Tag Archives: baking powder

Cobble Cakes

A new guest post from Cluedo! Find her others here, here , here and here.

I’d like to propose a new unit of time decay just like carbon dating, with at least the same level of accuracy, but with the added advantage that humans can release as much radioactivity into the atmosphere as they want without distorting the results.

I propose to call the time RHKD, short for “rate of Hussarenkrapferl  decay”, based on a German biscuit delicacy* that my grandmother used to bake**

This RHKD seems an adequate measure to guage the popularity of biscuits in my house. Preliminary empirical data gathering seems to suggest that 45 Hussarenkrapferl last circa 24 hours, among 5 flatmates here, which would be a formula of t/n/g, where t is the length of time in hours the portions last, n stands for the number of biscuits, and g for the number of greedy buggers who gobble them all up without leaving me some gourmands who have access to them.

On an inverse scale then, the closer RHKD is to zero, the more delicious the biscuit. The current RHKD for Hussarenkrapferl in my abode is therefore 0.10.

All of this highly scientific discussion of rates of decay is necessary to highlight one of the key problems with the recipe that I made from the very strange book that is the Kitchen Garden Cook Book by Audrey Ellis from 1972. I say strange because it seems to assume that people with allotments have beehives from which they can source plentiful honey that is required for the many honey-based recipes. It is also definitively a book for time- and real estate rich, because the diversity of recipes included suggests access to a big allotment and an even bigger amount of time to grow and source and nurse all those flowers, herbs, vegetables and bees required to prepare stuff from this book. A bit of a far cry from the She Quicky Cookbook .

Nevermind. After leafing through the book for the umpteenth time to find something that didn’t require me to cook cabbage roses in sugar or trying to figure out what the hell nasturtium is (Editor’s note: this), I chanced upon cobble cakes, a relatively simple affair of butter, sugar, flour and cornflour, baking powder, almonds, candid peel, cinnamon, ground cloves and ginger and rum. As you can see from the pictures below, the recipe calls for icing, but as the whole thing was already quite a sweet affair, I didn’t bother with it. It is an easy recipe that shouldn’t present problems to anyone who knows their way around a food processor. 

Cobble Cakes recipe 1

Cobble cake recipe 2

There were a couple of substitutions: unfortunately, I made these cookies just before the start of the consumerismfest season lovely Christmas season, so I couldn’t find candied peel in any of the three supermarkets I came across that day, but I did manage to find a jar of minced meat. I put in a little less than the candied peel required to make up for the increased sweetness. I also had run out of cinnamon and cloves****, but did have ginger and rum.

The picture below shows c 25 of the cakes, and although grumpy timer cat seems to disagree, they looked and tasted really quite nice. Their RHKD of 0.6 however indicates that they are nowhere near as moreish as Hussarenkrapferl – they are just a bit too sweet, and you wouldn’t want to eat more than one with a nice cuppa.

cakes

It may be that the citric flavour of the candid peel makes a difference, so if anyone wants to have a go, let me know your results!

* Ok ok, they are just posh jammy dodgers

**  When she baked them, they looked like perfect little round darling donuts with a dollop of jam nestling in the little hollow that she had made with her dainty thumb. Mine look more like they’ve been steam-rollered by a very small troll living in my oven. Like jammy dodgers then.

***A variation of the formula is n/t/(g+bw), where b is brownness and w the number of weirdo flatmates who prefer darker/burnt cookies, which entices at least one w in my house to increase the rate of decay, but this may be a highly localised variation of the formula and shall therefore be disregarded for future reference.

**** AlthoughI think that the sock monster may have a herbal cousin who smokes all the stuff. We usually have at least 5 jars of flavourless cinnamon in the cupboard.

Danish Cheese Loaf

This charming item was a gift from someone who knows my favourite kind of  vintage cookbook are those which contain both horrors for me to laugh at and things that might be OK to actually try and cook. Danish Dairy cookbook cover

I’m not an expert in Danish dairy, but luckily that canyon has been bridged, by this handy-dandy guide to the cheeses of Denmark. What more could a girl want?

Types of Danish Cheese

And I wasn’t joking about the range of recipes, either:

This is normal

This is normal

This is not.

This is not.

So what to choose?  When I realised ingredient list was basically a salad held together with dough (Walnuts! Blue cheese! Celery!), I knew I had to try it.

Danish cheese bread illustration

Danish Cheese loaf recipe

 

 

As I didn’t have any self-raising flour at home, I used plain and added some extra baking powder, but then fretted that I hadn’t added quite enough, also the dough felt rather heavy. I decided not to risk creating a flour-fat-seed brick and formed it into a round, flat loaf on a baking tray.

I also forgot about the celery – probably for the best.

Results
I enjoyed the amount of bits in this loaf greatly and would consider the proportions suitable for experimenting with any type of nut and crumble-able cheese. The black sesame seeds were overkill however, rendering the whole thing a bit fibrous and worthy.

If, like me, you have a mild fear of yeast, this is a fine recipe to keep in your arsenal.

Loafed by Elly

Apple Pudding-Pie

Of course I made this. I have a ready supply of apples and LOOK AT THE NAME:

Apple or peach pudding-pie or pie-pudding, no. 2, Yankee style

Amazing.

Recipe
Sweet milk, 1 cup
1 egg
Butter, 1 tablespoon, heaping
Baking powder,  1 teaspoon
Flour 1 cup or sufficient to make a rather thick batter (‘batter’ means like cake, better to handle with a spoon or easy to pour  out)
A little salt
Tart juicy apples to fill half an earthen pudding dish

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Bacon Cornettes

Look at this wonderful thing! A friend liberated it from his grandmother’s bookshelves for me and I appreciate it so very much. If I had unlimited shelf space and an extra few hours in the week, I’d probably collect and blog about etiquette and entertaining manuals as well, but there’s only so much time a person should devote to horrified chuckling at kaleidoscopic interiors, conformist gender roles and devilled ham.

 

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Herman the German Friendship Cake

Initially I had no plans to blog this as it’s not from a book, but after live-tweeting its assembly I thought I might as well. I remember my mother being given some of this starter about 25 years ago and I (who didn’t have to stir it daily or move it when doing other things in the kitchen), loved the resulting cake. The internet seems a little conflicted as to the origins – certainly Amish Friendship Bread is very similar.

Anyway, I was very pleased when a friend gave me some Herman starter in a yoghurt pot, in a Liberty’s bag, along with the strict advice that it was Day 3, and a piece of paper stating:

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Praline Squares

I love a brownie, as recently discussed, so was excited to try this recipe.Hilariously, the Betty Crocker cookbook contains a mixture of  proper recipes made from ingredients and entries like ‘Angel Cake: One box of Betty Crocker Angel Cake Mix. Assemble according to instructions for a quick and easy dessert’. This is from the Southern menu (as is the illustration of the devil, above).

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Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

On a recent trip to Scotland, I visited Leakeys (Greyfriars Hall, Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EY), the bookshop of your dreams – a hundred thousand volumes on tall wooden shelves in a converted 18th century church whose mezzanine also houses a café where incredibly friendly and efficient staff serve exactly the kind of food you want to eat in an area where it sloshes down with rain in August. My travelling companion, a fiction buyer-bookseller extraordinaire and glutton, was most impressed, stating that while popular, the bookshop-café combination is rarely well-executed.

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