Boston Cream Pie

This is really cake. This one is from a recipe clipping in Mom’s recipe notebook and looks like it came from a magazine. There is no reference on the clipping. Did Mom make this? I’m not sure. I know she used to make a poppy seed cake with pudding filling and chocolate glaze, so maybe she did.

I read and re-read this recipe before proceeding. As I was making the cake I realized this is a hot milk sponge cake. I proceed hoping for the best and reasonably confident that the past two hot milk sponge cakes I baked were successful but not this recipe. Re-reading helped me see that this called for two 8 inch round cake pans. I recently bought nice 9-in pans. The amounts of the ingredients also seemed scant for two pans, so I doubled the recipe and am very glad I did. The recipe is almost exactly like the one from my previous blog entitled Hot Milk Sponge Cake so I will not reprint it.

I made the filling and the chocolate glaze from the recipe clipping. Making a pudding or cream-custard can by a little tricky and, I admit, mine had a bit of scrambled egg to it, but not much so you noticed.

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs (okay so the original called for 1 egg and 1 egg yolk but why?)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir dry ingredients together in medium saucepan and slowly add the milk and cook over moderate heat until boiling, stir and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Meanwhile have your eggs slightly beaten in a bowl or measuring cup. Pour some of the hot milk mixture into the eggs and then pour it all into the saucepan and cook and stir until returns to boiling. Add vanilla and let cool.

When cool and set beat until smooth and layer over one cake layer. Top with the other.

Make the glaze by heating one ounce unsweetened chocolate with 1 Tablespoon butter until melted and add one cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. I did this in a microwave safe measuring cup and not on the stove. Blend in 1-2 Tablespoons boiling water until drizzling consistency. Pour over top of cake.

“This elegant company dessert combines three American favorites–cake, cream-custard, and chocolate.”

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Peanut Butter Hearts

I wanted to use this heart pan and thought a moldable fudge would be just the thing. There are several no-cook fudge recipes in my Mom’s recipe notebook. This one is from a booklet from the Woman’s Day magazine from December 1959. The magazine would have a The Collector’s Cook Book series of different categories that one could cut out of the magazine each month. This is #35 on candy.

There are handy hints printed throughout and the one that caught my attention was “For best results, don’t double any of the recipes or make substitutions of ingredients.” LOL might be the modern phrase to utter here!

I chose a Peanut Butter Fudge recipe and made only half the recipe. Halfway trough it occurred to me there is no chocolate so I added cocoa. When making half of a recipe it is important to do a mise en place otherwise one might put in the original amount of salt instead of half. These turned out a bit salty.

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter; the recipe calls for smooth but I used chunky.
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (should have used 1/2 teas.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt; I accidently put in 1/2 teas. (To be fair, I was interrupted in my candy making by having to go spot the Hubby who was out on the roof fixing shingles and flashing that had come loose.)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (my addition to substitute cocoa for some of the powdered sugar)
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Mix the first five ingredients well. Then beat in the cocoa and powdered sugar. Knead until smooth. I then stuffed my fudge into the heart pan and set it in the refrigerator to chill and set before unmolding.

The hearts only used half the half recipe so I rolled the rest up in a log and stuck it in the freezer for later use and nibbling.

No food, just thoughts

I am retired. I sit in my kitchen and at 8:30 AM I announce to no-one in particular “I am not at work!”

Structuring my day will be the challenge. A few years ago I went through my multiple cookbooks, there were 50+, and now I may just do so again. I love cookbooks. I enjoy flipping through the pages. There is something very satisfying that is not matched by finding recipes on-line.

Today I need to use up 4 apples and will bake them into a small apple pie or tarts. I have planned supper and will start on my 30 minutes of housecleaning a day soon. And perhaps if it warms up a bit I’ll have a walk around the block.

The next chapter of my life begins! Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

Somersault Cobbler

I prepared this as a coffee cake for a Sunday morning treat. This one is in my Mom’s handwriting.

I used butter instead of shortening. I greased a 9-inch round cake pan for this and used a 350 degrees F oven. I liked the idea of cinnamon sugar topping which is why I thought of this as a coffee cake and not a cobbler. However, I remembered I had a can of pear halves and cinnamon would complement pears. I did add the egg.

It makes a nice light cake-y batter. Chopping the pears or slicing them might be better next time but it was a lovely light cake to go with our morning coffee.

Rolled oats mix

And now from the 1960s comes a homemade mix to use for baking biscuits, muffins, and cookies. This is from the USDA booklet published in 1962. It’s title is Family Meals at Low Cost. I have substituted butter for the shortening. Some of the recipes call for canned meat and dried eggs. Mom would send off for booklets like these from the state’s university agriculture extension center. I do not know if she made this mix. She did make the biscuit mix as her notes on the changes she made to the ingredient amounts are in here.

