This is exactly what I think an old recipe from past generations should look like. Handwritten on an aged piece of paper with what are probably food stains on it. There were a couple things about this recipe that made me eager to try it out. The first was the line ingredient Oleo used throughout. It only took me a second to figure out that Oleo is just margarine. Which is not really something I would ever cook or bake with. Even though my original intention was to cook all these recipes, at least the first time through, with no changes to the original, I didn’t think a trip to the grocery store just for margarine was worth it.
The second thing that jumped out at me was close the bottom of the page “add 1 pound of sugar”. In truth, that’s just a bit more than 2 cups – but it’s still a shed load of sugar! Also, couldn’t tell you how excited I was to have actual instructions to follow. Should be a pretty easy process.
Our ingredients aren’t too crazy – with the exception of the shortening. It’s not often I have that in a cake mix, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever melted it before. Getting the cake mixture together was easy enough – and it, for the most part, resembled cake batter.
Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Bring the butter, cocoa, water and shortening to a boil, and add to the flour/sugar mixture. Add the eggs, buttermilk and soda. Pouring it into a greased 12 x 18 pan was odd though. That’s a big pan. And makes a VERY thin cake.
These were the ingredients for the ‘frosting’. And I’m going to use the term ‘frosting’ very loosely. Bring the milk, butter and cocoa to a boil and then add a POUND of sugar, and a cup of nuts. We’re going to play the odds here and given my family is from Texas, any reference to a ‘nut’ is going to be a pecan.
Visually, this isn’t a bad looking cake at all. Looks can be quite deceiving though. The cake is far to thin and over baked, and the ‘frosting’ is basically flavored granulated sugar. It literally crunches in your mouth. It was not a good mouth feel.
Personally, I think this recipe can really work with some tweaks. I would use a much smaller pan, or two small rounds to get a lighter more ‘cake like’ structure. The sugar in the frosting would need to be melted or cooked down in some way for that to work. The butter and the sugar could probably be creamed in a mixer as well to make a fluffier frosting. Quite a few changes could be made to this.
It wasn’t inedible – however a trip to the dentist afterwards may be needed because of all the sugar. The cake, after a night in the fridge, almost took on a chewy consistency. I would never label this, as is, as a chocolate cake. Chocolate was not the taste you identify at all. At this point, we’re going to mark it as ‘undefinable’ and see where the next attempt takes us.