.

The National cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) published in 1896 her famous work The Boston Preparing School Cook book which covered some 1,849 recipes.