I’ve discovered that March 24 in 1906 was also Saturday. On that date on of the local newspapers, the Berlin Daily Telegraph, reported what was available at the farmers market and at what price. Apparently the price of eggs and butter was the same as the previous Saturday at 15 cents for a dozen eggs and 22 cents for a pound of butter. However, there wasn’t a very good supply of vegetables. Easter was on its way and so a local pharmacy was promoting Lowney’s Chocolates for Easter.
Today’s recipe from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book is a recipe submitted by Mrs. H. Graber for Marble Cake and reflects the increasing availability of butter and eggs. I’ve made this style of cake but it has been a long time.
First I separated the eggs (4 medium) and then started making the brown part first. I creamed the butter and brown sugar and then added the egg yolks. I grated the nutmeg (1/2 a nutmeg equaled approximately 1 teaspoon) and measured the ground cloves and added them, along with the baking soda, to the flour. I mixed the molasses and sour milk (made by adding 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar to the regular milk) together and added it to the batter. The mixture was thick and spicy smelling.
Next was the light part. I creamed the butter and white granulated sugar together. Next I added the regular milk. I mixed the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda together and added it next. I whisked the egg whites and folded them into the batter.
I greased a cake pan and started dropping blobs of each cake batter around the pan. A bit of dark batter and a bit of light batter. Once all the batter was in the pan, I ran a knife through the blobs to create streaks of white in the dark and dark in the white. I had to be careful not to stir as the idea is to create a marbled effect. The pan went into a 350 degree F. preheated oven and baked for 40 minutes. Avoid opening the oven as cakes from scratch don’t have the stabilizers of cake mixes and can “fall” with rough treatment during baking.
Louisa Hopp married Henry Graber and they had three children. In 1901 based on the census, Louisa is 37, Henry is 39 and the children are William H. (17), Harvey (12) and Eleanora A. (10). Mr. Graber had been born in the United States but the family are all listed as German Lutheran. Father’s occupation is hard to read but son William is a tailor. Later father is an ironer is a shirt factory, Eleanora becomes a collar turner in a shirt factory, and Harvey marries Laura Bornhold and becomes a manufacturer. He is recognized in the Waterloo County Hall of Fame. William marries Edith Cecelia Wisdom and is involved in a dye works. Sadly, according to Waterloo Generations website, Eleanora dies in 1918 at age 27.
This is a delicious cake! The texture is nice and the flavour is spicy. Mrs. Graber’s Marble Cake is a cake for grown ups. The spice makes this cake different from other marble cakes I’ve made using historic recipes. It was perfect on this cool and blustery day. I wonder if the Graber family ate this cake on a regular basis or was it for special occasions?
White part – Whites of 4 eggs, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sweet milk, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon soda.
Brown part – Yolks of 4 eggs, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, 1/2 cup sour milk, 1/2 cup butter, 2 1/2 cups flour 1 tablespoon cloves, 1/2 nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon soda