I love collecting old cookbooks and baking pamphlets. Still it is quite rarely that I try some new recipe. Now I have been thinking to try two recipes from every book I own. It will take years to achieve this goal, but it will make a nice hobby. First two recipes I decided to try are from "Nuoren emännän herkkuleivosopas" (name of the book could be translated Young housewife's manual to delicious cakes, or something like that :). Book is from 1931 and the recipes are from the archives of princess Obolenski. I tried Sträussel-cake and brown sugar chocolate-cake. Both cakes were quite sweet for my taste but very good treats with coffee. I think the point in the 1930´s was to make sweet and luxurious cakes and cookies for coffee or tea table. If I have understood correctly people didn´t use to eat candy that much and pastries took that place. For example in the chocolate cake recipe it is guided to use 1 and a half chocolate bars which means 50 grams! (try to find chocolate bar that small nowadays :) Also the amounts of baking powder were amazing, next time I have to try these with smaller amounts and see if the result is as good as now. The brown sugar chocolate-cake was maybe the highest cake I have ever made and the consistence was very good and easy to slice into layers. I learned that mixing both baking powder and soda plus some eggs makes best base for layer cakes.
Brown sugar chocolate-cake
4 1/2 dl flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 dl butter
4 dl brown sugar ( I used 2 dl normal sugar and 2 dl farin sugar)
1 dl piimä-drink (dictionary translates piimä as a type of cultured milk
typical for Nordic countries, I think you could also use sour cream)
1 dl boiling water
1 tsp soda
50 g dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat butter and 2 dl sugar ( or the farin sugar) so that it is white and fluffy. Beat 2 dl sugar and eggs to foam and add to the butter mix. Mix properly and add half of the dry ingredients, piimä and then rest of the dry ingredients (right picture below). When adding ingredients use every time mixer to keep the fluffy consistence. Put soda, hot water and chocolate into a bowl and stir to even paste. Add the paste to the mix. Add vanilla. (left picture below) Pour the mix into a floured baking mold and bake in 175 Celsius degrees for about on hour (you can add some temperature in the later half of the baking).
When the cake is cold it is easy to slice onto layers. In the recipe there is butter and sugar filling but as the cake itself is very sweet I made a following filling.
2 dl cream
1 dl cream cheese
Beat the cream, add cream cheese and sugar. Fill the cake and decorate as you choose.
Old fashioned Sträussel-cake
500 g flour
175 g butter
6 tsp baking powder
100 g sugar
1/4 L cream
200 g butter
200 g sugar
3 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking powder
5 g cinnamon
250 g flour
juice from 1 lemon
First we will make the dough. Beat butter and sugar well, add eggs, flour & baking powder mix and finally cream. Use mixer at the beginning and when the paste gets thicker work with hands. Work the mix into even and beautiful dough. Roll the dough to 1/2 cm thin above a baking paper. Lift the dough with the baking paper to baking tray.
Now make the Sträusse-mix. Melt the butter and add sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Remember to still all the time while adding ingredients. Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and add to the mix to butter. Spread the Sträussel-mix on the dough to an even layer.
Bake in the oven in 215 Celsius degrees for about 15 minutes. Cut into squares and decorate with icing sugar.
To the end a little sneak peak from my coming Easter Egg Decorating Tips post. As I said in the former post I have been working with this for a week (and now two weeks :). There will be ideas how to paint, decoupage, knit, crochet and glitter your Easter Eggs this year. Hopefully I get this ready till the weekend so that you have enough time to try these ideas before Easter. Though egg painting and decorating is also a nice activity for the Easter holidays.
Have a good start for the weekend!