Saturday, March 9, 2013

Moravian Sugar Cake and Ohio Bicentennial Collectors Cookbook

Three things.

  • Sugar Cake childhood memories
As a child we would travel to North Carolina to visit my Aunt. Those were great days indeed. My cousins and I would laugh and bicker and pout and laugh some more. One particularly fond memory of those days were our trips to Old Salem in Winston Salem. Oh, those glorious Sugar Cakes. The thing about packing a bunch of female cousins into a car and heading out into the Carolina heat, it's a guarantee that someone will be mad by the time you get there. The absolute worst pouting fit of my life occurred over Sugar Cake. Sugar cake is worth pouting over. Much to my surprise, there are two recipes for Moravian Sugar Cake in the Ohio Bicentennial Collectors Cookbook. The cousins, my Aunt, and sugar cake are the fond memories. Pouting till my lips hurt, ah that's what pre-teen girls do best.

  • Ohio Bicentennial Collectors Cookbook
I found my copy of this book at a flea market. It's a keeper. The Moravian Sugar Cake recipe I made from this book isn't exactly as I remember from childhood. It's good, don't get me wrong. It's just not exactly like the cake sold in Old Salem. I'm not a recipe super sleuth and I doubt highly that I will ever tinker and try to adapt and turn this into pout worthy material. I particularly liked drizzling the light cream over the cake prior to baking and watching it turn into a golden caramel topping. The recipe takes time. It's a double rise, a slow rise. The cooking of the potatoes to mash and add to the dough seemed authentic to me. Overall, I like this recipe. My search is still on for that authentic version. Maybe Moravian Sugar Cake just tastes better when you are crammed into a backseat with 5 of your cousins. Yep, that was before seat belt laws.

  • Pottery vs. Metal
I own two 9x13 pans. One is pottery, the other metal. As soon as I noticed that the recipe for the Moravian Sugar Cake would bake in two 9x13 pans I thought it was a perfect chance to do a little side by side comparison. As for this recipe, the pottery pan baked a fuller, lighter, more evenly baked result. Each pan was prepared the same, the dough was of equal amounts, rise time the same, well you get my point. The only variable in my experiment were the pans. Hands down the pottery version won the contest. My bake time was about 3 minutes longer in the pottery. It was such a slight difference that it's hardly worth mentioning.

To sum it all up. Seat belt laws are good. Sugar cake tastes best when you are 11ish years old. Nothing beats a good 9x13 pottery bake pan.

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