POOR MAN’S BOILED Cake – Depression Era Recipe | HARD TIMES – food from times of scarcity

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[calm piano music]
Hello, hello my beautiful lovelies, it’s Emmy. Welcome back to another episode of Hard Times, where I explore food and recipes from periods of hardship.
Today, I’m gonna be tackling another Great Depression recipe, and I got it from this book right here —
and it’s called “A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances [Laura Schenone]”
So this book is pretty comprehensive: it includes narratives and stories from slave times; from native peoples;
from the Great Depression; periods of war….
But what I think is unique about this book, is that it’s told from the perspective of women
and what women had to do during those times. So, very interesting and lots of great recipes.
But today I’m gonna be tackling this one —
it’s Poor Man’s Cake, recounted by Blanche Eddy.
“In its humbleness and simplicity, this raisin spice cake
somehow tastes like the Great Depression, and yet it is surprisingly good,
even though it has no butter, eggs, or milk.
It is also easy and quick to make.”
So, another reason why I wanted to make this cake is that it includes a technique that’s kind of interesting.
You have to boil the ingredients a bit, before adding the flour — which I’ve never done for a cake before.
But I’m gonna try it today! Alrighty. So, here we go.
1 cup (198g) of sugar.
1 1/2 to 2 cups (225g – 300g) of raisins —
Now the author says unless you really, really love raisins, one and a half cups is plenty.
So that’s what I’m going to do because I — mmm,
raisins are like a, you know….
In they go.
I like them, but I… I don’t know.
As a kid, I really didn’t like them. As an adult, they’re fine, you know?
2 cups (472g) of water,
1 teaspoon (2.1g) of clove,
1 teaspoon (2.1g) of freshly grated nutmeg,
and 2 teaspoons (4.3g) of cinnamon.
And for the fat in this cake, we’re gonna use lard. We’re gonna use 1/2 a cup (104g).
Now this is the OXO Good Grips little measuring cup,
I will put the link down below if you are interested in this.
Many of you have said “why did you get that!” and I use it a lot more than I would have expected,
but it’s really, really great for something – like lard or peanut butter –
when it’s really sticky, because you can do this.
Just like…
that, and then you just go —
And you get cinnamon all over yourself.
Lovely. Well, at least you get that. [laughs]
Basically, what we’re making here is a fatty, spice infused syrup.
So I found a similar recipe to this in MFK Fisher’s wonderful book, “How to Cook a Wolf.”
I just recently started reading that book. It is so good.
And there’s a bread recipe I really want to try too.
Okay, so I’m gonna go ahead and boil this for three minutes. Be right back.
So now we’ve let our mixture cool down.
We’re going to take 3 cups (360g) of all-purpose flour,
2 teaspoons (8g) of baking powder,
and 1 teaspoon (7g) of baking soda.
Now we’re gonna add our boiled mixture to that,
to form a batter.
Course, all the raisins are at the bottom. [giggles]
Smells pretty good. It smells like a very spicy spice cake.
All the raisins have plumped up, that’s nice.
Just mix everything in.
You’re gonna need a bundt pan, I’ve already greased this.
Okay, so now we’re gonna pop this into a 350°F (177°C) oven and bake it for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Okay, see you in a little bit!
Alrighty, so here is my poor man’s cake. It’s been cooling for a little while.
So it cooked for exactly 45 minutes, when I checked it with the toothpick, it came out absolutely clean.
And my kitchen smells wonderful. Lovely spice smells of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.
So it doesn’t say this in the instructions, but I’m gonna go ahead and dress this up with a little bit of powdered sugar.
Because bundt cakes, for me, always scream powdered sugar.
Oh my goodness, yes. So festive!
Alrighty, so let’s go ahead and cut into the cake. Okay, here we go.
Oop, there came a raisin.
Ooh, look at that.
ʰᵉʰ ʰᵉʰ
So by the smells of my kitchen, this is gonna taste good,
but the crumb looks really good as well. The cake is fully cooked.
It has a beautiful kind of molasses color.
And it’s a good, moist, spice cake. It tastes a lot like a carrot cake,
but it doesn’t have any of that toothiness that comes from the shredded carrots.
Same flavor profile of lots of cinnamon and tons of clove.
I personally would pull back a little bit on the clove.
A lot, a lot of clove in there.
Nutmeg too, so cinnamon to me is fine, but the clove is a bit strong.
The texture of the cake is lovely. It’s very, very moist and tender.
The amount of sugar in there is just right.
It’s not overly sweet, but just sweet enough to make you feel like you’re having a dessert or a cake,
but I’m really impressed with how moist the cake is.
And if you’re wondering if the lard added any kind of flavor to the cake,
it doesn’t at all. It’s just tastes like a delicious spiced cake.
Mm-hmm. [chuckles]
So there you have it, the poor man’s cake.
Let me know down in the comments if there are any recipes that you’d like me to taste or try.
Share this video with your friends. It really helps me out.
Follow me on social media, like this video, subscribe, and I shall see you in the next one. Toodaloo. Take care. Bye!
I like cake, yes I do.

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