Today is Victoria Day here in Canada. It is the unofficial start of summer for most of us — a time of picnics and gardening — much as it was at the turn of the last century. Queen Victoria had only been dead five years when the 1906 Berlin Cook Book was published. The reigning monarch was now King Edward VII, formerly the Prince of Wales a title given to the heir apparent. Yesterday I made a Prince of Wales Cake. Today I am making King Edward Cake using a recipe contributed by Mrs. Carl Kranz.
I creamed the butter and sugar together and then added the medium eggs. I added the 2% milk and continued mixing. Next was the all purpose flour and baking soda. The recipe calls for dividing the batter at this point. I spread half the batter on a greased jelly roll pan (cookie sheet). Although the recipe calls for two sheets there just wasn’t enough batter to cover two. Jelly tins much have been a different size in 1906!
I moved on to the second part of the recipe. I added the spices and molasses to the rest of the batter. For some reason I interpreted the instruction regarding nutmeg as 1/2 teaspoon rather than 1/2 a nutmeg. Next was the brandy, raisins and peel. In future I’ll soak the chopped raisins in the brandy to give them a little more flavour and plumpness. The quarter pound of peel was just under one cup of citron peel. I think you could use mixed peel or orange peel too. I mixed everything well and spread it on another greased jelly roll pan. I put both pans in the 350 degree F. oven and baked for 15 minutes.
Based on the entry in Waterloo Generations, Mrs. Carl Kranz is Anna Alberta Bingham. I’m impressed that she contributed to this cook book as she’d had some challenging times in recent years. Her little boy Carl died in 1903 when he was around 4 years old. Her husband Carl was the mayor of Berlin between 1904 and 1905. Check out Day 125 for a bit more information about Mrs. Kranz and to find out more about Mr. Kranz check out the Team Canada 1888 site. http://www.soccer.on.ca/is/osn.nsf/c1bfa845a2dec3bf85256b0b005d4116/9f201b9d8af8579885256fb6006fc8f1?OpenDocument Carl Kranz was a member of a champion soccer team that toured Britain in 1888.
I was a little afraid to taste this cake after yesterday’s unfortunate result. However, both layers in the King Edward Cake are good. The white part is plain but whether it was the recipe or the use of just 1/2 a teaspoon nutmeg, the dark layer is very good. Together they complement each other well. I cut both cakes in half and used black currant jelly between each layer. I put a dark section, then light, then dark, and topped with a light layer. I haven’t iced it yet and I’m not sure what type to use since it is nice now. A slice looks interesting with the striped pattern. It could be a good addition to your next Victoria Day picnic or barbeque.
I suppose one could consider King Edward Cake as Prince of Wales Cake with better manners. The spiciness has been moderated and there are slightly clearer directions — rather like old Edward himself. I would definitely make this cake again and might just pull out the recipe for Victoria Day 2013.
KING EDWARD CAKE
2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour, 2/3 cup of butter, 1 cup of milk, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, 3 eggs. Now divide this into 2 portions and add to the one portion 2 tablespoons of molasses, 2 tablespoons of brandy, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of clovers, 1/2 of nutmeg, 1 cup of chopped raisins, 1/4 of a pound of peel, bake in jelly tins, 2 light and 2 dark, spread jelly between layers and ice.