Friday, January 15, 2010

Hotwater cake and chocolate filling 1903

So back to my Good Housekeeping cook book from 1903.
There were two recipes that were one after another so I assumed that they were to be served together.
So first we have the Hotwater cake.
I was curious about this recipe because hot water? What could hot water possibly do to a cake that milk or regular water couldn't do?
Well I couldn't find that answer....I actually googled it a couple times.  The only thing I could come up with is that maybe back in the day they thought hot water would make the cake more moist?? Who knows.
All I know is that this cake is AWESOME. And is being added to my go-to recipe for a vanilla cake.
It had a dense/airy feel to it.  Was not too sweet and was moist.

So onto the cake!
Hot water Cake
by mystery woman from 1903-

1 cup butter (at room temp.)
1/2 cup Hot water
1/2 cup cold milk
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
**I added a tsp of vanilla extract**

I had to kinda figure out the instructions by myself, so here is what I did
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl mix Sugar and butter together  till creamed. Add hot water and mix then cold milk then mix. Stir in Vanilla.  In a medium bowl sift flour and baking powder together.
Add flour in one cup measurements rotating with one egg at a time till flour and eggs are gone...get it?
one cup flour
one egg
one cup flour
one egg etc.
Mix till everything is combined but do not over beat.
I baked mine in 2- 8 inch cake pans.....but tell you what.....the best part of this cake?? the these would be amazing as cupcakes! Because when you do it as a cake you have to cut off the top and you don't get that yummy crust that was on top.
So back to the instructions.
I baked my 8 inch cakes for about 40 minutes altogether? may have been more.  Set your timer at 30 minutes and check it every 5 after that till a tooth pick comes out clean.  Cool before assembling cake.

This chocolate filling was very rich.  I HAD to try this recipe....never have I ever seen a filling recipe call for flour and boiling water.  This to me was more like a chocolate ganache recipe then way it turned out.  Not sure if I will do this one again since I have a better chocolate ganache recipe....this was really good, but a lot of work.

Chocolate Filling
by Mystery woman from 1903

In a medium saucepan:
2 Heaping Tbsp flour
2 Heaping Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
a little salt (I did 1/4 tsp)
Small piece of butter (I did one Tbsp.)
A little cold water (I did 2 Tbsp enough to moisten the dry ingredients)

Add one cup boiling water and whisk until no clumps.
Stir constantly over a double boiler  until thickened.  This took about 15 to 20 minutes of stirring....ugh....but I do have to say it was worth it, it was so neat to see it go from total liquid to frosting consistency within a minute.
Let  filling cool before using....and try not to taste it nonstop while it is sitting there staring at you.

Once both cake and filling are is time to assemble.  Assemble how you want...I cut the tops off of mine to make a flat top.  Then cut both 8 inch cake in half to make 4 layers. I filled all 3 layers with the filling and topped the cake with a light weight frosting on top since the cake is a dense cake...I couldn't see putting a heavy frosting on it.
Hope someone else tries this also so I can see how it turned out for them!
The final product
**I also had to get my beautiful cake plate in there too**

The boys approve!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Creme Brulee

This is not out of my old cook books, but this is a new recipe for me, something I have wanted to try for so long.
My favorite dessert to get when going to a restaurant is Creme Brulee.  I have always thought it was some really hard difficult task to make such a beautiful tasty dessert....I mean, smooth creamy custard with such yummy sugar on top....there had to be a secret.

But alas, I decided to try to make it, thinking that I was most definitely going to fail..... but oh my goodness.
Everyone needs to add this to their daily/weekly diet right now............
So it isn't the best for your waistline....but it will make you feel so happy and content :)
And another plus? I swear EVERYONE can make creme brulee.
**does anyone else think of that SNL skit that has that kid talking about creme brulee?? that is all I think about when I say the word!**

My finished product....

Creme Brulee

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean split and scraped (I just used pure vanilla bean paste, but you can use 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract)
1 cup vanilla sugar (I just used regular sugar) **DIVIDED**
6 large egg yolks (I saved the egg whites to use for an omelet the next morning)
2 quarts or so of hot water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Bring cream and vanilla/vanilla bean/vanilla pulp/ or vanilla paste to boil over med. high heat in a med. sauce pan. Once it comes to a boil, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. If using a vanilla bean, remove it.
While the milk is cooling, whisk 1/2 cup sugar, and egg yolks till they become light in color. **Slowly** add milk to egg mixture while whisking constantly.
Pour into 6 ramekins (I only had 4 and just saved the rest of the mixture and made up more the next day)
Place filled ramekins into large cake pan or roasting pan and fill with pan with hot water till it comes halfway up the side of the ramekin.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until the creme brulee is set but still a little "trembling" or wiggly still in the middle. (Mine took more like 55 minutes or so)
Cool for a few hours in the fridge.
Cover each creme brulee with the other 1/2 cup of sugar so it is evenly divided between the six. Spread evenly over the top (I used coarse sugar, it gave it a nice crunch)
The recipe says to use a torch to melt the sugar.....but I know not everyone has one of those (including me)
So I just put mine under the broiler (leaving the rack in the middle) and let it the sugar melt for about 5 minutes....I just checked after every minute and rotated the ramekins to try to get an even brown.

So easy, and so so so good. It is such a fancy dessert for how easy it is to do. 
It is so silky smooth and sweet/but not too sweet.....I am dreaming of it right now.
I give this two thumbs up!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sourmilk cookies 1903

How beautiful is that handwriting?
And how pretty is that cake stand?? (thank you shannon, I love it!)
So the first recipe I did from my cookbooks, was the sour milk cookies (remember how I said they used EVERYTHING??) they even used their sour milk that had gone bad.
Although I did not have sour milk and after some research, I guess old milk is safe to cook with? I still wont do it.
Instead I replaced it it homemade buttermilk by adding a little vinegar to a 1/2 cup and filling the rest of the cup with milk and letting it sit till it was thick. kinda gross, but I hate buying buttermilk.

Sour Milk Cookies: (as written)
1 cup Sugar
2/3 cup butter or lard
1/2 cup sour milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
salt and nutmeg
and enough flour to make it stiff (this is where I had to play around with the recipe)

This is what I did:
Creamed the Sugar and Butter.  Add egg and milk and stir to combine. Add baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt and nutmeg.
I started with only 2 cups flour and baked at 350 for 7 minutes. They were very very soft and airy but they spread a bit too much. So the final amount was 2 1/2 cups flour and mix very well till stiff.

These were great, James loved them and Nolan wont stop eating them.  They taste so  much like a sugar cookie but richer and very soft and almost cake like.
The last batch I did, I added a bit of orange zest to add a bit more flavor, and it turned out well, I could see these with a powdered sugar iccing on top also. Yum!