I made half the recipe and was able to use my KitchenAid stand mixer.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (just because!)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cups butter, slightly softened but not too much

First I stirred the dry ingredients together and then the butter until it looked crumbly. Store in closed container in the refrigerator. Supposedly this will keep for one month. I immediately used half to make oatmeal cookies. I will most likely try the muffins next. For biscuits one adds water, for muffins add egg and water, and for cookies add egg, water and sugar. See below.

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats mix
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten (or not!)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips and 1/3cup raisins

Combine all ingredients and stir just enough to moisten dry ingredients. This was a wet cookie dough. Drop dough in teaspoonfuls on a greased baking sheet for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

This made exactly 24 cookies. I used a medium cookie scoop to portion out the cookies. I baked 12 and put the other 12 cookie dough balls in a freezer bag to bake later. This makes a very tasty oatmeal cookie.

Lemon Bread

This weekend’s treat from Mom’s green recipe notebook is lemon bread. The clipping is from the back of a Kroger flour bag from who knows when? Mom collected a lot of these recipe clippings and sometimes hand wrote and/or typed them out in red or black ink with her own adjustments. I don’t know how many of these she actually made. So this journey is for her. Thanks Mom for all the baked goodies that you did make and the ones you may have hoped to bake.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk, I used unsweetened almond milk.
  • Grated rind of one lemon, it’s juice, and additional 1/3 cup sugar

This apparently doubles as bread or cake according to the recipe. We ate it almost all in one day; it was so tasty!

Preheat oven to 325 but I put it at 350 degrees F. Grease 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan. I put a piece of parchment paper lengthwise to aid in removing loaf from the pan after baking.

Mix dry ingredients together in medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar then add eggs one at a time beating well each time. Here is where I added the lemon extract. Add dry ingredients alternately with the milk. I forgot to add the lemon rind. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes.

At this time warm the lemon juice and dissolve the 1/3 cup sugar in it. Here is where I added the lemon zest. This works nicely in a 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Pour this over the loaf and return to the oven for 5-8 more minutes.

The best beef bourguignon ever

This does not follow my theme for the year but I just had to share/brag/boast/whatever!

In a Dutch Oven sauté a handful of bacon ends and pieces with a teaspoon of jarred minced garlic. Add 2 small onions chopped in large chunks and continue cooking until onions are semi-tender. Set aside in a bowl. Dredge 1-2 pounds of beef stew meat chunks (from a Top Butt) in ½ cup flour with some salt and pepper. Add a bit more oil to the pot and brown the beef, turning once. Set this aside in the bowl with the bacon/onion mixture. Add one cup of red wine to the pot and deglaze the pan scraping the brown bits on the bottom. Add the beef, bacon, and onion mixture back into the pot along with 2 small potatoes chopped in large chunks and 2 small carrots which have been peeled and cut into one-inch chunks. Cover this with 2 cups of beef broth and 1-2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce. Add more broth if necessary to just cover the goodies in the pot but not to drown them. Stir and bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer. This was allowed to simmer for the two risings of the home-made bread dough. Meanwhile in separate skillet place 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté 4 large baby bella mushrooms which have been sliced. Cook just until mushrooms are slightly softened and browned. Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and set aside. When ready to put the bread in the oven, or after two hours, stir the mushrooms into the pot along with the reserved flour from the dredging of the beef. Continue to simmer the pot for the duration of the bread baking or 30-35 minutes.

We ate most of this before taking a picture. Here is what the leftover in the pot looks like. But no, the pic is not appetizing so I am not posting it, and this stew was fantastic. I do not generally rave about my own cooking but this was aromatic, flavorful, and rich-tasting. I served this with a homemade loaf of bread which is essential to clean the bowl to get every last drop!

Scones and the plan for 2022

Happy New Year!

I wanted a theme for my blog writing this year and wanted one that I would follow through with. I had tried writing through Betty Crocker but found the main dish recipes basic and bland, or more exactly, not exciting nor creative. Well, after all that cookbook is for basic cooking anyway. I have a number of cookbooks and would like to cook through them but commitment is the issue. I like to cook/bake what strikes my fancy. I thought of going through the recipe notebook of my collected recipes but then the thought “I could go through my mom’s green notebook” popped into my mind and stuck.

