I recently acquired a wartime recipes book so here is my first experiment on cooking from the 40’s. The first two things I tried, these potato cakes and some carrot cookies, both use veg to bulk out the standard ingredients and it really is surprising how far things go with just small amounts of sugar and marge.
These are fried or cooked on a hot plate or griddle and reminded me a lot of Welshcakes.
4 oz cooked potatoes (I found just over 5 oz will reduced to 4 when peeled and cooked)
2 oz self raising flour (or use plain and double the baking powder)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 oz sugar
1 oz margarine
1 tbsp marmalade
1 oz dried fruit
1. Mash the potatoes, or better still use a potato ricer to ensure no lumps (I thought this might be cheating but having just seen Mary Berry using her mother’s it is definitely authentic).
2. Cream the margarine, sugar and marmalade together. It might be easier to add the marmalade after so you can see the colour of the margarine to make sure it has gone pale and mixed in properly.
3. Mix in the flour, potato and dried fruit. The mixture should be quite stiff.
4. Flour your worksurface and shape into rounds. Add more flour if they’re too sticky to shape.
5. Grease a heavy frying pan/ solid electric hotplate or griddle. Heat for a few minutes- you will know if it’s ready when a pinch of flour will turn golden brown within a minute.
6. Add the cakes to the pan, cooking for 2 minutes on each side.
7. Lower the heat and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, keep turning to avoid burning.
8. Sprinkle with sugar and mixed spice. Can be eaten hot or cold but are best fresh out of the pan.