The Story

Watch me cook my way through my nanna's legacy to us....her many, many recipes found in a massive pile of very old books and collected pages from her life! These recipes are like an archive from the pre 1940s to the 1980s. My aim is to cook one recipe a week from these. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chocolate Simple Cake

I had to make a birthday cake for my friend, so I decided to use one of nanna's recipes. Chocolate cake always goes down a treat, so that is what I decided to make. Doesn't the final product look impressive??
The Recipe

Click on the link above to view the full recipe. It's a simple chcolate cake originally from the Bourneville Cocoa Company, by the looks.

It makes a great looking batter:

I actually made two double batches because I was feeding a big crowd. I cooked each double batch in a lamington tray, then once they were cooled, I placed one on top of the other and put fresh cream between the two layers.

The icing was the fun part!
The Hints

I iced the cake with a chocolate ganache. Yum! Then I made chocolate curls and added fresh, cut strawberries. For instructions on how to do these, google! That's what I did and it turned out ok. I also bought gingham ribbon and tied bows to toothpicks to get the bow feature.
The Positives

This cake was delicious. Even multiplying the recipe still made a tasty treat.

The Issues

I can't recall any. Once again, you have to convert to metric, but I've resigned myself to having to do this throughout this blog! It's not a mud cake though so be prepared that it is much lighter and less denser under all of that chocolate ganache!

The Rating

As you can see, it got eaten!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Defiance Coconut Drops

Nanna obviously cut this recipe off the side of a flour packet. I guess that they printed them on there in those days....or maybe they still do, but I buy generic flour so probably would never know!

Date of Origin


The Recipe

If you click on the picture above, you will get a larger version of the original!

Melting the margarine was easy:
The mix looked nice! I love coconut!
Rolling into balls and putting in the oven:
Finished and cooked:
The Hints

It's a pretty straightforward recipe. My only concern was that you have to convert to the metric system.

The Positives

I do love coconut. And my kids liked these so they were good for putting in school lunchboxes.

The Issues

I don't know if I got the conversion correct. I think that they ended up with more a cake-like texture than what they should have!

The rating


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sand Cake

If you've decided to follow this blog then I thank you. It's nice to know that nanna's recipes won't be forgotten.

I decided to try nanna's sand cake recipe. She had a couple of recipes for this in her collection. I've no doubt that I'll try the alternate one at some stage in the future, however, the custard powder one is the one that I decided to try first. I know that many people debate whether this is a true sand cake (a sand cake usually has cornflour as a flour base), however I've seen both and this is called a sand cake in her actual recipe, so that's what I'm calling it!!!

Date Of Origin:


The Recipe:

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup self raising flour
3 small tablespoons custard powder
1 egg
pinch salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk

Mix butter, flour and custard powder together. Beat egg and sugar together, then add milk. Add to creamed mixture. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 minutes.


I used a ring tin and this seemed to have a good result.

I iced the cake with a simple butter icing recipe. I also added a tablespoon of custard powder to the icing to give it a bit of taste and colour. My mother tells me that a teaspoon of lemon juice would have worked just as well!

The Positives:

This cake was really easy and really yummy. It didn't last long in this house!

The Issues:

I don't really have any to report except that if you are looking for a really gritty texture to this sand cake, you may be a tad disappointed....until you try eating it!

The rating:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Golden Circle Palm Island Pie

If you have been following my other blog, you will know that one recipe that I had found from nanna's books was a recipe by the Golden Circle Pineapple Company called Palm Island Pie. The recipe is above. Don't you love its retro kitsch??!

Date of Origin:

Unknown but I'm guessing the 60s.

The Recipe:

This was actually a really simple recipe to follow. I won't bore you too much with the details because you can easily follow it from the photo above. The only real issue I had was converting the old imperial measurement system to metric but after a quick google search on conversion sites, it wasn't too hard.


I followed the recipe but didn't end up using all of the egg/milk mixture for the the pastry. I added it bit-by-bit until I was happy that the mix was pastry-firm.

Rolling the pastry out was really easy. A tip is that once you roll it out flat, roll it up like a cylinder to make transferring to the pie dish much easier.
It looked really nice in the pie dish.
This pastry didn't need blind baking. Just pour the cooked filling into the centre then cover with the pastry lid.
I pierced the top with a fork a few times and also used a fork to 'fancy' the edges of the pie.
The final product! I toasted the coconut and placed on the top, as per recipe.
Serve with cream or ice-cream. Looks nice, doesn't it!

The Positives:

The recipe tasted delicious. I loved the pastry. It was easy to make and believe me I usually run at the sight of a pastry recipe. The inclusions of dates originally made me worry but they were actually really nice and added volume to the pineapple filling. And I'm a sucker for coconut so it ticked that box on my yum list!

The Issues:

The filling was a very interesting colour thanks to the dates, but it really didn't matter. You couldn't really make it into a tart, though.

My only other issue was that it disappeared too quickly. Once my husband developed a taste for it, it practically disappeared!

The rating:


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome To Cooking Nanna's Recipes

What do you think of when you think of a nanna? For me, I usually think of a little, old lady with grey hair and glasses hunched over her kitchen stove cooking some amazing concoction. My apologies to all of you young looking nanna's reading this, but that is the image that I have of my own nanna who sadly passed away back in 1992.

After she died, my mother managed to rescue a very old pile of cookbooks and recipes that had been ear-marked for dumping. Hooray for quick thinking mothers because a few weeks ago, I nagged her to get them out of the cupboard where she had them stored. What I found was an amazing collection of recipes and tidbits that my nanna had spent years collecting. Sadly, however many of the pages are now starting to break and crack, hence my blog journey has begun.

My aim is to try and recreate one recipe per week from nanna's recipe collection. In the process, I am hoping that I will preserve recipes that would otherwise be lost over time and maybe just manage to keep some alive for generations to come.

So I hope that you will join me on my culinary journey and enjoy my step back into the world of cooking like my nanna!