Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cupcake Project 1935

Yesterday, I just happened to remember that I am in possession of one of my grandmother’s cookbook from way back in the day.  I got it out and looked through it.  It was very interesting reading.  It was like finding a hidden treasure inside my own house.
The book name was “Rumford Complete Cookbook, Revised.”  I couldn’t find a date anywhere in the book but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one at one time.  Several pages were torn so I will assume some are missing.

Grandmother had hand written several recipes on various papers that were tucked away inside the book.  One was a chocolate cup cake recipe that was hand written on an index card.  This same recipe was hand written “again” on a blank page in the book.  It looked important.

This recipe had to be her “go to” chocolate cupcake recipe.  On the back of the card she had written, “have had this cup cake recipe for a long time.  About 1935.”
I made the present day note for historical reasons.

I asked my mom if she remembered her mother making chocolate cupcakes.  She said, “No” and she immediately pointed out that the recipe was older than her.  Oops!

All day long I have been thinking about this recipe and what it would be like.  Finally, this evening, I made the cupcakes.

The recipe is very unusual for this day and time but it IS a 78-year-old recipe.  “Unusual” is expected.

All of the ingredients were added to the mixing bowl in the order listed in the recipe.  There was no sifting of the dry ingredients, no creaming of the butter and sugar. No adding the eggs, one at a time, just until blended and absolutely no alternating of the dry ingredients with the liquid.

I stacked all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, in the order listed, and mixed for 2 minutes as directed.  The recipe didn’t state the mixer speed but I assume there were no Kitchen Aid mixers back then.  Either a hand mixer was used or it was mixed entirely by hand with a spoon or whisk.  I would assume that even a hand mixer would be a luxury in 1935.  I mixed on medium.

The recipe stated to bake the cupcakes at a “moderate oven.”  I had no clue what that meant so I just used my standard 375-degree cupcake temperature.

Once I looked a little closer at the book, it had an entire page devoted to “Baking by Temperature.”  A “moderate oven” for “drop or cupcakes” is 375 degrees.   I got it right.

Once I begin mixing I was concerned.  I mean I have never mixed a cake like this.  You just don’t do it this way “today.”

The mixture became more and more silky as the mixing time progressed.  In the end, it was the silkiest batter I have ever experienced.  Sweet.

The cupcakes turned out beautiful.

They turned out more beautiful and more uniform than any chocolate cupcake that I have ever made in two entire years of testing chocolate cupcakes.

Taste test.

I taste tested too many. 

I had to be sure they were good.

Oh my.

….and this was without any icing. 

Maybe they don’t need icing. 

Maybe they do. 

Maybe tomorrow.

Somebody stop me. 

What is your favorite cupcake recipe?


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