By Erin Walgamuth:
When I married my husband many, many, years ago I was unaware that there was food-related espionage going on in my soon-to-be new family. Little did I know that I would be asked to participate in the epic quest for Grandma Walgamuth’s Sandtorte, a much-anticipated Christmas Eve dessert, the recipe for which was only known to, you guessed it… Grandma.
The deal was sealed when I said “I do.” To my great surprise, I was the lucky recipient of “The” recipe as part of my wedding gift. Apparently Grandma Walgamuth liked me, but did not care for my mother-in-law, which unfortunately for the rest of the family, meant that the coveted recipe was denied to any blood ties. What to do? Do I give out the recipe and anger Grandma? Do I withhold the recipe from my anxiously awaiting new relatives and bear their resentful sidelong glances?
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Well, as it turned out I held the relatives at bay until Grandma passed away. Now the entire family has the recipe and so do you!
Serving Sandtorte after Christmas Eve dinner is a long-held tradition in our house. On the very few occasions that I did not make it, I didn’t hear the end of it until the following Christmas!
Sandtorte is a wonderful, rich Viennese pound cake with a fabulous texture. Plan to make it the day before you wish to serve it as it needs to cure for 24 hours.
Grandma Walgamuth’s Sandtorte
Prep time is about 10 minutes
You will need
2-2 1/2 qt Bundt pan
Standing or handheld mixer
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
Cook time is approximately 1 hour 25 minutes
1 cup butter at room temperature, plus more for the Bundt pan
3 cups of granulated sugar
6 regular size eggs
1 cup sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the Bundt pan
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting cake
Butter the Bundt pan making sure to get butter into all the crevices and up the neck of the pan. Lightly dust the inside of the pan with flour, set aside.
Over a large bowl sift the flour. Re-measure flour and put any left-over back into your flour bag. Sift again into the bowl with the baking powder, set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the batter attachment, cream butter and sugar on low speed. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add sour cream and blend well. Add the flour mixture in 4 to 5 parts, blending well after each addition. Add vanilla and blend well.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cake will be golden brown. If cake browns too quickly cover the pan loosely with foil until done. Remove cake from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack. Cool cake completely. When cake is completely cooled wrap with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. Let cake stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Unwrap and place on a cake stand. Use a fine mesh sifter and sift powdered sugar over the top of the cake. Serve.
Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.
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