A tall, handsome, hardworking man. He has the biggest hands I have ever seen. He could wrestle a gorilla if he wanted. And he was the epitome of sustainable living. All of this trendy gardening, efficient-green living was his life. He knew the ground like the back of those big hands. He was green before we knew what it was. And he has the most gentle, kind spirit. I'll never forget when I first witnessed racism and asked my father about it. He told me that his daddy always told him that every other man puts on their pants the same way you do, so you shouldn't treat them any different. Now don't get me wrong, he wasn't all sugar. He'll set you straight if you're out of line but he's the sweetest grandfather and every memory I have of him is a pleasant one. I am so thankful for that.
But this is Popop now (and my Dad with him.)
On his 92nd birthday, he couldn't get out of bed. His back was hurting and he wasn't really speaking to us. His dimensia has progressed so that he doesn't recognize us much any more but he rallies every once in a while to tell us important things, like that my Dad is a good boy or that I'm somethin' special. He wasn't up for cake on the big day but the day after, he slowly but surely enjoyed a piece with Dad's help and a cup of cold milk.
Popop could eat a horse. On many occasions as a little girl, I marveled at the amount of food he could eat without ever gaining a pound. And boy did he have a sweet tooth, something he's passed down to all of us. The man could eat chocolate cake around any hormonal lady. So when my Dad asked me to bake Popop a cake for the blog, we talked about our traditional family cake. "The one with the cooked frosting and coffee?," I said? That's the one. It's been passed down for many years now from our Great Aunt Sue and shared with friends and family alike. It's the most deliciously moist cake I've ever had and the frosting is truly unique.
We contemplated making this a secret family recipe. Well, by we, I mean my sister and I. But the more important family members who have made this longer than we have, insist it's for everyone to know about. I've always despised secrets in family cooking anyway. Food is for sharing with people you love. If you use someone else's recipe, just please give them credit. It's the baker's code of ethics. Give credit where it's due and while you're practicing that, you must must make this cake.
Aunt Sue's Chocolate Cake with Cooked Frosting
2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
2 c sugar
Sift the above ingredients together into your mixer.
1 c vegetable oil
1 c hot coffee
1 c milk
Add to mixer with dry ingredients and set to medium for two minutes.
1 tsp vanilla
Add to batter and mix another two minutes. (it will be VERY soupy. Don't be alarmed, that means it will be the most incredible cake you'll ever put in your mouth! Not a problem.)
Pour batter in a greased and floured 9x13 (or 2 9 in. cake pans, keeping in mind that this moist of a cake is sometimes difficult to frost!!)
Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For the frosting:
1 c milk
5 tbs flour
Warm milk in a sauce pan and quickly whisk in the flour. Once mixture thickens, remove from heat and allow to cool until cake is ready to frost.
1/2 c butter
1/2 c shortening
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Combine these ingredients with the flour (gloop!) and mix until smooth with a stand or hand mixer. Frost cooled cake and serve!!