Maraschino Date-Nut Cake

Maraschino Date-Nut Cake

A Recipe from Cakes & Tortes (1957)

About the Recipe

Yesterday was my little brother’s birthday, and I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. I passed him a few of my baking books and let him figure out which sounded the most interesting to give a test run. This was the cake that he picked out. He was excited about the dates, nuts, and cherries, and it was his birthday so I said “okay!” When all is said and done, I have to say that he definitely chose wisely!

All in all, this cake is wonderfully moist, yet crumbly, with just enough chocolate and spice to give it depth – a real winner! The method is a little bit more on the complicated side, but that’s to be expected with some of these Culinary Institute recipes. Note that it cooks low and slow. I actually needed to tack on another 15 minutes or so to the bake time before my tester came out clean from the center. But honestly, it was well worth the wait.

An additional note from my brother: “It goes really well with jam!”

About the Book

This is another booklet from the Culinary Arts Institute, which I’ve said before and I’ll say again are lovely little books. As with most of the others, it’s arranged into sections, this time by type of cake – butter, chiffon, angel, etc. What I didn’t realize when I bought it is that it’s really a nice basic resource on the science of cakes and tortes. Not only does it come with the 193 recipes noted on the cover, but also pages and pages of tips and tricks on how to improve your cake baking. I almost missed acquiring it from a fellow cookbook enthusiast, but last minute she found another copy and it feels like it just came home.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups sifted flour
2 t baking powder
1 t allspice
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 cups (about 12 oz.) maraschino cherries
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 cup date pieces
2 oz. chocolate
3/4 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks, well beaten
1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes
1/2 cup milk
4 egg whites

Directions:

Prepare a 13x9x2″ pan – Grease the bottom of the pan only; line with waxed paper cut to fit bottom; grease the waxed paper.

Soft together 2 cups of the flour, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

Drain, slice and set aside on absorbent paper the maraschino cherries. A few pats with the paper will absorb excess moisture.

Coarsely chop pecans. Cut dates into small pieces. Put fruits and nuts into a large bowl with remaining 1/4 cup flour. Mix well and set aside. Grate chocolate and set aside.

Cream together butter/margarine and vanilla extract until softened. Add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy after each addition. Add the egg yolks in thirds, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the chocolate and mashed potatoes and beat until well blended.

Measure out the milk. Beating only until blended after each addition, alternately add dry ingredients in fourths, milk in thirds, to creamed mixture. Finally, beat only until smooth (do not overbeat). Pour batter over fruit nut mixture and mix thoroughly.

Beat egg whites until rounded peaks are formed. Spread beaten egg whites over batter and fold together. Turn batter into pan and spread evenly to edges.

Bake at 275*F 1 hr. 30 min., or until cake tests done with cake tester. Cool and remove from pan as directed for butter-type cakes.

Stewed Chicken and Drop Dumplings

Stewed Chicken and Drop Dumplings

A Recipe from 250 Ways to Prepare Poultry and Game Birds (1940)

About the Recipe

This recipe is super basic. Neither Becky nor I had ever had chicken and dumplings, so this was a little bit of a crap shoot, and we weren’t totally sure what we were aiming for, aside from this black and white photo.

You can see from our photo, we did take just a little bit of liberty to add some carrot into the mix for the broth. Next time I give this a go, I would put a lot more love into the broth – some more root vegetables, throw in some dill, other herbs, some garlic – there’s a lot of room to grow from this recipe. The good news is, it’s really easy and so perfect to just throw on the stove and go on a busy workday. Definitely a winner as a basic recipe.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

This was another book from the big box from Becky and her mom. It’s a Culinary Arts Institute book, which means it’s going to be good. I have a few booklets like this one at home, and I’m really excited to add it to the collection. In addition to having some great recipes, it’s also a primer on how to cut / debone / split / truss / roast EVERYTHING that’s a bird and that you can eat. If you’re a fan of eating birds, this is a great book to have on your shelf.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 stewing chicken
1 small onion
Salt
Pepper
1 cup sifted flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
Sprig parsley, minced
1/2 c milk

Directions:

Clean chicken and cut into serving portions; place in kettle and partly cover with water. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook until tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, minced parsley, and milk to a thick batter and drop from spoon into boiling chicken broth, cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes without raising lid. Place chicken on platter and surround with dumplings.

.

Shrimp Louisiana

Shrimp Louisiana

A Recipe from 250 different FISH and SEA FOOD Recipes (1950)

About the Recipe

As I pulled the shrimp out of the freezer this morning I thought – gee I’m bored with my usual shrimp recipes – so I pulled out a new old one! In full truth, I’ve never been to Louisiana, so I can’t speak to whether this tastes like shrimp from Louisiana or not, but it certainly is a shrimp dish with a kick!

It was so quick and easy to come together, which is not always the case with recipes from the Culinary Arts Institute. Quick tip – I added more onion (always add more onion) and I used butter for my fat (because yum).

There’s a tip hidden just above the photo in the book about pairing creamy shrimp dishes with potato nests. I improvised with some instant mashed potatoes left over from the Potato-Pan Burger. All in all – a win!

About the book

I have several of these booklets released by the Culinary Arts Institute in the 50’s. They’re always a weird mix of really challenging and super simple dishes. This fish one was a new acquisition and I was excited to have more variety to add to my fish game. Based on this recipe, it won’t disappoint!

About the glassware

This Hazel Atlas Ivy bowl is part of a set that I got with a friend in North Carolina. I’ve not had the opportunity to use this small one yet, and it’s so cute! The perfect dish for this savory, creamy shrimp.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 t minced onion
1/4 cup fat
2 cups Boiled Shrimp*
1/4 cup flour
1 t salt
1 t chili powder
2 cups milk
1/4 cup tomato catchup
2 T minced parsley

Directions:

Cook onion in fat until tender; add shrimp broken into pieces; brown. Stir in flour, salt and chili powder. Add milk gradually; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add catchup and parsley; cover and heat thoroughly.

Note:

*While this recipe calls to have the shrimp pieces pre-boiled, I find that shrimp so easily overcooks that in dishes like this one it comes out better if you throw in the raw shrimp pieces. Use your judgement!