1940’s Chocolate Cake

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During the Second World War, British food supply was cut short by the Germans, who attacked many ships supplying food to Great Britain. Rationing was then introduced by the Ministry of Food to ensure everyone could still have access to the limited food supply; however, each person was given the same amount.

Rationing was also put in place to ensure the health of the nation. Foods such as bacon, butter and sugar were rationed, followed by meat, milk, eggs, tea, jam, etc. By August 1942, almost all foods were rationed.

Sounds a little scary if you ask me–suddenly finding yourself cut of all these luxuries. However, I can assure you that–from personal experience–once you cut off fatty and sugary foods (even if just a percentage) your body no longer craves it. However, my husband and I admit that had we lived through WWII in Britain, it would have been a very hard life, since we both love meat, and I go through a lot of milk and eggs.

Speaking of milk and eggs, I came upon a cake–or sponge–recipe in the book Eating for Victory that calls for no milk nor eggs. I was intrigued by this, as I know these two sources give cake its moisture and consistency. Not to mention the original recipe is called a Chocolate Sponge, but there are no beaten egg whites–due to the shortage of eggs during WWII–to give this cake its sponge-like texture.

Still, I decided to create this bread-like cake that most resembles what families during the war may have had to endure with. Looking at the recipe, this may have been a luxury too, with the amount of sugar and butter involved.

For those of you who are allergic to eggs, or lactose intolerant like myself–and especially you foodies and lovers of history like me–I highly encourage you to give this recipe a try 🙂

Recipe:

  1. 2 c. self-rising flour
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  4. 6 Tbsp. sugar
  5. 1 Tbsp. syrup or honey
  6. ¾ c. Hot water
  7. 2 tsp. baking powder
  8. 3 Tbsp. melted butter
  9. Dash of vanilla extract

Quick Chocolate Glaze: (Optional)

  1. ½ c. Chocolates
  2. 3 Tbsp. butter

Start by combining all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Then add the honey with the water, and pour it into the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Don’t forget to add a dash of vanilla extract, and mix everything together.

Next, place the mixture into a pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit–190 degrees C–for roughly 20 minutes, depending on your oven.

To check if the cake is done, poke the middle with a toothpick. It should come out clean. Then allow the cake to cool before adding your choice of jam, chocolate, or ice cream.

To make a quick chocolate glaze, melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave, and drizzle on top of the the cake. And enjoy^-^

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