Thursday, November 03, 2011

Saucepan Cakes.

I know that many of you like best the stories that include recipes for cakes. Today I give you ‘a somewhat novel, and at the same time quick and economical’ method of making cakes, as described in The Manchester Guardian of March 26, 1923.

Saucepan Cakes.
A somewhat novel, and at the same time quick and economical, method of cakemaking has been evolved with the use of a saucepan. With this method, the sugar, fat, and water or milk are boiled together in a saucepan before adding them to the other ingredients, with the result that no time and energy is wasted in creaming fat and sugar, or in beating sugar and eggs. By this means the same effect is obtained as though  double the quantity of fat were used, and so well blended are these important ingredients that for everyday cakes, eggs and milk can be omitted from the recipe.
Lard is found to be the best fat to use in this method of cakemaking. Eggs can of course, be added if desired.
The following are typical saucepan cake recipes, and can easily be varied by using different flavourings, &c.
Fruit Cake.
Put 2 oz. of lard, two-thirds of a cupful of sugar, and a cupful of water into a saucepan, and  bring to boiling point. Boil for one minute, then allow to cool.
Meanwhile mix together 1 lb. of flour, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder, 2 oz. of raisins, 4 oz. of currants, and 1 oz. of shredded peel. Pour the liquid on the dry ingredients and mix well. Put in a cake-tin and bake in a moderate oven.
Coconut Cake.
Boil together the same quantities of sugar, lard, and water as in the previous recipe, and pour onto a mixture consisting of 1 lb. of flour, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder, and one tea-cupful of dessicated coconut. Mix very thoroughly, pour into a lined tin, and bake in a moderate oven.
Orange Cake.
Boil sugar, lard, and water as before, but in this case use a cupful of sugar.
Into a basin put a pound of flour, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder, and the grated rind of two oranges. Squeeze the juice and add it to the liquid when cool. Mix and bake as before.

UPDATE: Pipedreams, at The Kitchen Scientist, tried this method out with her beetroot cake. You can see the results here.

Quotation for the Day.
Dieting: A system of starving yourself to death so you can live a little longer.
Jan Murray


Marion said...

I haven't checked recently, but in Australia, packets of mixed dried fruit used to come with a recipe for boiled fruit cake. I used to make it often. Boil fruit, sugar and butter together, cook, mix in eggs and flour, and bake. Very easy and effective.

Pipedreams said...

I just tried your recipe and have a blog post to prove it :) It was great fun, and the purpose (achieving a naturally pink cake) was achieved, but I'm not terribly fond of the texture and will probably add eggs next time. Thanks for the idea!

Pipedreams said...

Sorry, forgot to add the link...

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Pipedreams
What fun! I have edited the post and put a link to yours!

The Old Foodie said...

HI Marion. I remember those packs of fruit. I used to make them all the time. Funny how one makes something regularly, then stops for no apparent reasot, isnt it?
I had never seen any other cakes boiled though, until I found this info.

Pipedreams said...

I'm honoured! Thanks a lot, Janet. I tasted the cake after I posted about it and I must say it's much better than I feared based on the pre-baking texture. It would still be vastly improved by a handful of raisins and other dried fruit soaked in rum, though, and maybe a handful of nuts too, but even without, I would pronounce it a very reasonable recipe for kids snacks (am I old fashioned or what? giving the kids home-baked snacks to take to school? they would die of shame, no doubt!)