Old-fashioned Yummies, Vintage Recipes, Burnt Sugar Cake
My Mother's Recipes
My mother was born in 1895 and married at 22, so you can understand that her 'bride's chest' recipes would be described as vintage, borderline antique, or just plain old. Some of these recipes had no directions. Everybody knew that the butter and sugar were creamed together, that the dry ingredients for most things were sifted together, that cakes were baked in a medium-hot oven until a toothpick came out clean. So ... who could possibly need written directions.
Memories of Foods and Products Used
I decided to go through some old papers to organize them and dispose of any that needed to be but then noticed a packet of my mother's recipes on an adjacent shelf. I hadn't seen them for a few years and later mentioned the recipes to our son, Raven (not his real name), who had become interested in vintage recipe books. He was helping me organize lots of the old cookbooks I had collected over many years.
We both were intrigued by how old recipe books were written and many contained brand-name ingredients. Raven had not heard of a number of companies and several were completely unknown to me too. For example, a recipe called for Cottolene which was a brand of shortening produced from beef tallow and cottonseed oil. Cottolene was made in this country from 1868 until the mid-20th century. I remember my mother used Spry shortening (Raven has not heard of that product either and I've not seen it for years). Of course, we both have used Crisco. Is Fluffo still available? A sister-in-law made piecrust with it ... delicious!
Burnt Sugar Cake
Products that are no Longer Available
My Mother's Burnt Sugar Cake
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup burnt sugar liquid
2/3 cup butter
3 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
To make the burnt sugar liquid, melt 1 cup sugar by itself over hot fire. When dark brown, add 1 cup boiling water and boil hard 5 minutes.
Cream butter well, add sugar gradually, then add 1/2 cup burnt sugar liquid. Beat eggs well, yolks and whites together, and add to butter and beat well. Sift baking powder with flour and add water alternately with flour to batter, add flavoring.
My notes: There were no baking instructions so Raven checked modern recipes for an approximate time but just set the oven at 350. Important note: Be extremely careful when making the burnt sugar. I've made it dozens of times but this time ended up with burns. Raven's sister asked if I had taken pictures of the burns to demonstrate what could happen. I was too busy reading about what to do when burned!!! Anyway, please do be careful.
My Mother's Burnt Sugar Icing
Melt 1/2 cup sugar in heavy skillet. Remove from heat; add 1/4 cup boiling water slowly. Stir over low heat until dissolved.
Melt in pan 1/2 cup high grade shortening (part butter for flavor); remove from heat. Blend in 2-1/2 tablespoons soft as silk (this was General Mills brand of cake flour); 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir slowly the caramel water. Boil one minute. It may curdle, it's okay. Remove from heat. Beat in alternately 3 cups confectioners sugar and 3 tablespoons water. Beat until thick enough to spread. Add a little water if it becomes thick.
Enjoy this cake ... it is unusual
If you make this cake, Raven and I hope you enjoy it. People it was shared with certainly did. Remember that the darker the burnt sugar, the stronger the flavor.
More vintage recipes will be on my hubs. I'll also have more 'trivia' about recipes, brands, and products. Thanks for reading my hubs!