The pudding section of the Berlin Cook Book is quite large so I decided to try Cottage Pudding (p. 155) since the title sounded interesting. It was submitted by Mrs. J. Decker. I think she might be Veronica C. Kirsch who married John Decker, a shoemaker from Walkerton. He was Lutheran and she was Roman Catholic. In the 1901 census they have their eleven children ranging in age from age 1 to 23 living at home in Berlin. One daughter is a butter worker and another a shoe maker while the oldest boy is a box maker. By the 1911 census it is just the six younger children plus one more living with them.
Modern cook books usually list ingredients in the order in which the item is to be used in the recipe. Older recipes and especially community cook books like the 1906 Berlin Cook Book don’t necessarily list the ingredients in a particular way. Modern recipes also have standard ways of listing ingredients so that it is clear how to measure. For example the recipe below says 1/2 cup melted butter. Today that would mean measure after the butter is melted. Measuring before melting would be stated 1/2 cup butter, melted. I decided to use a measure somewhere in between.
I mixed the sugar and melted butter and added the milk and then egg. I added the baking powder and flour combination to the liquid mixture and stirred. Initially I thought it was going to be something like cake batter but it was much thicker. I spooned it into a greased casserole dish and baked it in a 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes. I guessed at the oven temperature but based it on the moderate oven listed in other recipes for baked puddings.
There were thirteen people in the Decker family so portions of cottage pudding would be small. The pudding came out quite nicely and was essentially a basic plain cake. It was okay on its own but not very exciting so I served the cottage pudding with Mrs. G. Debus’ recipe for Chocolate Sauce (p. 167).
Mrs. George Debus is Elizabeth (Lisabeth) Klippert and this recipe was probably a favourite with their four children although I had some problems with the sauce. I ended up adding some more cornstarch to get this sauce to thicken and the chocolate didn’t melt evenly into the sauce. One ounce of chocolate is the regular wrapped square of Bakers chocolate but I would suggest melting it or grating it before adding the milk. The resulting chocolate sauce tasted something like homemade chocolate pudding.
Both the cottage pudding and the chocolate sauce have potential. The pudding would go nicely with some fresh fruit. The chocolate sauce is okay but the chocolate would have to incorporate better into the sauce for it to be appealing. A modern cook might play with the flavouring for both the cake and the chocolate sauce.
1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 pint sifted flour, bake 3/4 of an hour. Serve with sauce.
2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, yolks of 2 eggs, 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix sugar, cornstarch, chocolate and add milk, place pan in double boiler and stir constantly until it thickens, add eggs and cook 1 minute longer, flavor.