Something funny will be happening in your kitchen if you follow the recipe requested by Virginia Boucher of Baltimore. "I want a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe called Funny Cake. I remember this dessert from college days in Kutztown, Pa. and I'd like to make it," she wrote.
She added that although it is called a funny cake, "it is actually a pie with a chocolate layer. It gets its name from the fact that the chocolate is added to the top of the cake before baking and during baking, thechocolate settles to the bottom."
Many readers replied. Irma Jacobs of Baltimore, whose recipe was the chef's first choice, says "I've used this recipe for 40 years."
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place chocolate and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook and stir until the chocolate is melted. Add the sugar and stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Remove at once from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the sauce is blended. Set aside to cool.
FOR THE CAKE:
1- 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons chopped nuts
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg unbeaten
Line 9-by-10-inch glass pie plate with your favorite pastry dough, making a high fluted rim.
Have cake ingredients at room temperature, and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour once before measuring. Then place flour in sifter along with baking powder, salt and sugar. Put shortening in a mixing bowl and sift in the dry ingredients. Add milk, vanilla and mix until all the flour is dampened.
Beat two minutes at low speed, add the egg and beat another minute. Pour batter into pastry-lined pie plate. Pour the lukewarm chocolate sauce gently over the batter. Sprinkle with the nuts and bake 50 to 55 minutes. Serve warm as dessert or as coffee cake. If desired top with whipped cream or ice cream.
Chef Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, tested these recipes.
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.
If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.
* Ruth B. Miller of Baltimore says she particularly liked a lentil salad which "we had in the Buffalo Restaurant in Ketchum, Idaho, and I cannot find a recipe. The lentils were cooked but semi-crisp, not soft as in lentil soup," she wrote. "And, since it is both delicious and healthy, many might want to try it."
* Genevieve Fleury of Towson remembers a beef essence or broth which her mother made by boiling beef in a jar. "Could you explain the method of doing this?," she wrote.
* Joan Epp of Eldersburg wants a recipe for rye bread made with sauerkraut. "I have checked cookbooks, bakeries and the libraries and no luck," she says.
* Shirley Goldman of Baltimore wants a recipe for peach meringue pie. She no longer sees them in her grocer's store and she "would like the recipe or information where to buy one."
* A rice pudding is the request of M. K. Grail, no address. "It has eggs, uncooked rice, milk, sugar and vanilla and is made on top of the stove."
* Cathy Dennis of Lewisburg, Pa. wants a recipe for spiced pear cake.