Yesterday I chatted briefly with my friend Clarissa about a cake that I make often. It's become one of those desserts that has a lot of memories and emotions tied to it for us.
The original recipe was typed on a typewriter sometime after Luke's Grandmother and Grandfather were married in the early 40's. It was so weathered and used that when she made me a copy not long after Luke and I were married it didn't copy well and my recipe has her hand typing with smudges from the years.
I have made this cake for birthdays (it is one of my Father-In-Laws favorites). I have made this cake on snowy days (it is at it's best eaten warm). Josie and I have made it together. I have made it alone in a huge hurry to have something on hand for this or that occasion. One of the last times I made it was for the second birthday of Princess Marie. She adored chocolate, and her Great-Grandma's Chocolate Pudding Cake was perfect for her.
This cake recipe is something special, made again and again by at least three generations of women in my husbands family. It has stood through 70 plus years of changing tastes, and really, I've never found anything quite like it.
Chocolate Pudding Cake
1 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 C milk (or water, or orange juice, or 1 egg plus enough water to make half cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp shortening, melted
1/2 C walnut meats (optional)
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C cocoa
1 3/4 C very hot water
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cocoa. Add 1/2 C milk/water, vanilla, and shortening; mix until smooth (will be very thick). Add nut meats. Pour into greased 8 inch square pan. Mix brown sugar and cocoa, sprinkle over cake batter. Pour hot water over entire batter. Bake in moderate oven (350) for 40-45 minuets (cake will not be "set" when fully cooked).
This recipe gives you a cake on top, and a creamy chocolate "pudding" below.