Sunday, 26 June 2011

History corner – Pineapple and walnut cake

Good Housekeeping’s “New Cooking” was published in 1964 and the cover couldn’t scream “1960s” any louder if it tried! It’s hard to believe, but the couple on the cover could be well into their seventies now! The back cover shows their swanky and covetable kitchen/diner. At the time it was probably cutting edge but now looks rather kitsch and retro. I suppose all our kitchens will look that out of date in 50 years’ time!

As soon as I found this gem of book, priced at a meagre 50p, on a second hand bookstall in my local market I knew it was coming home with me. What instantly struck me was that, even though the book acknowledges that young couples are likely to both work, matters of running the household and cooking fall squarely on the wife’s shoulders.

One section is brilliantly titled “how much will he eat?” and provides guidance as to the quantities of food you should give your husband. No offence to the fragrant and delightful Mr CC, but I would not look forward to an evening where I had given him ½ lb of cabbage for dinner!

All the feminists out there will love the section titled, “Wife at work”. For your entertainment I shall quote directly: “the career-wife really has to put her back into the catering problem, or she will find herself eternally serving fish fingers and frozen peas. Feeling a bit of a bristle yet? Let me continue: “Try to organise some of your cooking ahead. An hour’s baking on Saturday can provide flan cases for mid-week puddings, a meat or fruit pie for Monday or Tuesday, a fruity cake to eat with coffee instead of having to make a sweet.

The chapter covering entertaining does at least manage to patronise both the husband and wife: “Slick cooperation between husband and wife makes all the difference to smooth running dinner parties...and it you have trained him to make the coffee and to wash up afterwards – well, good for you!

This is actually a really good cook book packed with some lovely and unusual recipes. I found it hard to select just one for this post but eventually went for the pineapple and walnut cake simply because it uses two of my favourite ingredients.

The recipe was written in ounces so I include those in the listing below. The glace icing is my own addition.

I also made English Madeleines this week; I’ve made them before (recipe can be found here
) but this time used my new Dr Oetker cake release spray. Dariole moulds can be a terror for turning out cakes but they just slid out! Great product.

No post from me next weekend as I’m off on hols; expect a ‘cakes I ate whilst abroad’ type update on my return!


200g / 7oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
140g / 5oz caster sugar
3 eggs
255g / 9oz self raising flour
225g / 8oz drained canned crushed pineapple – save the juice for the icing
55g / 2oz walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons warm water

Optional glace icing:

200g/ 7oz icing sugar
3 tablespoons pineapple juice, from the can of pineapple

To decorate: walnut halves


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ fan oven 160˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take several minutes so don’t skimp and move on too quickly.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating as you go. If the mixture looks like it might curdle add a little of the flour. (If you spent long enough whipping up the butter and sugar, the mix shouldn’t curdle).

Fold in the flour.

Stir in the pineapple, walnuts and warm water.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 1 hour – 1 hour 15minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out cleanly.

Place the cake, still in its tin, on a wire rack and leave to cool.

Remove the cake from the tin when it is cool enough to safely handle, and then leave the cake on the wire rack until cool.

The cake will store for several days in an airtight container.

If you wish to make the glace icing simply combine the icing sugar and pineapple juice in a bowl and whisk until you have a thick white icing.

Pour onto the cake, it will run down the sides a little but not too much.

Place walnut halves on top for decoration

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Gloria said...

Cake crusader I love antiques recipes specially from Good housekkeping, always are amazaing and this Pineapple and walnut cake look lovley! and yummy!
Love the pictures, gloria

Perdita said...

As a main wage earner, who works 12 hour days and considers myself feminist, I didn't actually bristle at all ... I actually thought 'oh, at least it doesn't pretend it's easy and you don't have to cook-ahead-and-freeze or ready meal things, because you think you're super human, rich enought to buy deli cheats and can whip up one of Jamies 30 minute meals (with their hour of prep and washing up)...'

The thing is, man or woman, if you work full time and appreciate proper food you DO need to plan ahead and take advice, or you will be exhausted.

The tone might be old fashioned but it's something people raised on Jamie etc' forget, then get put off cooking from scratch because they think quick means no prep rather than careful planning.

C said...

Looks like a gorgeous moist texture - you're making me crave pineapple now, can't remember the last time I ate pineapple!

Still loving the history corner feature, hope you've got plenty of books stacked up for it!

decocinasytacones said...

This looks so yummy, spongy and moist. I love this kind of cakes.
Thanks for sharing!

Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) said...

The cake looks so moist - i love old recipes like this

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Perdita

You hit my point bang on when you said "man or woman". Nothing wrong with planning ahead - it's common sense, what made me bristle was that this book, published during what is often perceived to be a great decade of female liberation, does not once mention that men can, and may indeed wish to, cook.

Happy baking

Rhyleysgranny said...

Oh I enjoyed that. How times have changed. I have Mrs Beetons and it deals with employing staff. It is such a hoot.
Your cake and madelines are gorgeous. x

Sarah-Jane - said...

old books can be a joy to look through.

I did giggle at the comment about serving Mr CC 1/2lb of cabbage.

I made english madeleines last week too. Actually - when you have some time, message me after your holiday and we can talk madeleines / darioles :-)

Johanna GGG said...

that cookbook is hilarious - especially the cover - but at least they give some decent cakes to bake - I would be quite happy to plan ahead with this cake :-)

Maggie said...

I love the recipe sections as outlined by you CC. The pineapple and walnut cake looks great.
Husband looking adoringly at his wife because she has made yet another pie for him is wonderful, it's just the same in this house!!!

Miz Ratti said...

That looks well lush!

Cakelaw said...

Loving this pineapple cake - and LOL at the cover of the recipe book. English madeleines eh - you learn something new every day.

Baking Addict said...

Love the book. Loving the cake even more - it looks really moist and delicious - I'll have to try making it someday. Have a great holiday - look forward to the cakes ate abroad post :)

Bake...Mistake? said...

That looks incredible! Is love some advice or tips on improving my own baking if u get time. I'm putting all my attempts on my blog as I'm learning to bake, in the hope that people cam give me ways of improving! Http://

glamah16 said...

I love all Dr Oteker products! One of my favorite pastimes is looking through vintage recipes from my mothers era, etc.

Lou said...

I have just come across your blog for the first time (it was mentioned in book The Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan). Reading about the Good Housekeeping book reminded me we have an old book called "Cookery Illustrated and Household Management" Edited by Elizabeth Craig (Odhams Press Limited) from 1936. Reading it today really makes me laugh - it was aimed at housewives, with many recipes, meal plans, nutrition advice, first aid and even how to set the table with perfect symmetry with the cutlery half an inch from the edge of the table etc! There's also one part which talks about if you're trying to lose weight and advises for you to cook a load of potatoes, serve custard, cream etc. at a party, but not eat any yourself - pretty much feed up all your friends to make yourself feel better. Not sure if you could get hold of a copy but it's really interesting if you're into retro stuff.

Pauline said...

Working backwards to this blog, I love GH and I have a 1950's version in lurid colour I still use, despite warnings that we are only just over the sugar rationing! Love English madeleines and that's how I originally found your blog :-) My mum used to make chocolate castles with the same moulds. Large amounts of cabbage strangely fashionable again, best keep hold of this one. X

natalie rae said...

Made this cake,and it was amazingly moist! made pineapple buttercream to ice it and will be making this one again - thank you so much for sharing it!