I got it out and read through the pages. She has put these in sections but the labels are faded and not easily read. I picked out several recipes in each section that are of interest. This is her baking collection. Although I did find in here a small booklet from the USDA on “Family Meals at Low Cost” using pantry staples published in 1962. These menus and recipes are to feed a family of five for three meals a day. No snacks included! These often use “canned chopped meat” which I do not have or buy or plan doing so! Lard and shortening are in most of these as well. In 1962 Mom was feeding a family of six on the minor salary of my Dad who was a social worker at the Children’s Home. Mom was by default a home economist, otherwise known as a homemaker. Erroneously described in some circles as “non-working”.

Today’s recipe is from the first section of the notebook which appears to be “breads and muffins”. I have chosen “raspberry jam scones” but will make them with blackberry fruit spread. I have altered the recipe slightly but not by much. This is a fancy scone recipe.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon each baking powder and sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • butter: 1/2 cup cold for the dough and 1 1/2 Tablespoons, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened plain oatmilk)
  • 1/2 cup thick jam (I used fruit spread, about 1/3 cup)
  • sugar

Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the 1/2 cup of butter. Being a more modern baker I took the lazy way and actually used my KitchenAid mixer to do this. Beat eggs slightly with the milk and add to the dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough forms. Turn this out on a floured surface and divide into two. Roll each section into a 10 inch circle. Place one half in a cake pan or baking pan. I used a 10-inch spring form pan. Brush with the softened butter and spread the jam on top. Place the other circle on this and spread the top with the rest of the softened butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a hot oven at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Notes for future reference:

  • this recipe could be easily halved and made as a single layer scone, perhaps in an 6-8 inch circle.
  • any kind of jam can be used, obviously.
  • possibly reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon
  • cinnamon sugar for the top might be a nice taste treat especially if making this in a single layer.

Local Meat: venison stew

The son-in-law hunts and got himself a nice buck. I want him to use all the meat so he gives me some. This deer gave me ground venison and stew meat. So I made a stew.

Stews are simply soups with larger cuts of meat and vegetables and less liquid. They are super simple to make especially when using a crockpot.

  • a pound (?) or packet of meat cut into stew sized chunks
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks celery cut into chunks
  • 6 small potatoes cut into chunks
  • 6 parsnips cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion cut into chunks
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water or more to almost cover
  • 1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

Throw all this into the crockpot and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Voila!

I served this with homemade Sally Lunn bread.

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

I wanted to bake a cake. I wanted to try something new. I looked at my Soulard Market cookbook and found the 12th street hot milk cake and decided to try it. The first time I made this I halved the recipe. I remember my sister mentioned she uses this recipe. I then called her up and asked if it really called for so little butter. She then reminded me that this is a sponge cake and that she actually uses our mother’s Hot Milk Sponge cake recipe. The key to success, she said, was to aerate the eggs long enough.

I then went to my mother’s recipe notebook and found the Hot Milk Sponge recipe. The ingredients are almost the same as Soulard’s, except the typo in Soulard of “1 teaspoon flour” which most likely is the salt, except it calls for a “dash of salt” later in the ingredient list and it did not say when to add the vanilla. A bit confusing but when I made the half recipe it came out beautifully. We ate that one before taking a picture.

I made the full recipe in a greased 9×13-inch cake pan as directed in the Soulard book. Mom’s recipe calls for an ungreased 9-10 inch tube pan. There is also a difference in directions in putting together the batter. I used the Soulard because I knew that one worked. I have not had much luck with sponge cakes before but this one is going to be a repeat!

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour (or sifted cake flour)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter per Soulard (2 Tablespoons per Mom’s)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or 2)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix butter and milk in saucepan or pyrex (for microwave) and heat until butter melts. This takes 1-2 minutes in the microwave. In the mixer bowl put the eggs and beat 5-8 minutes and then slowly add the sugar. This will look fluffy when ready. Now fold in the dry ingredients except the baking powder. I mixed this in on low speed for 30 seconds. Stir in the hot milk mixture. This is where to add the vanilla. Now fold in the baking powder and allow to stand for 10 minutes “to allow the baking powder to expand”.

Pour batter in a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Frost with icing of your choice. My choice of frosting is a super easy chocolate one from a King Arthur Flour sales flyer. Melt one stick of butter in a saucepan. Stir in ¼ cup cocoa and 6 tablespoons buttermilk or plain yogurt. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in 4 cups confectioner’s sugar. This makes a wonderful fudge like frosting.

Variations: one can use coconut oil in place of the butter. This will give the cake a slight coconut flavor, a very mild one. It using coconut oil in place of the butter in the frosting this will be a stronger coconut flavor. I like the combination of chocolate and coconut. It is one of my favorite combinations.