Recipes developed during the war to help families cope with rationing and food shortages are often criticised, decried and made fun of, but there were plenty of really peculiar recipes promoted in newspapers, magazines and cookery books before them. I let my 1930’s Modern Practical Cookery book just fall open and the pages were from the cakes section, and there, before my very eyes was cauliflower cake. Now having just come home from a restaurant where we had a meal to celebrate a family birthday, and on my plate was ‘onion cake’ which was compressed onions baked in some way and utterly delicious I was very open-minded about unusual recipes.
I guess Brazil nut cake would be unusual but not extraordinary, and buttercup cake which isn’t made from buttercups would be a disappointment, and beef dripping cake would really not appeal, but cauliflower cake? Cauliflower cake???? In actual fact, it is not really made from cauliflower!
- 3 oz margarine
- 2 oz sugar
- 4 oz self-raising flower
- 1 large egg
- zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ gill of milk
- double cream (the recipe actually says 9d – does that mean nine pennyworth? 9 dessertspoons? – It’s unlikely to be dessertspoons – see item below!)) whipped with 1oz castor sugar
For the almond paste:-
- ¾ lb of ground almonds
- 1 egg beaten
- ¾ lb icig sugar
- 1 dsp lemon juice
- cream the margarine and sugar and beat in the egg and zest
- stir in the flour and moisten with a little milk
- our the mixture into a greased pudding basin and bake for about thirty minutes (no temperature is given but I guess it is 180 C, 360 F, gas mark 4
- make the almond paste – mix almonds and icing sugar, add beaten egg and lemon juice stirring well, use hands to to knead well until it is smooth
- when the cake is taken from the oven and cooled, roll the marzipan into three semi circles, and place against cake, overlapping the edges to appear like leaves
- fill the top of the cake (between the leaves) with piped whipped cream
I think it would be more effective if the marzipan was coloured green! I have no pictures of cauliflower for my featured image, so I am sharing a home grown onion!