Today Kitchener began celebrating 100 years as a city. It was back in 1912 that the town of Berlin became the city of Berlin . . . and why 100 years later, I am cooking everyday from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. So how to mark this momentous moment in my blog? I thought a birthday cake would be appropriate. Birthday cakes existed in 1906 but none of the recipes in the cook book are especially titled for such an occasion. There are wedding cakes, Christmas cakes, Emperor’s Pudding, and cakes with Kings and Princes in the titles. I considered “Sunshine Cake” but it was contributed by someone in Waterloo! I decided to make Excellent Cake since today was an excellent sunny day and wouldn’t you like to have Excellent Cake for your birthday? The recipe was contributed by Mrs. G. Buchhaupt.
I started by separating the five medium eggs. I creamed 1 cup (1/2 lb) of butter and 2 cups (3/4 lb) of sugar. I added the flour and baking powder. Next I weighed and added 4 cups (1 lb) of raisins 4 cups (1 lb) of currants and 4 cups (1 lb) of almonds. I whipped the egg whites and attempted to blend it with all the dry ingredients plus the brandy. My largest mixing bowl was no match for this cake. It was extremely difficult to blend everything together and there just didn’t seem to be enough wet ingredients for all the dry mixture. I finally spooned in a sort of crumbly mixture into two greased round cake pans and baked in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 35 minutes.
I think Mrs. G. Buchhaupt is Catherine (or Catherina) Weber. According to Waterloo Generations Catherine married George Buchhaupt in 1874 right here in Berlin Ontario. The 1901 census lists the couple as Jno. G. and Catherine Buchhaupt along with their 19 year old daughter Maria and 14 year old son Frederick. Mr. John G. Buchhaupt works as a shoe merchant. By the 1911 census they appear as George (58) and Catherine (56) and daughter Marie (30). Son Frederick has disapeared. The family live at 159 Church street in Berlin. Catherine had paid employment before her marriage. She worked as a button maker in Berlin but had been born in the United States and emigrated as a baby. George was born in Germany and emigrated as a child. They list their heritage as German and religion as Lutheran. George works as a town assessor. Normally I don’t tell what happened to the contributors in later years but I happened to find out that Catherine is buried in St. Peter’s Lutheran cemetery. She outlived her husband and daughter. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Buchhaupt&GSbyrel=in&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=89042627&
This recipe is an interesting mix of measuring styles probably representative of the life of Catherine Weber Buchhaupt. It is characteristic of someone her age. I can’t call this an excellent cake at the moment although it does have potential. Either I did something quite wrong in interpreting this recipe or else there is something missing from the recipe as right now it is an edible crumbly sort of fruit cake. Fortunately a city won’t mind that its birthday cake didn’t turn out very well.
5 eggs, (white only), 1/2 pound butter, 3/4 pound white sugar, 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 pound raisins, 1 pound currants, 1 pound almonds, 2 tablespoons brandy, 5 teaspoons baking powder.