Tuesday, May 3, 2011

1927 Recipe Redux- Little Gold Cakes

My son was viewing Woody Woodpecker cartoons this afternoon and those old toons reminded me of my Grandfather.  My Grandfather could impersonate that bird's iconic laugh perfectly.  I started thinking about my Grandfather and I remembered I had a cookbook from 1927.  It was published about the same time my Grandpa was born. 

I dug through my cookbooks and unearthed the old relic my Grandmother had given me.  I love old items, especially primary sources of history.  I bet you are thinking I have lost my marbles, but you would be surprised at what people included in cookbooks of that time period.

This book was titled Cakes and Desserts  Being A collection of 150 tested recipes for home cookery arranged by months.  It was originated and published by Woman's World Magazine Co. Inc. from Chicago, USA in 1927.  It is filled with "novel cakes and desserts" with every recipe guaranteed.

There are a few interesting tidbits you may enjoy reading...

  • It was published before thermometers and thermostats regulated oven temperatures.  I am now able to judge the heat of an oven by browning flour in a pie tin. 
  • The measurements could be a little tricky.  Did you know that butter the size of an egg is equivalent to 4 tablespoons or 2 ounces?  Do you know what measurement is equivalent to butter the size of a walnut?
  • "Eating cake between meals is not to be approved, but the plainer kinds are to be classed as wholesome addition to young folks' bill of fare."  
  • "An elder who hates plain stewed prunes as a breakfast beginning will ask for a second helping of prune whip or date pudding, getting his medicine certainly in most palatable form, but good for him just the same."
  • "As for desserts, this is the form in which children and those of delicate digestion may be persuaded to take milk in quantity, nourishing starches, fruit juices, dried fruits, cream and eggs."
  • "A youngster who rebels at the sight of a glass of milk, will cheerfully consume an equal amount of the lactic fluid in junket, ice cream or custard."
There are plenty of amusing "facts" packed in this little cookbook.  I have decided that I will try at least one or two of these recipes every month.  Apparently, they focus on economy, ease of finding ingredients, and reliability.  Let's see if these recipes past muster in 2011!

I want to let you know that there is a small blip included in this month's recipes about the importance of a tea cart. It's "a valuable aid in serving refreshments on the summer porch. Or for indoor parties and informal occasions it saves innumerable steps". So dust off those old tea carts and get ready to try a recipe from my Great Grandmother's era.

I thought I would start with the month of May.  There were so many items to choose from, but I decided on Little Gold Cakes. 

Little Gold Cakes
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup milk
7/8 cup sifted pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon orange extract
tiny pinch of salt

Boiled Icing

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat egg yolks and add.  Sift baking powder and salt with flour and add with the milk to the egg mixture.  Stir in flavoring.  Bake in little fancy tins, or in a sheet and cut in squares or diamonds.  Use 2 of the egg whites for the boiled frosting.

OKAY-  I tried my hand at these little beauties.  I went with a 350 degree oven and used little mini loaf pans.  It took about 20 minutes for the cake to cook and I turned them over immediately onto a rack.  I let them cool while I attempted the boiled frosting.  That was an adventure worthy of it's own post.

These little gold cakes are pretty and delicately flavored.  They would make a welcome addition to a Mother's Day brunch or a tea.


Bonnie said...

Oh, that book looks like so much fun to go through! How many cakes did this recipe make? And could you just bake it in a regular cake pan and have a regular cake? what about a cupcake tin?

Plain Graces said...

I love this little old relic! I used mini loaf pans and managed to get 6. I might have been able to make them smaller. I was wondering about cupcakes. I think that would work! It says you can make a sheet cake and cut them down to size...
If you try them, please let me know how they turn out!