Sunday, March 22, 2015

Banana Walnut Cake - Nostalgic Kitchen

I really like old cookbooks. I don't mean from 2000 or even 1980. My favorites are from around the 1900s and use terms like "teaspoonfulls" instead of just teaspoons. Since a lot of them are now public domain, you can even find them for free online! They are fun because of the recipes, too. I mean, at the time they didn't have the same kinds of refrigeration or access to fresh produce that we do, or pre-processed things like 'boneless skinless chicken breast,' which is certainly a staple in my modern American kitchen.

Another fun kind is from fundraisers and church groups. The other day I was at Goodwill looking for props for a photo booth. I got a great scarf and a foam hand and over-sized martini glasses, and picked up a Cookbook from the San Antonio Orchestra's Women's group, published in 1963. Sometimes even the descriptions are funny, like Crepes Suiza, which they call the French version of enchiladas but then note that the recipe comes from Mexico City. When I googled the name, I got several pages in Spanish, like this recipe.

I decided to put my fascination with these to good use by including them on the blog, with the tag "nostalgic kitchen." This is the first, and if I stay interested, with enough free time, many more will follow! Of course, my soft spot is sweet things. For my first test, I decided to try Banana Walnut Cake, a simple dessert. The directions are very simple, even if not in the order I would expect.
Cream the butter and sugar? Yes, normal. Add baking soda and buttermilk at the same time? Ok.... but then the flour, vanilla, bananas and nuts at once?? And why fold it, instead of just stir in? Doesn't seem like it would mix right, but I did it anyway.

Since this was just a test recipe, and it has more butter than I would usually put in a recipe. I made just a half batch instead of adjusting things like crazy. It says to bake it in 2 pans (what size? I guess that's up to you? Or maybe you should just know??) but I made it as cupcakes and it filled 8 cupcake cups.

They look pretty good! They feel really soft, taking them out of the tin, and are nice and brown on top. Most of them have dimples in the middle, like they are undercooked, but a toothpick came out clean, so I'm calling it good.

Banana Walnut Cake

(Half recipe, with re-interpreted directions.)

1/4 c butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbs buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 medium banana)
1/2 cup walnuts, in large pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F, grease muffin tin
  2. Cream the butter and sugar
  3. Add buttermilk, blend, and then mix in egg, then mashed banana
  4. Add flour and baking soda, stir to combine
  5. Stir in walnuts
  6. Pour batter into muffin tin to fill each about 2/3 full
  7. Bake at 350º F for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are brown and toothpick in center comes out clean
Nutrition info: Calories - 238;   Fat - 11g;    Carbs - 32g;    Fiber - 1g;    Protein - 3g
(Mr. More Calories loves that I didn't decrease the butter or walnuts, but we're not all triathletes! Hoping for something similar, but a little healthier? Try this banana bread, without the coconut!)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this recipe - fun! I love old cookbooks, too. I have my Great Grandmother's Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book from 1909. Her daughter filled it with recipes cut out of magazines and there are handwritten recipes, too. Guess I should remember to try some. Hope all is well!


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