We don’t often do book reviews on Chocablog, but I couldn’t resist talking about this one. Lowney’s Cook Book is a 400 page cookbook that was first published in 1907.
It’s interesting to us, because Lowney was a very well known American chocolate maker, and more than 60 of the recipes in this little paperback book feature chocolate.
This reprint features a foreward by food historian Jeri Qunzio which explains some of the history behind the book, Maria Willet Howard (the author) and the Lowney Chocolate Company.
The book also features a short chapter on “the growth and preperation of cocoa” as well as suggested menu for a whole week. It’s a fascinating read.
The recipes themselves are short and to the point. The book does contain a few illustrations, but the vast majority of recipes don’t have any kind of visual aid, so you’re on your own if things don’t look right. Here’s a couple of sample recipes to give you an idea:
- 3 squares Lowney’s Premium Chocolate
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated gelatine
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup scalded milk
- whip from 3 cups cream
Melt chocolate; add sugar and water; cook until smooth. Soak gelatine in cold water; dissolve in boiling water; add chocolate mixture. Chill partially; add vanilla, and whip from cream. Mold, chill and serve, garnished with beaten cream and cherries.
Chocolate Cream Pie
- 2 squares Lowney’s Premium Chocolate or 1/2 cup Lowney’s Cocoa
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups milk
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Melt two squares Lowney’s Chocolate or one half cup Lowney’s Cocoa, add sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, salt and milk. Cook in double boiler till thick, stirring constantly; flavour with vanilla. Pour into a baked pie crust shell, cover with meringue made by beating egg whites till stiff and adding two tablespoons sugar; brown in oven and serve cold.
(Recipes republished by permission of Pelican Publishing)
This really is a fun book. It’s absolutely packed with recipes like these, as well as all sorts of savoury dishes, soups, drinks, sandwiches and a whole lot more. It even has a section on how to carve meat.
It may take some time to work out modern equivalents in some of the recipes, but if you ever find yourself in early 20th Century New England, this is probably the only cook book you’ll ever need.