Desserts

Baking without…Eggs: Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

By 1945, rationing and shortages had created challenges for home front housewives. Cooking practices changed due to the lack of ingredients needed for certain recipes or meals. It was difficult for families that were used to eating meat and potato meals to adjust to less appealing cuts of meat and dishes made with ingredient substitutions.

Women’s magazines of the time period often had articles that helped women figure out how to make new wartime meals appealing to their families. In the January 1945 issue of Women’s Day, there is an article called “You Can Bake Without…” and has ideas for recipes made without eggs, sugar, milk, or shortening. As a series, I’m going to make the recipes from each of these categories. This month, I’ll bake without eggs. Next month I’ll bake without sugar, and so on. Join me this week for the egg-free desserts.

Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

The cocoa cake recipe recommended using a large loaf pan, but we chose to use a bundt pan instead so we could add a glaze. The cocoa cake recipe was from the Woman’s Day article but the glaze was from a period cookbook. A fun tidbit–this cake cost 23 cents to make in 1945.

Addie from Sugar Addie’s baked this cake. She makes more than just wartime food and is an especially talented baker. You can follow her on Instagram: @sugaraddies. Of course, History in the Kitchen is also on Instagram. Come join me at @history.in.the.kitchen.

On to the recipes!

Ingredients

1/2 c. shortening

2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. buttermilk

2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour

1/2 c. cocoa

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. hot water

Cream the shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Then you add 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and beat well. Then add the sifted dry ingredients, alternating with the water and remaining buttermilk, and mix well. The recipe calls for a greased and buttered 12 x 8 x 2-inch pan, but the bundt pan worked great for us. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

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Chocolate Coating

We thought the cake needed something to top it off, so we looked through my cookbook collection to find the perfect chocolate glaze. This one came from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook‘s 1944 edition. It’s actually a chocolate coating to cover frosting, but it worked perfectly as a glaze for this cocoa cake.

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

2 tsp butter or margarine

Melt chocolate and butter and blend.  Let the cake cool. Use a spoon to pour the frosting over the cake. The recipe says that this frosting can also be used as a coating for other types of frosting, as well. We used it by itself for this cake.

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Results

The cake was fluffy, bouncy, and moist with a fudgy layer at the bottom. It had a nice milk chocolate flavor, and the frosting was smooth and mild. This was a big hit with everyone who tried it. I liked that the chocolate isn’t too intense. It was pretty quick to throw together, but the bundt cake pan and the chocolate glaze made it attractive enough to take as a potluck dish or to a family get-together.

Looking for part 2 of this series? Here it is: Crumb Cake Part 3 is here: Baking without…Eggs: Prune Cake

Third Time’s a Charm?: Spiced Blueberry Pie

Making the blueberry pie for the Summer Lawn Party turned into quite the pie adventure.  As promised, here is the recipe and the experience my daughter and I had troubleshooting it.

Round One

We followed the recipe exactly, using frozen blueberries as suggested. Here are the ingredients.

Pastry for a two crust pie

3 c frozen or canned blueberries

1 tbsp flour

1 c brown sugar

1 tbsp butter

1/4 tsp ground cloves

 

We thawed the blueberries to try to keep the pie from being too watery. We lined the pie with dough for one crust, and put the berries into the pie. We sprinkled the pie with the flour and brown sugar, then dotted it with butter. We then dusted the cloves over the top of the brown sugar. We cut a few slits in the top crust and placed it on the pie. We baked it for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduced the temperature to 350 degrees and baked for another 30 minutes.

The pie turned out incredibly runny. It had a really nice spicy- sweet layer right below the crust from the brown sugar, cloves, and butter. We definitely needed bowls when we ate this. It was a nice balance of sweet and a bit tart. The textures of the crust, blueberries, and the brown sugar layer complimented each other well. We finally decided to use the pie as an ice cream topping, and try the recipe again with some adjustments to the ingredients.

Round Two

For the second version, we used fresh blueberries and changed or added the following ingredients.

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp flour

4 tbsp butter

We mixed the flour and cornstarch into the blueberries, but kept the rest of the recipe the same. The resulting pie was still runny, but not quite as watery as the first pie. It still had a nice layer of the sweet brown sugar mixture, and was ultimately used for ice cream topping again due to the consistency of the filling.

Round Three

For our final pie, we purchased cans of blueberry pie filling. Everything else in the recipe was the same. We had hoped the canned filling would help thicken the consistency of the blueberries, but the third pie also suffered from the same watery filling.

Results

The pies were delicious. Despite the runny filling, the flavor was just right. The winning part of this recipe is the brown sugar and clove topping right beneath the top crust. Adding this pie to ice cream was a big hit. We used both a vanilla and a blackberry ice cream. It made a perfect summer dessert. Even my one year old wanted more, so I count it as a success. I’d make this again just to use it for a topping. It definitely didn’t work as a pie for us.

Do you have suggestions on how to thicken the filling? We’d love to hear them and would try this recipe again to test them.