Old Food: Vintage Chocolate

The middle of the week really calls for Chocolate, doesn’t it?  (Come to think of it, is there a day of the week that doesn’t call for chocolate?) So I thought I would pull a page out of my other site, Old Food, and share a couple of finds from the Circa19xx time capsule.  The recipes that follow come from  The Chocolate Cookbook published by the Culinary Arts Institute in 1954.

The Chocolate Cookbook
The Chocolate Cookbook published by the Culinary Arts Institute in 1954. This book, which is a small paperback like you might find by cash registers in the grocery store today, was acquired in an estate sale in Leavenworth, Kansas. It is in mint condition.

Anyone who has visited Old Food knows that I am not a fantastic cook.  I’m one of those people (and, funny, I think  there are a lot of us out there!) who enjoy watching cooking shows and perusing cookbooks much more than the process of actually making meals.  One of the things that appeals to me about vintage cookbooks—especially those that are from the mid twentieth century—is that they sometimes have charming illustrations.  Sadly, there are few photos of the food prepared from the recipes.

The introduction to the book. Illustrations like these are on nearly every page.

…and now for the recipes.  If you like these, please be sure to stop by Old Food, where I try to post new (old) recipes fairly regularly.  Also, if you happen to make any recipes presented here or on Old Food, please take pictures and send them to (contact_me@circa19xx.com).  I’ll post your photo with image credits to the site.  Enjoy!

Meltaway Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 tbsps cocoa
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Pull out two 9-inch round layer cake pans.  Place mixing bowl and rotary  beater in refrigerator to chill.
  2. Sift together, then set aside, flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using the chilled bowl and beater, beat chilled whipping cream until cream stands in peaks when beater is slowly lifted upright.
  4. Beat egg whites until rounded peaks are formed.
  5. Gently fold together whipped cream and beaten egg whites.  Sift the dry ingredients over this mixture in fourths, alternately folding the dry ingredients with milk and vanilla extract.
  6. Turn batter into pans.  Bake at 350° 25-30 minutes, or until cake tests done.  Cool and remove from pans.

Quick Honey Fudge Cake

  • 3 oz chocolate
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts (about 3 oz)
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  1. Prepare a 13″x9″ cake pan by lining the bottom with a sheet of wax paper cut to fit, and then lightly greasing it.
  2. Melt chocolate and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, sift these ingredients together:  cake flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add brown sugar and shortening to the sifted ingredients.
  4. Using a rotary beater, blend milk, honey, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add one-half of the milk mixture to the flour mixture.  Beat, using a wooden spoon, vigorously for about 300 strokes (or beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes).  Scrape sides of the bowl occasionally.  Add the cooled chocolate, remaining milk mixture, and 2 eggs.
  6. Beat the mixtures again for 300 strokes (or 2 minutes with an electric mixer); Stir in the chopped nuts.  Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake at 375° about 30 minutes, or until cake tests done.  Cool and remove from pan.

Honey Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 oz chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  1. Combine the following ingredients in top of double boiler and place over simmering water: sugar, chocolate, honey, cream, butter, and salt.
  2. When chocolate is melted, blend well with rotary beater.  Vigorously stir about 3 tablespoons of the hot mixture into the slightly beaten egg yolks; mix thoroughly and then combine with the mixture in the double boiler. 
  3. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly.  When slightly thickened (about 2 minutes), remove from heat; place pan in bowl of ice and water and beat frosting until of spreading consistency.

Chocolate Rum Toffee Dessert

  • 2 oz chocolate
  • 1/4 lb vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsps rum (or you can substitute vanilla extract)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  1. Butter an 8″ square pan.
  2. Melt chocolate and set aside.
  3. Crush vanilla wafers to fine crumbs.  Add chopped nuts; set aside.
  4. Cream together butter,  confectioners’ sugar, and rum.  
  5. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored.  Blend into creamed mixture.  Stir in melted chocolate.  
  6. Beat egg whites until rounded peaks are formed and fold into chocolate mixture.
  7. Spread one-third crumb mixture in the pan.  Cover with one-half the chocolate mixture, pressing firmly into crumbs.  Repeat, ending with crumb layer.  Chill in refrigerator overnight.