Day 322 Almond Cake

Today’s recipe is another I’ve found fascinating since I have no idea what to expect. It is different from all the other cake recipes in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. I’m going to make Almond Cake using Mrs. R. Wegener’s recipe.

I wasn’t sure how to prepare this recipe so I decided to simply add each ingredient in the order listed. I am using unblanched (natural) almonds that are already ground but I don’t know if they were available in that form in 1906. Some families would have nut mills in their kitchens to grind a variety of nuts. I weighed the 1/2 pound (8 ounces) of ground, mixed them with icing sugar (powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar), and then added the six medium eggs. I debated separating the eggs but decided to add them all at once.  It seemed to make sense to mix the bread crumbs with the baking powder before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. I mixed everything together and then poured the cake batter into a greased round cake pan. I baked it at 350 degrees F. for thirty minutes. The baking temperatures and time were guesses but seemed to work.

Mrs. R. Wegener is Henriette Matilda Rehberger. She married Richard Wegener sometime before 1896 and they had two boys. Mrs. Rehberger was born in 1873 in Toronto but her husband was born in Germany. He is listed as an oil agent in the 1901 census.

Mrs. R. Wegener’s Almond Cake

I love almonds in any form although my dentist frowns on eating them whole. The Almond Cake doesn’t have whole almonds so it is safe for me. This is a fascinating cake. The texture is much smoother than I expected. With so many eggs, I was worried the cake would taste “eggy” but it is fine. The almond flavour is subtle and I like this cake! It isn’t too sweet and it is interesting. I made it and yet I’m still surprised that it doesn’t have flour or butter. This is a good cake to take into the 21st century with an interesting icing. I keep imagining some sort of fluffy light frosting with some almond bits sprinkled on top although the suggested whipped cream would probably be good too.

ALMOND CAKE
Mrs. R. Wegener
1/2 pound ground almonds, 2 cups of powdered sugar, 6 eggs, 1 cup of bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Serve with whipped cream.

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2 Responses to Day 322 Almond Cake

  1. Tina Arrington says:

    Oh. my!!!! This is my Gotel’s recipe… word for word! My Mama and Daddy met in Germany in 1958. My Mama loved her aunt (Gotel), and every Christmas we would make this cake. Only for Christmas, though b/c we had to wait for the box from Tante Friedel to come that had the chocolate glaze in it. The kids would grind up almonds in a small turn mill, that’s a job that’s very tiring to say the least! The mill was like a salad shooter, only it was run by turning a crank!

    Later on in my life, Mama gave me the recipe: 375g nut meat 275g powdered sugar beat these together with 6 egg whites, add a teaspoon and a pinch of baking powder. 350 for 30 mins!!! I converted the 375g of nut meat to be 1.66 cups and 275g of sugar to 1.33 cups. But the recipe is uncannily the same.

    You said something about an icing. Well, my Mama cut the cake verrrryyy carefully in half. She whipped cream from the carton of whipping cream w/ a little bit of sugar (no cool whip or redi-whip here). Then she melted the aforementioned chocolate glaze in a double boiler and spread it on top of the cake. When it got cool, it was like a GLOSSY hard shell on top. I was looking for the chocolate that she used and I am going to try to order some chocolate couverture on the internet. I was looking at Google images for “german almond cake” and came across your image! Thank you for posting this!!! It warms my heart!!

    • Thank you so much for adding to the story of this recipe. It is wonderful to hear that these recipes are still being made or that I’ve managed to bring back a lost recipe for someone. Here in Kitchener the chocolate glaze you describe used to be available in German food stores but most of them are gone now. I have seen it here in other European food stores. I’m sure you’ll find it on the internet too. Would you mind sharing where you lived when you helped make the cake? What region of Germany was your Gotel from? I get the sense that many recipes in Germany are very regional.

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