Sunday, April 15, 2007

Worlds BEST Moravian Sugar Cake

World's best what? you say? Ever had sugar cake?
You probably have in some form or another.

Do you like sugar cake? I bet if you stop and think about it you'd probably say, "eh, it's alright once in a while." Moravian sugar cake? Some of you who are or know Moravians may have had this version.

What's a Moravian? This is no history or religion blog, but I'll give you a brief run down. The Moravian Church was founded in (fittingly) Moravia - a province now part of the Czech Republic in 1457 - which makes us the oldest Protestant Church in the world. Under persecution, the early faithful fled Moravia and settled in what is now Germany, eventually sending missionaries around the world, including America. OK, long story short - Moravians are known for missions, music, and food.

I can guarantee very few of you have ever had anything like really good Moravian Sugar Cake. Any my wife makes the absolute best. The best examples are moist, flavorful, buttery, not too sweet. It easily makes my list of all time anywhere favorite foods. It takes a bit of time and a number of steps to prepare. As you'll see.

The day before making the sugar cake, the red-head peeled, boiled, and mashed some red-skin taters. She reserved the potato water to use in the batter. Here's what all the ingredients looked like all measured out. Tater water, mashed taters, flour, sugar, butter and margarine (weird huh?), brown sugar (not pictured), eggs, salt, yeast.

Next, the wet ingredients - along with the yeast are creamed together - with the sugar and salt.

Switch to the dough hook. The flour is gradually added and kneaded until it pulls away from the bowl in a nice gooey dough.

Then the dough is left to rise for, um, well, about as long as you want. In our case, we left the dough before leaving for church and came home to it having pretty much tripled or quadrupled in size.

Then, the R-H split the dough in half in to 2 pans for a second rising, where it tripled again. Most expert bakers like the R-H will tell you that it's these multiple risings that develop flavor and and texture. I'll agree.

Now to the final prep for baking. Butter is spread all over the top of the dough, followed by brown sugar. But, we're not done with the butter at all! Holes are poked into the dough where little pats of butter added. Yum.

Here's what the heavenly goodness looks like after it comes out of the oven.

And after it's half eaten.

Oh, you really have no idea how good this is, you really don't. It's buttery, and creamy, and a little bit tangy, with a crunchy sweet (but not too sweet topping). A few of my co-workers may remember the couple of times I've brought it in. And a few friends have had it on special occasions - such as the case today for a birthday.

The house will smell awesome for the next 3 days.


Des said...

I just found your blog while searching for a recipe for Moravian Sugar Cake. I have not had it since I was a small child in Winston-Salem. Thanks for posting the pictures. I enjoyed sharing them with my children, who were not sure about using mashed potatoes in a cake.

dana said...

I have never had it in a round cake pan, but in flat cookie sheets where there is more gooey to it. But I thank you for the little bit of history on the Moravian church. Blessings! Made our first batch of the holidays and we all love it!

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