Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Moravian Sugar cake

A few days ago I happened to read “Bookends” by Liz Curtis Higgs. I was reading her for the first time and I loved it. It s a story set in her hometown of Lititz, nestled in the rolling hills of historic Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Moravian church, one of the oldest of the Protestant denominations, Lititz history and traditions are all beautifully pictured in the book. Very often in the book she keeps referring to the Moravian sugar cake. I was so caught up with the way it is described that I wanted to give it a try. Fortunately for me, I did not have to search for the recipe. She had very dutifully elaborated the recipe at the end of the book. So this New year I decided to give it a try.

It is a very different kind of cake in the sense that yeast is used as the raising agent. The dough is made to rise twice before it is baked. Another novelty of the cake is the use of mashed potatoes in the recipe. I think I have piqued your interest enough make you try it.

I have made it exactly the way she described in the book, except for the use of cardamom powder in the topping.

Yeast-2 ¼ tsp
Lukewarm water- ¼ cup
Crisco shortening- 1/3 cup
Sugar- ¼ cup
Egg- 1
Salt- 1 ½ tsp
Boiled and mashed potato- ½ cup
Milk, scalded and cooled- ½ cup
Flour- 3 ½ cup

Crumb topping
Brown sugar- ½ pound
Flour- 1 ½ tbsp
Cinnamon- 1 tsp
Cardamom powder- 1tsp (optional)
Butter- ¼ cup cut into small bits

Add yeast to the lukewarm water and keep aside. Cream shortening and sugar and beat in the egg. Add mashed potato and salt. Mix well. Combine yeast mix with milk and add them to the above mixture. Slowly add in the flour until it forms solid dough. Knead until smooth. Do not over knead. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and set in a warm place to rise for 3-4 hrs. Pat out the dough into two 9 by 13 pans and let rise again for 1 ½ hrs. In the meanwhile mix all the ingredients for crumb topping.

thumb deep holes across the top of the dough in 2 inch intervals. Fill the holes with bits of butter and cover the entire cake with crumb topping. Bake in a oven preheated to 375 F for about 15 mins.

1. It is imperative to use a wide shallow (2x9x13) pan. 

2. Adjust the cooking time according to the size of the
    pan you use.
3. Even though it requires time for rising, it is a very
    easy recipe.


Suja Manoj said...

Wow! great way to find a recipe,but sure this recipe is a keeper,looks so yummy...will surely try this.

Anonymous said...

That cake takes forever to make but it is so good!

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