Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Taking A Retro Recipe Out To Tea

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a challenge on my hands. I had to make something from my retro recipe collection (fair enough), but it had to be both completely retro-tastically OTT with sprinkles and guaranteed edible. Edible for people I knew and some I didn't; I was taking retro cake to a party hosted by my friend who had made my wedding cake and is a dab hand at all things edible. This was risky.

Basically, I went with the idea of chocolate (that if something is utterly coated in it, it will always go down well). This worked.



I went for this Hamlyn recipe (Hamlyn are a reliable publisher, who always taste tested their recipes) for chocolate brownies. In the picture they look drier than modern brownies, more like little cakes. The icing looks pretty normal like glace icing, however it turned out to be the really interesting part of this bake.


Haha, look at my neatly arranged ingredients. The Carnation went into the icing, which was essentially chocolate fudge poured all over the cake. Yum.

The mix was pretty easy, just a standard cream-butter-and-sugar cake recipe. Not really gooey like a modern brownie. Just a standard, albeit tasty and very rich, cake.


And below is the finished result. Shiny! It's made with a lot of cocoa powder and was exceptionally chocolate-rich. Too rich to wedge cut like a regular cake (you'll notice I didn't have a square tin clean when I baked it) so I cut it any which way. The icing was a really sticky, gooey fudge sauce- very tricky to transport but fabulously moreish.
Note the icing trying to escape off the side of the plate.

But enough of my cake, let's see why I was a teensy-weensy bit nervous. Bear in mind that the table wear in these photos has all been sourced at boot sales in a filthy and/or broken condition and restored, and all the edibles (bar the taramasalata in the first photo) are made by my friend herself. A hard act to follow.


No over-frosted swirly cupcakes here; these are risen then delicately iced and
topped with hand-made sugar butterflies and crystallised petals.

The bread pudding in the foreground is the ambrosia of the gods. The stands are
both rescued via bootsales, filthy and for pennies; both 60+ years old.

Yeah I don't have to say much about this cake, do I?
This retro recipe for brownies is a winner, it was gobbled up without anyone noticing it wasn't made by the resident expert, and although more a rich cake than a modern brownie, definitely worthy of another make. Especially the icing. As I always say, when in need of a mega-60s-yet-tasty-recipe, you can't go far wrong with a Hamlyn book.

14 comments:

  1. I have to say I came across my Grandmother's old (50s) Good Housekeeping recipe book and it terrified me! From whole chickens covered in aspic jelly to some very racist cakes. It is the only retro cook book (from before the 90s I'd say) that I have seen in a long time so it was nice to see something that looks yummy - although I agree with your sentiments on chocolate saving most things (except the racist cakes...).

    The whole tea does look really lovely. I love the cupcakes, sometimes the highly coloured ones you see all over are a little off-putting...

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    1. Racist cakes!?! Thankfully there aren't any in any of the books I own. But there IS a lot of large things coated in jelly, a fascination they seemed to have up until about 1975.

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  2. I agree that most modern cupcakes are over iced, these look perfect, and your brownies look very yummy, you are right you just cannot go wrong with chocolate!! X

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  3. How fabulous! I have a book of hideous looking retro-tastic recipes that Vix sent,that I have been meaning to unleash! I'm inspired!
    Funnily enough,I was just saying to G the other day that I wanted to try some old classics out....
    I actually like-although my waist doesn't-how over the top FATTENING old retro recipes are!No nutritional value what-so-ever!!! SO naughty,but SO good!
    XXX

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  4. These look awesome. You can't go far wrong with old cake recipes, but I'm less convinced of all the savoury stuff involving jelly.

    I have an old magazine from the 50s with a recipe for racist biscuits - the end result is chocolate smiley faces with a cream filling but they've given them a very unpleasant name :-(

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    1. Blimy! I seriously didn't know there were racist biscuits in the 50s :/ ...I assure you all my recipe books are racism free. Heavily laden with sexism, but racism free.

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  5. Omg I'm totally salivating at all of this yummy stuff! I have a weakness for brownies, the gooey kind are best. What a day filled with tasty treats!

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  6. I still use my Grandma's receipe book to make basics such as victoria sponge etc with. Its from the 50s, has imperial measurements, and her notes in pencil in the margin. Makes a perfect cake every time, just as my Grandma did :)

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    1. I recently bought a notebook with recipe clippings and annotated books at a boot fair for 20p. They guy was bemused and threw in some other items as he thought I'd been conned. No way, these recipes will be ONES THAT WORK I bet ya!

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  7. I've got a crazy Victorian recipe book full of Lark and Pigeon pie in aspic jelly type things, so will probably avoid that. But I do have a lovely 1920s American baking book with loads of rather OTT teatime treats.

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  8. My top two cook books are The Dairy Cook Book that you used to buy off the milkman and an old Good Housekeeping one.

    I think I just but on half a stone just looking at your brownies!

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    1. The Dairy Book is amazing! My favourite book is my Quaglino's cookbook from the 1930s - the introduction suggests giving it to your cook! And there are seven-course dinner menus with wine recommendations. :D

      Those brownies look utterly delicious. In fact, I'd cheerily eat my way through the whole spread.

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  9. Well from somebody who was there I can vouch that the Brownies were delicious. The ONLY problem with them was that we needed one whole plateful each!! Your chocolate cakes are always fab! My favourite vintage cook book is the Stork margarine recipe book. I swear by stork!

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  10. Your cakes and brownies look so deliciosos!
    I need to bust Buddy's nan cook books I inherited.
    besios

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