— The Book Cook

Just in Time for Easter: The Book Cook Tackles Reincarnation and Eggs

As for what to make for you, dear HelloGiggles readers, I like a recipe mystery. At one point, the family’s cook makes a cake that is “an ingenious confection that, naturally, relied mainly on eggs.” I think the reason it was ingenious was that it was tasty, and the reason it naturally used a lot of eggs was because Ursula’s family was rationing for the war, and keeping chickens at home was how they kept themselves fed. Ergo I needed a World War Two-era cake recipe using lots of eggs that was British. I scored two out of three on this one. I have a 1935 cookbook and it had a recipe for a “meringue cake.” I suppose the yolks could be used for a custard if you get ambitious. This recipe is not British, but I decided since it was chocolate I’d let that fact slide. A multitude of sins are overcome with chocolate. And if your sins are too great for chocolate,  perhaps you can correct your ways in your next life.

Wartime Cake adapted form The Household Searchlight Recipe Book published in 1935 by The Household Magazine

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • raspberry jam, raspberries, and mint, to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 by 9 inch pan. Sift the sugar, cocoa, cream of tartar, and flour into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until holding peaks, but still glossy and not completely stiff. Stir in the flour mixture and when it is about halfway mixed, add the vanilla and stir just until mixed. Pour into the pan. Bake about 20-30 minutes, until it isn’t totally squishy in the middle. Allow to cool, then slice and serve with jam, berries, and mint.

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