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Born just two years after Mozart, in 1758, in 1800 Nelson with Lady Hamilton had the occasion of visiting Esteráhzy personally and of listening to Haydn's famous Mass In Angustiis, then generally called Nelson Mass.

Enjoy these original Mozartian recipes!

The English modern version of these recipes is an exclusive property of MozartCircle.
Pheasant & Mozart
An English patriotic biscuit: those Nelson's Balls, which became Bullets!
Nelson Balls & Nelson Puddings
1. Nelson Balls [for kids] (1800?)
2. Nelson Puddings [for adults] (1800?)
A famous 1800s English patriotic biscuit, which received many names: Nelson Balls, Nelson's Balls, Nelson's Bullets, Waterloo Balls (in honour of Wellington)!
Before Mozart (1890), Nelson already had his own confectionery balls!

Nelson Balls were typical English patriotic biscuits of 1800s. They were usually eaten by kids and, since the red colour used, in many cases, was probably lead, journalists tried to put an end to the very long tradition of giving such biscuits to kids. In fact, Nelson Balls were common at the beginning of 1800 and in 1808, then, in 1815, they became Waterloo Balls, in honour of Wellington, and, in the end, they appeared in Cookbooks again as Nelson Balls and as Nelson Puddings from 1823 to, at least, 1866. These biscuits were also well known in the United States in the area of New York (ca. 1823).

In 1800s England there was also another patriotic confection "dedicated" to Napoleon: it was the lollipop "Bonaparte's ribs", a comic reference to Napoleon's new marriage with Marie-Louise, the daughter of the Austrian Emperor Francis II... It was so popular and successful that its inventor suddenly became very rich and could retire in ca. 3 years!

Apart from the Waterloo Balls, Wellington had other sweetmeats: the Pillars of Wellington and Gibraltar Rock were sweetmeats flavoured with ginger and popular until 1850s.

This is the main recipe, which has a well known series of variant versions (see infra). This recipe is very similar to the recipe of an old Italian biscuit. The scarce quantity of sugar is due to the fact that the Nelson Balls, once ready, were certainly covered with some additional sugar like the old Italian biscuit.

A) Original quantities /3:
flour (450gr.)
butter (75gr.)
sugar (75gr.)
[milk (125ml.)]
lemon zest (finely minced instead of lemon essence)
Then you must add some sugar icing (possibly red) or sugar and milk topping, like in the Italian recipe and according to other sources on Nelson Balls.

B) Quantities of the old Italian biscuit:
flour (450gr.)
butter (90gr.)
sugar (135gr.)
milk (125ml.)
lemon zest (finely minced)
salt (1 pinch)
Then you must add some sugar and milk topping or icing.

C) Quantities if you want a biscuit without sugar icing or topping:
flour (450gr.)
butter (150gr.)
sugar (200gr.)
[milk (125ml.)]
lemon zest (finely minced)

D) For the Red Colour, that, as it seems, was typical of Nelson Balls, do not use "lead", but you can colour the balls with a red sugar topping or icing or with alchermes, when the balls are ready.

E) For the flour, remember that you can use an extra-finely ground semolina (like in the old Italian recipe), instead of flour, or a mixture of flour and extra-finely ground semolina.

F) Another 1800s well known variant added some treacle to the ingredients of the Nelson Balls main recipe.


1. Put the softened butter in a bowl with flour, sugar, lemon zest and warm milk.

2. Work the dough, until it's ready and homogeneous.

3. Put the bowl with the biscuit dough into the refrigerator and keep it there from 30 min. to 1h.

4. Then break the dough and start creating small balls about the size of a walnut.

5. Put the Nelson Balls in an oven casserole. If you want to create some sugar and milk topping, you can now brush the surface of the biscuits with some milk and pour some sugar on them.

6. Put the casserole in an oven 180°, until the biscuits are light golden-brown (until golden-brown if you have used the milk and sugar topping). If you need to further dry them after they are ready, put the casserole again in oven ca. 90°, until they are as you wish them.

7. If you didn't use the milk and sugar topping, you can create now some common red sugar icing or you can simply rapidly plunge them in the alchermes. 

3 lbs flour
˝ lb butter
˝ lb sifted sugar
Essence of lemon to flavor.
Mix up very stiff with milk; place in a cloth for a half hour; break smooth with a biscuit break; mould into small balls about the size of a walnut; bake in a rather quick oven, and put in a warm place to dry.

Even though the recipe given here supra is the only one complete still surviving, we know that a few alternate versions existed. In particular, it was rather common to add some treacle to the original recipe and then to colour the balls with some red colour. The dimensions also came in different sizes from that of a walnut to that of a golf ball (since they were called also small cakes).


6 Nelson Balls
butter (melted; ca. 100gr.)
white wine (1 glass; sherry, white port or marsala)
sugar (1 spoonful; pounded)


1. Put the 6 Nelson Balls in a Dutch oven.

2. When the 6 Nelson Balls are hot, put them on a dish.

3. Pour over them the melted butter and 1 glass of white wine.

4. Add 1 spoonful of pounded sugar.
Six Nelson's balls
Wine sauce
Put into a Dutch oven six small cakes, called Nelson's balls, or rice cakes made in small teacups or tins. When hot, put them on a dish, and pour over them some boiling melted butter, a glass of white wine, and a little pounded sugar.