I decided to make Sponge Cream Cake for no other reason than the cream in my fridge needs to be used up. The recipe was contributed by Adela Harth for the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I sifted the flour and salt once before starting the rest of the cake. I used a whisk to beat two medium eggs and sugar together before adding the hot water and then sifted in the flour again. I added 1 tsp of vanilla flavouring and continued beating the mixture. I poured it into the greased cookie sheet and baked at 375 degrees F. for 12 minutes. Next I whisked the cup of cream and when it thickened I added three tablespoons of sugar. I assembled the cake once it had cooled a little. I cut the sheet cake in half and then half again. I put whipped cream on each layer. There was plenty of cream left so next time I’d prepare half the filling recipe.
I found Adela Harth in the 1901 census and on the Waterloo Region Generations website. She is Adelaide Cecilia Harth whose father died just before the cook book was published but in 1901 she lives with her parents, older brother, older sister, three younger brothers and three younger sisters. The family is Roman Catholic and Mr. Harth is of German ancestry but Mrs. Harth was born in Ireland. In 1901 Adela’s father, brother and sister are all employed but she doesn’t have paid employment even though she is 21 years old.
The sponge cake baked well in the twelve minutes. It was crispy on the edges but unfortunately it wasn’t very puffy. Normally I’ll have a little whipped cream on pie but it is not my favourite filling. Therefore this cake was a bust for me. The cake wasn’t nice enough to bother trying again and the filling was just sweetened whipped cream. This doesn’t make a very big cake so it is a surprising contribution from a young woman living in a home with nine other people. If you used modern equipment this would be an incredibly fast dessert to whip up so it is too bad that it isn’t a better recipe.
SPONGE CREAM CAKE
2 eggs 3/4 of a cup granulated sugar, beaten together very light, add 5 tablespoons of boiling water, be sure the water is boiling, as quickly as possible beat slightly, then add 1 cup flour, sifted twice with a pinch of salt, flavor lightly, with vanilla or lemon or nutmeg, beat until the flour is absorbed, bake in tow jelly cake pans, 12 minutes in quick oven, the batter is so thin that the whole process can be done with an egg beater.
Filling — Whip 1 cup of sweet cream, sweetened with pulverized sugar, adding 1 spoon at a time, while you are beating. Until you have it sweet enough flavor to taste.