Forgive me fellow bloggers, its been 15 days since my last blog post! Life has been hectic recently and the days and hours seem to be running away from me. Not enough time in the day, I need more than 24 hours to function in my crazy life. I also apologise if I’ve not responded to comments or tags, major catching up to do!
Despite being incommunicado, I have still managed to whip up a few recipes to share with you. I have also found some new ( well new to me) cookbooks to add to my ever expanding collection.
I have found that, along with cooking and baking, my new hobby also involves browsing for and collecting cookery books. I have always loved reading and books, hence why my Masters is in Library studies, but I have also started to comb charity shops and secondhand books shops for interesting cookbooks to add to my collection as well as still searching for history books, classic literature and the odd Jackie Collins or Jilly Cooper book ( don’t judge me!).
My recent finds include Delia Smiths, Book of Cakes, 3rd Edition ( 1991) for the bargain price of 1p and Mrs Beatons Everyday cookery for £1.99 ( 1977). I love finding old cookbooks and whilst some of the recipes I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole, such as Fried Cows Heal ( my hubbie would probably eat that!), there are still alot of good and classic recipes and they are great for developing cookery skills.
I do also love that these older books as they often have scribbles from their former owners,such as recipes, handwritten dedications and even signatures from the author themselves. Delia’s book was obviously originally gifted as the scribble in the front indicates.
Whilst picking up these books I also managed to get a sweet denim jacket by FCUK for £4.99, Bargain!
From Mrs Beetons Cookbook, I decided to make, “Good Gingerbread“and it is aptly named ‘cos this stuff was goooooddd, even with substitutions I made.
The recipe calls for 8oz of plain flour, however I had run out of plain so I used 8oz of self raising flour and omitted the barcarbonate of soda, 2 level teaspoons of ground cinnamon,1/8 teaspoon salt, 2 level teaspoons of mixed spice, 2 level teaspoons of ground ginger. The original recipe used crystallized ginger however as I didn’t have any I added another 1/2 teaspoon of ginger , 2 oz of raisins, 2 0z ground almonds ( the recipe calls for blanched and chopped, but ground was all I had), 4 oz margarine or butter, 4 oz of treacle, 4 oz of sugar and 2 eggs.
Grease and line a 7inch round tin. Preheat oven to about 160C.
Mix the flour, salt, spices, raisins, almonds together in a bowl.
Melt the margarine, treacle and sugar together in a saucepan then add to the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and also add to the dry ingredients. Mix together well. If the recipe is stiff, then you can add some warm milk to get a more dropping consistency, however I didn’t require to do this.
I love the vivid yellow of the eggs against the black of the treacle!
Pour mix into the prepared tin and place in the oven.
The recipe stated it would bake for 1 3/4 – 2 hours! However, when baking using old recipes always take the times with a pinch of salt, as modern ovens are much more efficient so recipes usually require less time.
I checked the cake at 58 mins and it was still wet, I checked 15 mins later and it was slightly over done. The top sides of the cake were slightly blackened and some the inside of the cake towards the edges were dry. In hindsight I should have checked the cake again after 5 minutes, then if it still wasn’t not ready then checked again after another 5 mins. So between 1 hour 5 mins- 10 mins probably would have been adequate time for this cake ( well in my oven anyway!)
Despite this, the cake had a really lovely flavour to it, and a wee drop of butter spread on top sorted out any dryness!
By the time I got around to taking a picture of the cake, hubbie had attacked it and this was what remained……