Cake for old times' sake


March 24, 2004|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Peggy Colburn of Ellicott City requested a butter cake recipe. "Please help those of us who lived in Northeast Baltimore in the '40s and '50s to locate the recipe for Haubert's Buttercake. It was a German-style bakery located on East Monument Street and Port Street.

"People lined up around the block on Sundays after church to buy this cake. "

Helen Smith of Ascutney, Vt., responded. "I think this is the recipe that Peggy Colburn is looking for. My grandmother and my mother were of German descent and both of them regularly treated all the family on Sunday mornings with `Butter Cake.' We lived on Long Island, N.Y., then and I now reside in Vermont, but at least once a year I bake this cake and remember old times. ... I am 73.

"Please note, my jellyroll pan is an old-fashioned one with higher sides than modern ones, so be sure pans have sides high enough to accommodate batter or use extra pans."

Recipe requests

Anne E. Van Aller of Woodbine seeks a recipe for sweet-potato bars with "peanut butter and canned sweet potatoes with a chocolate frosting."

Carol Barley of Severna Park writes: "I would love to find a recipe for pina colada dipping sauce like that served with the Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp at the Red Lobster Restaurant. "

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. Put each recipe on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Names must accompany recipes for them to be published. List ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings in each recipe. Type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Butter Cake

Serves 12

1 cake or packet yeast

2/3 cup water, warm

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup milk, scalded

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup mashed potatoes, cooled

7 cups unbleached flour, sifted

1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

cinnamon to taste

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside. Add sugar, salt and butter to scalded milk. Let cool. Beat in eggs. Stir in mashed potatoes and yeast mixture. Gradually add flour. Turn onto lightly floured board and knead 8 minutes to 10 minutes.

Place in greased bowl, brush with melted butter, cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes to 40 minutes). Punch down and spread dough in one large, greased, shallow pan or two smaller ones (I use a jellyroll pan).

Cover and let rise again until almost doubled in size (more than 1 inch in height), about 25 minutes. Sprinkle top with light-brown sugar. Make depressions in dough with fingertips about an inch apart. Dribble melted butter into depressions. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Let rise 1/2 hour, then bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes to 25 minutes.

Cool in pan; cut and serve warm, if desired, with plenty of napkins and hot, fresh coffee.

Per serving: 641 calories; 11 grams protein; 26 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 92 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams fiber; 117 milligrams cholesterol; 487 milligrams sodium

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "With a big, yeast-bread crumb and a soft texture, this is like a sweet, buttery challah bread -- perfect as an accompaniment to brunch or a simple dessert with berries and whipped cream.

"It would be a dreamy breakfast surprise, filling the kitchen with a sweet, baked-bread aroma. The flavor is fairly simple. To jazz it up, you could add a little lemon zest or a teaspoon of almond extract when the yeast mixture is added in, or you could top the dough with chopped pecans mixed with the brown sugar before baking. Or, to be very traditionally German, arrange sliced plums on the dough's top before baking."

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