Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ration Recipe: Banana Tea Bread

I was so excited to find and purchase a 1940s cookbook pamphlet dedicated entirely to bananas! I don't know what it is about banana recipes from the early 1900s, but they are so fascinating. Mostly because they can be so bizarre! I wanted to try some of them

With my eye on the banana recipes in my future, I wanted to try the one for Banana Tea Bread from The New American Cook Book, ca. 1945. Definitely not a scary one, but I wanted to see what made it a tea bread and different from a regular modern banana bread.

This recipe looks pretty much like a banana bread recipe, except maybe for not using vanilla. So, you know what I did? I tasted the complete batter without the vanilla, then added it. And it was definitely better with the vanilla, though it wasn't bad without. I'd just like to say it improved it by a smidge. Yeah, it's cheating on the recipe, but at least I tasted the batter beforehand! Ha!

The end result was not that surprising except for one thing. It really tasted like banana bread like you'd expect, except - the texture was very light! When I think of banana bread I think yummy, but dense. But this bread had all that sifting going on, and that makes a huge difference! The crumb is much more delicate. So interesting!

The New American Cook Book, ca. 1945

This is definitely a keeper. I'd recommend trying it, just to experience that wonderful, light texture.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ration Recipe: Mincemeat Coffee Cake

Mincemeat Coffee Cake
The New American Cook Book, ca. 1945

I was itching to finally get back to ration cooking, but I didn't count on how overwhelming it would be just choosing what to make! There are so many choices...

So, I flipped through my New American Cook Book, ca. 1945, and found this recipe for Mincemeat Coffee Cake. This was just the ticket, because I've been sad that I wasn't able to make anything with mincemeat for Christmas due to my recovering from a surprise C-section and baby arrival!

This recipe was easy and pretty fast, which is always a plus when making a cake. Especially when you're trying to squeeze it in between making supper and eating supper. haha!

Here's the recipe:

It's pretty straightforward! Even so, I managed to mess part of it up. Those 5 tablespoons of butter do NOT all go into the bottom with the brown sugar. Notice it says only TWO tablespoons of butter go in the bottom, the rest goes into the cake. Silly me! But then, you know by now how notorious I am for not reading directions very thoroughly... I remedied my mistake by pouring off some of the butter and adding oil to the batter since I'd already put everything into the pan and butter was pooling around the sides. *sigh* You'd think I'd learn my lesson about the "reading the recipe through" thing!

I was tempted to add vanilla to the cake, but I stayed strong and didn't. Good for me! I think the cake tastes fine without it, though vanilla wouldn't hurt!

Another note I had is about the oven temperature. 425º F seems excessively hot, and the top of the cake did get dark golden brown (what my son calls "burnt" even though it's not). So, it would be worth experimenting with a lower oven temp like 375º and lengthening the baking time.

And finally - the recipe doesn't mention anything about flipping it over, but it could've been assumed you would do it since all the yummy stuff is on the bottom. I just went ahead and flipped it like a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and I feel like it was meant to be. All those yummy mincemeat juices trickled down the sides and softened up the golden "burnt" top of the cake quite well. Plus, it's just really pretty, don't you think?

The crumb was delicate and moist, and the mincemeat was the perfect accompaniment to the rather plain cake. A very nice treat, to be sure! Definitely give this a try. It's perfect to make if you have some leftover mincemeat filling from Christmas.