Here are two recipes from the Cooma Cookery Book, first published in October 1930. I have included the names of the original cooks and authors of the recipes. I think we can learn a lot today from the cooking skills of the older generation and enjoy recreating some of the recipes of the day. This was a time long before you could go to a supermarket (they didn’t exist) and buy virtually any cake mix you fancied, or else go to any one of hundreds of outlets selling ready made cakes of every variety possible.
Women of this era were good and inventive cooks, and sweet and cake making skills were passed down from mother to daughter. I still remember the lovely smell of warm cake cooking in the oven at home, and enjoying the age-old tradition of helping to mix the sugar and butter, adding an egg, milk and flour, and later being allowed to lick the spoon (or later the beaters) and eat any leftover scraps in the bowl. It was a lovely time for mother and children to spend together and part of a cherished memory of childhood.
MOCHA CAKE ( Mrs. O.C. Litchfield)
6 oz. butter; 6 oz. sugar; 8 oz self raising flour; 3 tablespoons coffee essence; 3 tablespoons boiling water; 3 eggs.
Beat butter and sugar to a cream; add eggs well beaten, then essence dissolved in water, lastly flour and pinch of salt. Beat well together; bake in large sandwich tins in medium oven, about 10 minutes. Fill with a layer of jam (not too sweet) and layer of coffee icing. Ice and decorate with burnt nuts and sprinkles of coffee.
SPANISH WALNUT CAKE (Mrs. John Mack)
1/2 cup of butter; 3/4 cup sugar; 2 eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately; 2 cups of self raising flour; 1/2 cup milk; 2 teaspoons cinnamon; 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
Beat butter and sugar to cream; add yolk of eggs well beaten, then walnuts, then milk. Sift flour and cinnamon and add to mixture, lastly add stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in deep tin about 3/4 hour in moderate oven.