Food that Really Schmecks - questions about ingredients
Keeping in mind I don't do a lot of baking (or a lot of recipes from the 1960s), but seeing as The Holidays are coming up and I'm on the whole Mennonite theme right now, I thought I would do some baking for the upcoming feasts. Only... some of the ingredients listed in this book (Food that Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler) confuse me. Could you help?
Cocoa - in the recipe Best Cocoa Cake. It says we should dissolve the cocoa in boiling water before adding to the mix. Are we talking unsweetened cocoa powder like I use for hot chocolate?
Soda - from the same recipe (and most of the other baking recipes). Baking soda?
Any problem substituting the shortening with lard (same recipe)? We don't do vegetable shortening in the house, but I can easily make lard. Anything I need to know about substituting one for the other?
Medium baking syrup - in Auntie's Dark Fruit Cake. Is this like corn syrup or golden syrup or something else entirely? Can I use honey and if so, any adjustment for texture or taste?
Thanks in advance. Will probably have more questions from this book as I get baking, I'll just stuff them in this thread instead of starting a new one each time.