Saturday, February 23, 2013

Strawberry Cakes

This sweet recipe comes from The Ladies Reciept Book, Eliza Leslie, 1847. When searching through various books for a fruit tart, I found this splendid little treat.  I was so excited to make after I found it. I like to think of it as a 19th Century Strawberry Shortcake!

Start by making the dough for the cakes. 4 cups of flour mixed into 2 sticks of nice sweet butter. Mis until crumbly (think pie crust). In a separate bowl beat 3 eggs light, and add sugar and mix well. Add the egg mixture to the flour until well blended. My dough felt dry, so I added about 1/2 cup of very cold water (again, think pie crust). 
Mix this well together (works best when using hands to mix). I rolled my dough out and cut it with the "tumbler", I actually used a shrub glass.   The cakes get placed in a 400* oven, about 20 minutes, watch them closely. 

The filling is so easy to make! Mush some nice strawberries, I used a fork and squished them nicely in a bowl and added about 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and placed the mix in the fridge until the cakes were done and cool.

Since the recipe states "have ready some icing" I had no idea what to use! I had missed this part in the initial reading. So I whipped up some icing using a cup of powdered sugar and some heavy cream. This makes a very nice sweet icing!! 

After the cakes come out of the oven and cool, slice them in half, to have a top & bottom. Spread the strawberry filling on a bottom, "quite thick". Place the top on like a sandwich.   The recipe suggests icing the tops and sides, but I found this to be really messy, so after one, I just iced the tops of the cakes. Then add a strawberry or slices for decoration. 

They turned out great!!! They tasted wonderful. The filling and icing are sweet, but the cake is more like a cookie, but not too sweet, so it forms a good balance. In the future I will cut the cakes thicker so they are easier to slice, and maybe larger. In the end, this is a great dessert!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chicken and Maccaroni

Today's recipe comes from The White House Cook Book, 1887.  It is a simple recipe, but also very tasty.

I boiled a few boneless chicken breasts, rather than a whole chicken, this may not be as flavorful, but it is what I had on hand. Once the chicken and maccaroni are boiled, layer them in a pan. Maccaroni then chicken topped with salt, pepper and bits of butter. The recipe calls for the chicken liquor to be put on top of the layer as well, but since I did not boil an entire chicken, I used some chicken broth instead. Continue layering until the dish is full, or you run out of ingredients.  On the top add a few more bits of butter and add a nice cup of rich cream on top.
Place in a 350* oven for about 30 minutes.

This recipe came out very nice. It is simple enough to make in a pinch with a few ingredients. The "sauce" that is formed between the broth, butter, and cream is very good!! This is sure to be a repeat recipe.