These are from a Robert Carrier Cookery Card, I think from the seventies. They’re one of the least vile looking candidates in this pack of dessert recipes, and looked to me to be like an easy version of brandy snaps. I decided from the beginning to not bother with the poached pear garnish because I am very very lazy and don’t really like hot fruit much. Here’s the recipe:
There is something interesting going on linguistically with this cake, and by interesting, I mean wrong. The topping is called ‘strudel’, but is in fact ‘streusel’. Strudel is German for ‘whirlpool’ and refers to a layered pastry, whereas ‘streusel’ is German for ‘sprinkle’ and refers to a sugar-crumb-spice mixture which is used as topping. Take that, Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium (volume 3: Picture Cake Making, chapter 11 ‘Large Cakes and Gateaux’, Waverley, 1956)! Your reputation is no match for my pedantry and German A-Level!
No birthday party is complete without a cake. I gamely volunteered to make one and by volunteered, I mean insisted. It seemed only right and proper that I should choose one from the Sandwich Cakes chapter of Good Housekeeping’s Picture Cake Making (Waverley, 1955) but as I realised I hadn’t baked a sponge cake for atleast a year, something simple would be advisable.
As we had a range of guests attending. I decided to make a two sorts of cake based around the same recipe – a classic Victoria sponge and a spiced Victoria sponge.
I cannot explain what kind of curiosity overtook me when I decided to try this method from the Creams and Fillings section of the Good Housekeeping Cooking Compendium, volume 3: Picture Cake Making (Waverly, 1955).
In which I raid Anne Seranne again and make what it basically a tiramisu but with chocolate instead of cream and filter coffee and cognac, instead of espresso and marsala. This is from chapter 4, ‘Cornstarch, rice, farina, and other creamy desserts’ from The Complete Book of Desserts (1952, Faber and Faber for the Cookery Book Club).
Pavé au Chocolat (Blender method)
6oz semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
¼ cup boiling water or strong coffee
4 egg yolks
½ cup soft butter [this is translated at the front of the book as 4oz]
4 tablespoons cognac
½ cup cold water
Cream-filled biscuits seem to have dropped out of UK baking fashion in favour of American-style cookies, healthy things containing grated apple or dead easy things like flapjack (nice though all those can be). The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cookery Compendium (Waverly, 1955), however, is full of biscuits of every kind, from things like this (pretty much) and this to custard creams! I thought custard creams were dreamed up by some marketing person in, well, the past and I was basically right. They were a late 19th century invention, probably by Huntley & Palmers of Reading, probably to capitalise on the new popularity of custard powder. (More info here.)