The Keepers. Cookbooks and Recipes from the past.
What makes you a great cook – or baker? It’s great recipes! If you can follow a recipe, understand the instructions, well, that’s half of it. The other half is knowing a great recipe when you see it. Or, at the very least, you know (i.e. TRUST) the recipe author.
And boy do I have some great recipes!
I don’t have any idea how many cookbooks I have, or how many clipped or printed or saved-on-the-computer recipes I have, but it’s a lot! I have some really great cookbooks, and a few I’ve gotten in the last couple of years, but I have lots of old, worn out cookbooks that are just too good to get rid of. I write notes in them, but more so you can tell how good the recipes are by how messy and dirty the recipe page is!
So, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite-est recipes and cookbooks.
Today is a cookbook that I’ve had forEVER, and it looks like it, too. It’s a paperback cookbook and it didn’t cost me very much.
Plus, it’s fun to look at old cookbooks because you can see how times have changed
When looking at a book, you get a hint of what kind of author you’re reading by their dedications and appreciations.
So, when we found out old friends who’d moved away would be back in town, we invited them for dinner and to stay overnight. I wanted to make something that wouldn’t be too time consuming but tasty. I knew one thing we all loved was chocolate and so decided on that for dessert. Out comes my trusty Chocolate Mousse Cake recipe. You can see where I’ve written in it, set wet vanilla extract bottles on the page and splattered chocolate batter on it. HA! Dead giveaway!
We had a great dinner of roasted thick cut pork chops with roasted sweet potatoes and apples with rosemary and a lovely apple cider sauce. We sat and talked for a while, catching up. Then I asked if anyone was ready for dessert – uh, yes, please!
We ate outside in our screened room. We have little lights strung high and one of those outside heaters that we had on for the crisp, cool, all night. It wasn’t Italy … but it could’ve been.
Yes, dinner was great, but what we loved most was sitting for hours with our friends. We laughed and talked and talked and talked. It was wonderful.
So would you like to make this for you and your best-est friends? If you do make it, write me, I’d love to hear back from you. How did it turn out? More importantly, did you enjoy making it, and then sharing it with people you love? And will this become one of your old favorites, too?
I sure hope so.
Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Yield: 1 Cake (8-10 Servings)
Doubly delicious - the mousse is part cake, part filling
- 7 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter
- 7 eggs separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 pint whipping cream (1 cup)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degres (165 C).
- In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over the low heat.
- In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until very light and fluffy. about 5 minutes. (NOTE: this is only a portion of the sugar! Don't pour it all in!)
- Gradually beat in warm chocolate mixture and vanilla.
- In another large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff.
- Fold egg whites carefully into chocolate mixture. Pour 3/4 of the batter (not all of it!) into an ungreased 9" x 3" springform pan. Cover remaining batter and chill.
- Bake cake 35 minutes.
- Remove cake from oven and cool. cake will drop as it cools. Remove outside ring of springform pan.
- Prepare Whipped Cream Frosting by whipping cream until soft peaks form and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff. Set aside
- Stir chilled batter to soften slightly. Spread on top of cake. Chill until firm.
- Spread Whipped Cream Frosting over tops and sides. Garnish with Chocolate Leaves (or just grate or 'peel' chocolate with a vegetable peeler, as I did in the photo). Chill several hours or overnight. (I chilled mine about 3 hours.) May be frozen.