Monday, March 26, 2012

WWII Cooking: Baking with Honey

Hello, and happy Monday!
During World War Two, thrifty housewives cleverly thought up ways to substitute sugar, which was rationed, without sacrificing sweetness.  I got to wondering how and what they used.  I did some research and here is what i came up with.
Honey was sometimes used, but did not automatically substitute for sugar across cookbooks or their recipe cards.
It couldn't.
  The two sweeteners are quite different.  One is a liquid, a thick liquid, but one just the same.
The other is a dry ingredient, which affects how they are measured and when and how they are combined with other ingredients. 
In addition to contributing sweetness to a recipe, honey also adds a slightly different flavor.
And still, the best results were achieved when using recipes that specifically devised to be made with honey.
  When the war ended,  women switched back to using sugar in almost all recipes, but a few of my Grandma Mae's survived WWII.  I realized that i might just have some from her hand written recipe cards in my collection.  (!!!)

So here it is: an authentic 1940s/WWII recipe using honey.
After much digging around in my old junk that i feel like i just cant get rid of,
I have finally come up with a Chocolate Cake recipe that uses honey.

(And the moral of the story is... never throw anything away!!!)


Mix and beat with a spoon or electric mixer

2cups sifted cake flower
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

                                                           1 teaspoon salt
                                                           1/2 cup shortening
                                                           1-1/2 cups honey
                                                           2/3 cup water
                                                           2 eggs
                                                           2-1/2 one-ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted
                                                           1 teaspoon vanilla

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.  Sift cake flour, baking sod and salt together.  Set aside.  In large bowl, stir shortening to soften.  In small bowl, combine honey and water; add half of the mixture to creamed shortening.  Stir to blend thoroughly.  Add eggs; beat well.  Add dry ingredients.  Stir slowly until well blended, the beat hard one minute.  Add remaining honey and water mixture along with melted chocolate and vanilla.  Blend well, the beat hard two minutes.  It is importantly of count only the actual beating time, not blending time, regardless of whether the mixing is being done by hand, spoon, or electric mixer.  The finished batter will be thin.  Pour into prepared pans.  Bake 30 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool  cake pans 10 minutes before turning  out onto cooling racks.  When cake is cool, frost with Easy Honey Frosting.  Serves 16.

Easy Honey Frosting:
1 egg white
dash of salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  In small bowl, beat egg white with salt until stiff peaks form. 
Add honey in a fine stream; beat constantly 4 min. or until frosting
holds shape and is of spreading consistency.  Beat in vanilla.

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