THE SCHAUM TORTE

Schaum TorteI stumbled across this old cookbook from 1938 and discovered a recipe in it that made me look twice.

Schaum Torte

Whites of 6 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat the whites dry and stiff, adding the sugar a little at a time and then the vinegar and vanilla, beating constantly.

Use a spring form.  Grease and pour in about two-thirds of the mixture.  Form a circle of the remaining third around the edge of the tin.  Bake three-quarters to one hour in a slow oven.  

Serve filled with fresh berries covered with whipped cream; or with fruit ice cream, trimmed with whipped cream.

Basically a meringue dessert, filled with berries and whipped cream, I had to see if this had any relationship to Schaumburg, Germany, our sister city.

In this internet site, I discovered that the dish is popular in Wisconsin and was brought there by German immigrants during the period of 1839-1850.  There are arguments for it originating in both modern day Germany and Austria, although, at the time as Annabelle, the commenter below says, there was no “Germany” during this time period.  (It was simply the German Confederation made up of 39 sovereign states.)   The torte is also commonly called “schaumtorte” or “schaumtorten” and the loose translation of the recipe is “foam cake.”

Food was discussed in many of the oral histories that were done with the German descendants who settled here in Schaumburg Township and I do not recall any mention of this dessert.  Cakes? Yes.  Pies? Yes.  Cookies? Yes.  Schaum Torte?  No.

Given the basic ingredients, it would have been possible.  Eggs were a mainstay in the area because everyone had chickens on their farm, most everyone had a small orchard and, with the proliferation of dairy cows, heavy cream would have been available too.  Many made angel food cakes, given the heavy abundance of eggs, and the women beat all those egg whites by hand.  The same would have been necessary for the Schaum Torte.  Good arm muscles would have been key without a mixer or even an egg beater.

And, look at the result–

Schaum Torte

Serendipitous occurrences are so much fun to pursue.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The photo of the Schaum Torte was found on thebakerchick.com.  Thank you for your elegant photo!

 

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3 Responses to “THE SCHAUM TORTE”

  1. deborah miller Says:

    Thanks so much. This looks like a delightful and delicious dessert, albeit easier with our modern appliances.

  2. Annabelle Utrecht Says:

    Great post Jane – on a very fascinating high-occasion torte. I can clarify one thing for you; there was no Germany or Austria when this dainty arrived in the USA, only German speaking lands (Habsburg territories) – which is why it is often described as being of Germanic origin. I also wanted to know if Schaumburg had it’s own version of the torte. There are recipes all over Cook County dating back to the very early 1900s, but I am yet to find one in Schaumburg-proper. I bet they are out there though – hiding in old Schaumburg newspapers and cookery books. – Annabelle Utrecht

    • jrozek Says:

      I’m glad you liked the post Annabelle! And, thank you for the clarification regarding the goings on in that area of Europe that is now Germany. I’ve updated the post to make that distinction.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library
      jrozek@stdl.org

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