Long time ago – when I was in elementary school – there was a cake recipe next to a math exercise in my workbook. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what kind of exercise it was, maybe calculating how many squares fit in a cake pan? MayI was not very excited about my math homework but as a diligent student I did my homework and then went downstairs to the kitchen and asked my mom if the recipe that was pictured in my workbook was a real recipe - a cake recipe that adults make – and I asked my mom if I could try out the recipe. My mom agreed and an hour later [I am not sure if it took me an hour, I just made this up] I took a delicious smelling hazelnut cake out of the oven. I was very, very excited that the recipe in my workbook was a real recipe. This math recipe is one of the best math memories that I have in my elementary school career. I did not like my math teacher and he did not like me, too. My teacher was very German. I was the total opposite: an extremly shy and introverted girl with a Scandinavian background which is very different from the German mentality. It was a clush of cultures.
The next day I went to school and brought the math cake to my class and shared the cake with my classmates. I remember how flabbergasted my classmates were because no one had the idea that the recipe in our workbook was a recipe that you could make. Everyone loved this math cake. I was really proud of myself.
My math teacher was not really impressed that I tried out the recipe or he did not care about it. Until today I am puzzled about the reaction and behavior of my math teacher. Is this how a teacher encourage students? Maybe it is the German way of teaching and education, also known as black pedagogy.
Ever since I started to write this blog I wished that I copied the recipe from my math workbook. Little did I know that I did wrote down the recipe. About a month ago my mom called me and told me that she found my math cake recipe. I was over the moon because I could not remember that I wrote down this recipe. Holding my math recipe in my own hands was a very special moment. Almost two decades later I made my math cake again: a delicious, moist hazelnut cake. I had tears in my eyes when I took my first bite from my math cake. The cake was as good as I remembered.
Makes one square pan (20 cm×24 cm / 8 inch×9 inch)
- 2 eggs
- 250 g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
- 2 to 3 drops of bitter almond oil (if you don’t have it on hand omit it)
- 250 g all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 250 g ground hazelnuts
- 150 ml whole milk
- Powdered sugar
- Line the cake pan with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C.
- Cream eggs and sugar (with an electric mixer or standing mixer) in a big bowl.
- Add vanilla sugar and bitter almond oil to the mixture.
- Mix flour and baking powder.
- Add the flour mixture, hazelnuts and milk to the egg sugar mixture. Stir until all ingredients are all well combined.
- Pour the cake batter (the batter has a thick texture) into the cake pan.
- Bake the cake for 25 minutes. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clear the cake is done.
- Let the cake cool for a few minutes. Dust the cake with powdered sugar.
- Let the cake cool completely; cut into squares (about 18 squares).
- Enjoy and don’t forget to do your math homework.