My kitchen is once again chaotic. This is the final location for electrical upgrades and I came home to find my fridge in the middle of the room, piles of things from my cupboards sitting on the floor and other things leaning against the stove. The work will be continuing so it didn’t make sense to put everything back. I found some clear counter and decided to make a simple cake since I could find the basics easily. I selected Feather Cake. Mrs. J. Lang contributed the recipe to the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I creamed the butter and sugar and then beat in the three medium eggs. I decided to sift in the flour and baking powder next and then added the milk slowly. I spooned the thick yellow coloured batter into two greased round cake pans and baked them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
I think Mrs. J. Lang could be Mary Ann Dopp who married John Adolph Lang in 1883. She”s also listed as Anna Maria. They had six children. In 1911 they lived at 24 Water street North in Berlin with three of the children and one servant. The family list their heritage as German and religion as Roman Catholic. John was a tanner and in this area the Lang Tannery was well-known. Several of the factory buildings still exist and have been adapted for use as a high-tech centre. One somewhat unusual feature of Berlin was the grouping of worker homes and owner homes around the factories. Water street is very close to the Lang Tannery. I’ve heard that tanneries were not pleasant places since they used a number of noxious materials. I try to imagine the wonderful scent of Mary’s Feather Cake baking while the awful smells of the tannery linger just outside.
I wasn’t expecting much from this cake since it is such a basic recipe but it turned out quite well. It had a slightly crisp top and was quite light inside. I would make Feather Cake again and a modern cook could experiment with some flavouring.
2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2/3 cup sweet milk, 3 eggs, 3 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder.