Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Great Granny's Fudge Cake

My mother speaks very fondly of Marie Pack Hill, who is my maternal Great Grandmother.  I don't remember Marie at all. Not a single memory of her is in my mind, but I do remember my mom making Marie's cupcakes. She must have been awesome if she was so good at making cake. Right? {High-five to the lady who left me a legacy of chocolate}. My mom wouldn't make the cake often, but when she did there was always one trademark thing that would always be there on each cake piece. Always there would be one single whole walnut adorning the fudgy glaze. Often mom made the recipe into cupcakes and apparently that is how great-grandma served this recipe most often. 

What made it such a family classic?  It was simple. If you ask my mother it was always made into cupcakes, but I do remember mom baking it in a casserole pan on many occasions. 
It was easy. It was at the pot-lucks and the birthday parties. 4th of July breakfast wasn't complete without this cake. Seriously, someone explain to me why that was the case. Who eats cupcakes for breakfast?  Apparently my entire family does.  It was part of the family tradition. 

 I was going through some family  files and found the original recipe for grandma's cake.  I'm told that it is highly coveted among my aunts {Hello aunt Bonnie. I got your message on facebook darling} and that I need to share it with everyone. So, here goes. I've put my own little notes in there for you. I love that this cake doesn't have added chemicals and stuff. I think you'll love it! 

Marie Pack Hill's Chocolate Cake Recipe
3 squares baker's chocolate, melted (or you can use 1/2 cup cocoa plus 2T shortening)
3/4 cup shortening, melted (I use spectrum brand or coconut oil)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar works great)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions: Combine the chocolate, shortening, eggs, milk, water and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, stirring by hand about 100 strokes (by machine about 3 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 cake pan. Pour cake batter into the pan and spread out. Bake for 30-35 minutes.  For cupcakes, yields 2 dozen small cupcakes. Bake 15-18 minutes. 

Granny didn't leave us her frosting recipe. This is what  I use when I make fudge glaze.

Chef Tess Chocolate Fudge Glaze
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
3/4 cup very hot water (more or less water depending on how thick you want the glaze)
2 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, baking cocoa and 1/2 cup hot water and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired.  Drizzle over the cake. Top each piece with a walnut...or two or three. There's nothing fancy here. Just good ol' fashioned family chocolate cake. What's not to love about that?

There you go. One of my family's favorites. Chocolate cake. Thanks Granny!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

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