When Grandma and Grandpa Block were married, in 1921,
this decoration topped their wedding cake.
It shows a young couple sitting together in a swing, and on the base is displayed the word,
“CONSTANCY.” It was next used on the occasion of their silver anniversary, in 1946.
When their son, Frank, was married in 1947, the same decoration topped the wedding cake. I
n 1972, it was placed on this cake, which celebrated Frank and Aileen’s 25th anniversary.
Konigen Geburtstag Torte (Queen’s Birthday Cake)
Kase Kuchen (Cheese Cake)
Kartoffle Torte (Chocolate Potato Cake)
Berliner Pfannkuchen (Jelly Doughnuts)
Bismarcks (Custard-filled Doughnuts)
Custard Filling for Bismarcks
KONIGEN GEBURTSTAG TORTE
(Queen’s Birthday Cake or KRUNZ TORTE, Crown Cake)
This large, very rich,
almond-flavored cake was made only for very special occasions,
when there would be a gathering of the family.
Tradition says that these cakes, or variations of them, were made in Germany and the Netherlands
on royal birthdays. Grandma learned this recipe from her older sister, our “Tante Louise.” It has taken considerable time to approximate her recipes and method, in spite of the fact that some of us watched her in the process of making it, and even took notes. She doubled the recipes for cake, filling, and topping. For most families, a single recipe should be sufficient. Grandma Block kept this cake on a table on her cool, screened back porch, but since few of us have a place like that any more, it should probably be kept in your refrigerator to keep the filling fresh.
This sponge cake recipe is from her tattered ”Neighborhood Cook Book”,
which was first published in 1912. It is the one she always used, and makes a wonderful cake.)
7 egg whites
5 egg yolks
1 C. fine granulated sugar
1 C. flour, (sifted before measuring)
Flavoring to taste (vanilla is fine)
Cream of tartar, scant 1/3 tsp.
Beat yolks till thick, and set aside; add a pinch of salt to the whites, and whip to a foam; add the cream of tartar and whip until very stiff, Then add sugar and mix well. Add yolks and beat in. Add flavoring. Add the flour last, and fold lightly through. Bake in tube pan or spring-form pan in a moderate oven from 40 to 60 minutes. Invert to cool. This is important, as if it is cooled right-side up it will “fall.”
Grandma Block used a very large spring-form pan to bake her double-recipe cake in, inverting it to cool after the cake was done. After removing the sides from the pan, she split the cake horizontally into 3 layers, and put them together with very generous amounts of a creamy, almond-flavored filling. The topping was a buttery caramel mixture with ground almonds.
FILLING for QUEEN’S CAKE
1½ C. milk
½ C. sugar
¼ C. flour or 2½ TB cornstarch
3 to 4 well-beaten egg yolks, or 2 eggs + 2 yolks
Flavoring (a few drops of Almond, Rum, or Vanilla extract)
½ lb. butter, room temperature
About 1/2 C. ground almonds
Mix sugar, flour or cornstarch, and beaten egg yolks(or eggs + yolks) in the top of a double boiler (over boiling water, not in it; don’t let the water touch the pan you’re going to mix and cook in.) 2. Beat this mixture until light. Add the milk, gradually. Add flavoring. Stir until all is well blended. Cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Beat in, the butter, little by little. Then add the almonds and mix well. When filling is cool, spread it on the two lower layers; saving the unspread layer for the top. The filling should be almost ½ inch thick. Stack the layers, then frost with the following caramel-almond glaze.
(Grandma’s recipe for the topping has been lost, so here is our friend Jane Niggebrugge’s recipe for the glaze.)
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. almond, vanilla, or rum extract (More if desired)
1 cube butter
¾ C. cream
1 ½ C. chopped almonds (Grandma usually used less-about ½ C.)
Melt sugar in heavy skillet and let cook till golden brown. Take the pan off the heat. Mix in cream and butter till melted, add extract and nuts. Glaze the cake; if too stiff, add a little bit more cream. Beat well until thick enough to spread. Spread quickly over cake and let it run down on the sides, smoothing quickly with spatula. Place the cake in a cool place to “set” before serving.