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Butler, Tennessee

Heritage Recipe

Great-Grandmother's Antique Chocolate Cake

We have one certified antique from Great-Grandmother Headington: a quilt which the local historical society has dated as pre-Civil War based on the material used. And if there is such a category as antique recipes, then this one must certainly qualify. My mom was born in 1895 and her Grandmother Headington taught her this and many other recipes when Mom was a very young girl. The innate cooking ability skipped my grandmother McElwee since my Grandpa McElwee used to say that his wife Mamie's idea of a fancy Sunday night supper was homemade bread and apple butter swimming in fresh milk. I have a feeling he escaped a lifetime of TV dinners only by dying before they were ever invented.

At any rate, going back two generations from 1895, it seems highly possible that the boys of the Buckeye Brigade (Ohio) marched off to preserve the Union with the rich flavor of this cake among their fond memories of home. One last note: I'm sure Mom added the instructions for souring milk with the knowledge that sour milk is not the common household item today that it was some 75 or 80 years ago. ... Jim Huff

Mom's Cake Chocolate: (as the name has been handed down)

Ingredients:
2/3 cup solid shortening (Crisco or lard)
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2-2/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda (level)
4 Tablespoons cocoa (or 2 squares melted Baker's semi-sweet)
2 cups sour milk*
2 teaspoons vanilla

* To make sour milk, put 2 Tablespoons vinegar and set in warm water to sour.

Beat shortening, eggs, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa. Add alternately with sour milk and vanilla. Bake in three 9-inch round or square pans for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees. When cool, stack and ice with any icing your family likes.

  • You found this recipe on 1st Traveler's Choice Internet Cookbook. (www.virtualcities.com)

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