my new adventure

I am a lover of cookbooks.
I enjoy reading them and looking at the pictures.  I could just sit and read a cook book like someone would read a magazine.
A couple years ago I went to an estate sale and picked up a few old cook books from the 50s, I would look at them and admire the colors, and the use of food. Seriously, they use green olives IN EVERYTHING, whether it was a dessert or main course, it had green olives in it.  And I also noticed.....
I was just fascinated!
So I bought a few more books at antique shops and my mom actually got in on it and started buying them too for me when she saw them.  And behold....without even thinking about it, I have started my collection of old cook books!
So a few days ago, I went to one of my favorite antique shops....yes, I visit them quite often....and stumbled across what I think is a treasure!
A first edition Good Housekeeping cook book! From, get this, 19 freaking 03! that's right! 1903! I couldn't believe what I was holding.  A 107 year old cookbook.
So I opened it up and what did I find?!?!?! Not only some great recipes but HAND WRITTEN family recipes! what??? lots of them! Salad dressings, doughnuts, cookies, cakes, all up my alley!
so I bought it.
I have spent the last 3 days going through it over and over and admiring how simple everything is. Also, how they used EVERYTHING there was no throwing out the egg white or would simply make the yolk into a sauce or the white into a meringue....whether it went with the original recipe or not!
I also loved that nothing had a temp to put your stove at, or actual measurement. Because for one: they were still using gas and coal stoves, and second: everything was measured as a heaping Tablespoon or a handful of sugar, lol. LOVE IT!
I also have 3 Boston Cooking School Magazines from 1910 and they are just FULL of ads from 100 years ago.  For Heinz Ketchup, Welch's Grape juice, Eagle Brand milk. And a lot of crazy contraptions saying they help you lose weight, nylons that have a 4 month warranty and that your dog can't even eat them, and lots of ads for LARD.
So back to the name of my post.
My new adventure.
My friend asked me if I had ever tried any of the recipes.........Why no I haven't...........never really thought about it!
But now I am going to.
Especially the ones in my oldest cookbooks. I want to taste what they tasted and see what they saw.  Is that weird?
I also want to have a huge jello mold party that is only jello molds........without the green olives though because I can't stand them!
So hopefully I will do a recipe once a week (can't promise anything) and post about it. 
So here I go on my adventure!
**Dont you want some of these wonderful molded dinners? Me neither...**

how long has it been??!

A lot has been going on here in our home.
Here is a quick recap:

James, still working hard....he has now lost 40 lbs since August and is still going.  He completely changed his diet  (for the better obviously) and has been working out like a mad man.  He is looking oh. so. good. I am so proud of him!

Me, I got released from my calling at so so sad........but bittersweet at the same time.  I was 2nd Counselor in the Relief Society and was released and then called as a teacher for CTR5.  Quite the change, but I am looking forward to learning more from the children and also to be able to just enjoy Relief Society enrichment's.  I will miss Karen, Cindy, Rebecca, and Lindsay so much, the meetings, the visits, the planning, the preparing, the spirit, the learning, the service, the teaching, the growing, the testimony building experiences.  But who says I can't have that with primary?? I am so going to make this the best experience ever.
To have a Relief Society calling was for me to learn and grow in the church...and I cannot believe how much my testimony grew.  I love my sisters in my ward and what they taught me....mostly about service and also about letting go and giving yourself to our Heavenly Father. I testify that Visiting Teaching is the way Heavenly Father takes care of us through each other.  I have a testimony that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that we are here to do Heavenly Fathers work.  I am so blessed to be in this church and to have the blessings that I have...I would have nothing without Him.

Gabe, he is reading up a storm....he is so smart and just decided one day he was going to read and now he just reads everything! He is wanting to learn more and his favorite show right now is Wheel of Fortune.....I can use it as a bribe to get him to clean up his room/be nice to his brother/eat his dinner.

Nolan, hmmmm, what to say about Nolan.  well, he is still very cuddly, still very whiny (someone please help me) , talking a ton and will not have anything to do with anything his age (thomas the train, trucks, animals, mickey mouse) He wants everything superhero or army. We love him so much :)

yes yes, I know, it is time for a post

Blogging is no fun when your camera is broken....especially during the holidays! We missed Halloween and Thanksgiving and we had to ask for pictures from family members from Christmas.
So when it came to blogging the past few months, I have had no desire...even though I had loads of recipes to share and things to talk about.  Oh well. 
Holidays are over and now it is time to relax and work on things that I enjoy! :)
Here are a few pictures from Christmas Eve that was at our house and Christmas day at my sisters.
We had a nice Christmas this year, very quiet.  We had tamales on Christmas Eve and my whole family came over.  Christmas day we opened presents as a family and then James had to go straight to bed since he was working nights that night....on Christmas! ugh, sad, but we got by.
We missed James' parents terribly, this is the very first year that James was not around his parents his whole was just a little quieter than our usual Christmas, but a wonderful holiday all in all.

More to come...just a bit at a time