On a previous Curiously Creatively blog post, I have mentioned an old cookery book that languished at my parent’s house. The book is called Cakes & Cake Decorating by Rosemary Wadey (Octopus Books, 1979, 1981). Well, I finally managed to find room for it in the luggage that we brought back on our Christmas trip (thank heavens that ferries don’t have baggage charges). It’s certainly good to have the book back again, partly I admit for nostalgic reasons as I have baked many items from the book. I used it a great deal when, many moons ago I baked for a market stall and a delicatessen in Birmingham. As I said before, the book has the scars (in the form of plenty of grease stains) to attest to its cookery bible status.
Now that I do have the book back, I have a great opportunity to bake some goodies that I have not sampled in quite a few years. I also have an opportunity for some shameless nostalgia in recalling cakes that I made for various people and occasions. One of my all time favourites in this book is a ginger cake recipe that at one time I baked every week for a regular order. However, as I did have a hand written copy of that recipe, I have been able to make it for us and I did use it as a birthday cake base last year.
Where I did start the big re-bake (if that is even a word) was with the Viennese Tart recipe since I have been promising to show Verity how to make them for ages. Not only did I used to make them for my market stall, they were a weekly product at the Birmingham bakery where I worked after leaving college. We used also to make Viennese Whirls from the same basic mixture, where the paste was piped directly onto a lined baking sheet. When cool, the biscuits were sandwiched with buttercream and half dipped in chocolate. Very yummy!
Here are the Viennese ingredients as given in Rosemary Wadey’s book:
200g plain flour
pinch of salt
200g butter or margarine
50g castor sugar
icing sugar for dredging
1 – 2 TBS seedless raspberry jam
You use a basic creaming method, and you should end up with a light mixture that will pipe easily enough yet still hold a shape in a paper case. According to the book, the Viennese mixture should make sixteen tarts but I only managed fourteen (and I made two batches, each with the same result). I used a half-inch star piping tube to pipe a swirl in each paper case. Bake at 180⁰C/350⁰F or gas mark 4 for about 20 minutes. The tarts should be a light golden brown in colour. Leave them in the tray to cool a little before attempting to transfer them to a cooling rack, as they are quite fragile while warm.
Finish them off with a good dredging of icing sugar and a dot of jam in the centre. For this it is easiest to use a small greaseproof paper piping bag, but you could use a teaspoon and carefully put a small amount of jam in each indent. Instead of putting the jam on top, we did as the book suggested and put a piece of glace cherry on before baking.
You will have to take our word for it that our tarts turned out well since we forgot the photographic evidence. We testify that they tasted very nice….
What have you baked lately? Do let us know.