World War II ended in Europe on May 8, 1945, but the necessity of assisting the reconstruction of Europe meant that food rationing in Britain did not end until July 4, 1954. For the entire fourteen years of the rationing period, the Ministry of Food churned out regular advice to housewives over the radio and via newspaper articles and leaflets, to help them manage the shortages. One of the most hated intermittent substitutes for the real thing was the dreaded dried egg. In July 1946 the Ministry was still suggesting ways in which they could be used, as the following recipes from one of their regular leaflets shows:
5 different cakes from one simple recipe!
2 ½ oz. margarine; 3 oz. sugar; 2 dried eggs, dry; 4 tablespoons water; 2 level tablespoons household milk (dry); ½ lb. flour; 4 level teaspoons baking powder; water to mix (just under half a pint); flavouring.
Cream fat and sugar, adding dried eggs, dry. Beat in water gradually. Sieve milk, flour, and baking powder together and add to creamed mixture. Mix to a soft dropping consistency with the water, and put into a greased tin and bake in a moderate oven for 1 -1 ½ hours. (This makes a good plain cake.) Vanilla, lemon, or any other flavouring could be added.)
The advantage of a basic cake recipe like this is that once you’ve got the knack of making it, you can use the same recipe for almost any kind of cake.
You can make little cakes and tart fillings, a jam sandwich, a fruit cake or a chocolate cake, merely be varying the recipe slightly.
Notice that you add the dried eggs dry to the creamed fat and sugar. And you add the household milk dry to the other dry ingredients. This is far easier than reconstituting the eggs and milk before you begin. It’s easier even than using the shell eggs – and every bit as good!
With this recipe it’s very little trouble to make a delicious cake for tea. And your family will certainly think it’s a first-rate idea.
Ass 2 level teasp. mixed spice to the dry ingredients before they are sieved, and add 2 to 4 oz. dried fruit to the creamed mixture with the dry ingredients. Baking time as recipe.
Add 1 level tablesp. syrup to the creamed mixture and 3 level tablesp. cocoa to the dry ingredients. This mixture requires less water – about a quarter-pint. (Makes about 18 small cakes.) Bake in patty-pans about 15 to 20 minutes.
Add 2 level teasp. marmalade and ½ teasp. almond essence to creamed mixture. Bake in sandwich tins in moderate oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Spread with marmalade when cold.
Add 3 level teasps. ginger and 1 level teasp. bicarb of soda to the dry ingredients, and 1 level tablesp. syrup to creamed mixture. Pour into flat tin and bake 15-20 mins in a hot oven.
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