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Old recipes

Although not originally among the seven arts, and not always considered one even now, culinary art is one of the oldest and most important of the arts, and not only for gourmands.

Old as humanity itself, cooking has evolved and today it is as important to know the nutritive qualities of the ingredients as is to be at least familiar with the art of their combination. Long gone are the times when we had to eat just to survive. Now, special care is taken in preparing food, from the hors d’oeuvres to the last course and much can be said about the choreography of a well planned dinner. Skill is required, rehearsals are made, and in the end the occasion is more than just a time and place to eat, it becomes a performance.

However, not every time are we inclined to make the act of eating into a finer form of art. Everyday meals are sometimes boring, sometimes fast and of necessity, but many times, with just a little time investment, can become much more than just nutrition.

In the Old countries, people used to do this. Cooking - and the special performance of dinner – was central to many if not all occasions, as catering was not really heard of. Nowadays, people don’t have the time to cook, and many times they lack the skill as well, and something that would be very personal for the people involved in the preparation of the feast has become outsourced to companies that do perhaps a better job than amateurs – but often lack the heart, the personal touch. This happens mostly because as the division of labor has increased the quality of life of most people, it also has robbed most people of some skills. No one should build everything they own, but for some endeavors, a little personal touch, a little soul and personal effort can mean the difference between bland and unforgettable.

Thus is the situation with food. Though food is generally available ready-made, in various levels of healthiness and price, traditional dishes still exist around the globe. In various regions of the world, they are still center piece at every occasion, bringing a family together and bring back memories of childhood or times long ago. This, however, is changing.

As the world goes by faster, people have not the time anymore to cook, to learn, to practice. They rely on processed food because it takes a little less time. They go out, because it is more fun – they think – to eat in a restaurant instead of at home. And as a young person, to me sometimes this makes sense.

However, I was raised in a traditional family, and discovered early on that sometimes, the food you eat has as big a part in the festivity as anything. And when a bite of food can take you back across the years, to some place far away and different times, you understand its importance.

Green sponge cake

For that reason I have decided to post some of the recipes that my family has used in time that they might be shared and remembered. We’ll start with a “green sponge cake” that we have usually had at holidays and still brings back memories of happy times. The cake is pretty standard, but the color came to be one Christmas while experimenting – as cooking sometimes is a whole family activity with us.

Ingredients

It is made of three parts. A sponge cake covered with a type of custard and chocolate topping. As usual, please check the ingredient list for allergens.

Sponge cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 12 tsp sugar
  • 11 tsp flour
  • 6 tsp water
  • Half a pack of baking powder
  • Green food coloring

Custard:

  • 400 grams ground biscuits
  • 250 ml milk
  • 2 tsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp sour cherry jam
  • 200 grams butter
  • 150 grams sugar

Topping:

  • 5 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp boiling water

Preparation

The sponge cake is made as follows. Take the eggs and separate the yolk from the whites.Rub the yolks with the sugar in a bowl, add water and flour. The whites are whisked separately and added to the mixture. When done, pour the resulting mixture in a tray and set to bake (what I do, if not sure when it’s baked, is stick a toothpick in it. If it comes up clean, it’s done.)

Make syrup for the cake. Boil one cup of water with 2 tsp sugar and rum essence. Any flavour can work, but very sweet ones might be too much. After the syrup is boiled and cooled, pour it evenly over the cake.

To prepare the custard, mix the ingredients above thouroughly until they become a sort of paste, then spread it over the cake.

The topping is made by mixing the sugar, cocoa and boiling water together, and then carefully pouring this over the cake. It will set and harden when cooled, so it should be done hot – but be careful! Also, the topping can be made from chocolate melted in a „bain-marie”.

When the cake is done, set it into the fridge. To us it brings memories of fun times and holiday, hopefully it will be a part of your special occasion!

Enjoy!


Cooking | Food | Recipes | Cookies and Candies


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