I am making Mrs. H. Boll’s Orange Cake today. I realize this is another dessert but I need a few supplies before I can branch out into some of the other spring recipes in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. This is the second orange cake I’ve made from this cook book. Oranges were available almost year round in the early 20th century. Many warm countries in the world exported a number of varieties of oranges and lemons.
I mixed the dry ingredients in one bowl as the recipe suggests and then beat the 3 medium eggs and sugar together. I added the hot water and orange zest and finally mixed in the dry ingredients. This is another sponge style cake. I baked it in a greased cake pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Don’t be tempted to peek early as it can fall quite easily.
Annie (39) and Herman (47) Boll are listed in the 1901 census in Berlin Ontario along with two sons Otto (23) and Ervin (3). Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Annie was either 16 when she had Otto or else he’s her step son and this is a second marriage for Herman. Ervin is likely the child of this second marriage. By 1911 it is just Annie, Herman and Irvin in the household at 162 Church Street. The family is Lutheran and of German heritage. In fact Herman emigrated from Germany as a teenager and is now working as a cabinet-maker in a furniture factory. Many of their neighbours also work in the furniture factory. Although Annie and Herman speak German, 13-year-old Irvin speaks English according to the census. Otto is now married, living with his widowed mother-in-law and is a barber. Based on information on the Waterloo Generations website Annie Sangbusch married Herman Boll in 1878 just one year after Otto’s birth. Herman’s first wife was Caroline Sengbusch and they married in 1876. Caroline and Annie were sisters — the daughters of Sophia Hopp and Henry Sengbusch.
I thought this cake might become one of my new favourites since the batter tastes amazing and it is quick and easy to make. However, I found it had quite a strong egg flavour (too much for me) and once baked the orange flavour wasn’t as strong. Next time I would choose a really fragrant orange. Topped with an orange flavoured icing this cake would likely appeal to most people. Cakes like this are quite sturdy once baked and a great picnic dessert. I wonder when Annie served it? Was it for a tea party or as a family dessert?
1 1/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, in a separate dish beat 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup hot water, grated rind of an orange, beat all together and sift in the flour, stir thoroughly again. Bake in layers.