I asked for the recipe, and she brought her copy, along with two 3 x 5 inch recipe cards, one for the cake and the other for the frosting. I used a fountain pen from my purse to write with.
The ingredients for the cake were written on one side of one card, with most of the instructions written on the opposite side. The frosting recipe was written on the other card.
I used this recipe many times. Then one day several years later, after I had a home of my own, I made the mistake of laying the recipe card on my kitchen cabinet while I was mixing one of these wonderful cakes. Somehow the instruction side of the card got wet.
Anyone who ever wrote with a fountain pen will know what happened then. Most of the instructions suddenly turned into one great big blue spot, completely unreadable. Fortunately the frosting recipe was not damaged, but the cake recipe was lost.
By that time Aunt Minnie, who was my father’s sister, was no longer with us, and I had no way of getting another copy. I’ve looked through lots of cookbooks through the years and found many recipes for German Chocolate Cake that were similar, but Aunt Minnie’s recipe was special to me, and the other recipes just weren’t the same. I finally gave up on ever finding that recipe, and had even started using German Chocolate cake mix, along with Aunt Minnie’s frosting recipe.
I recently came across an old brown paper bag containing recipes that my husband’s grandmother, the late Mattie Cook, had collected. Some were clippings from newspapers or magazines, some were handwritten on writing tablet paper. There was also a November, 1958 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine that had very yellowed pages, and was missing its cover.
My daughter Karen beat me to the magazine, while I continued to sort through the other recipes. In a few minues she showed me a page in the magazine and said, "Doesn’t this look good!" I immediately recognized it.
"I think that’s Aunt Minnie’s cake," I told her.
I still have the damaged copy in my recipe box. I compared them, and sure enough it was the very same recipe.
I don’t know if Mama Cook saved that magazine because of that cake recipe, since it contains other recipes too. But whatever the reason, I’m so thankful that she did, and I’m very happy that after over 40 years I have Aunt Minnie’s recipe back in my collection. This time I’m taking no chances -- I’m giving copies to several family members just in case.
Here’s the recipe, along with a few others from Mama Cook’s collection:
GERMAN’S SWEET CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 pkg. Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks, unbeaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Melt chocolate in 1/2 cup of boiling water. Cool. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks,
one at a time, beating after each.
Add vanilla and chocolate; mix until blended.
Sift flour with soda and salt. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition until butter is smooth. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour batter into three 8 or 9-inch layer pans, lined on bottoms with paper.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool.
Frost top and between layers with Coconut-Pecan Frosting (below):
COCONUT- PECAN FILLING AND FROSTING
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup angel flake coconut
1-1/2 cup pecans
Cook together sugar, flour, milk, and margarine until thick. Add coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Frost cool cake.
NOTE: Sometimes I double this recipe so there will be enough frosting to cover the sides of the cake too.
CREAMY TUNA CASSEROLE
10 oz. pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
10-1/2 oz., can condensed cream of celery soup
7 oz. can tuna, drained and flaked
1 tbsp. minced onion
3 cups Post Toasties Corn Flakes
3 tbsp. butter, melted
Prepare mixed vegetables as directed on package; drain.
Stir in condensed soup, tuna and onion. Pour into shallow baking dish or 1-quart casserole. Crush cereal slightly; toss with melted butter.
Sprinkle over tuna mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 4 servings.
DELUXE POTATO SALAD
Add 3/4 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing to 4 cups diced cooked potatoes, 1 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped sweet pickle, 2 tablespoons pickle juice, 2 tablespoons chopped pimiento and two chopped hard-cooked eggs. Toss lightly until well blended. -- Taken from the recipe collection of the late Mattie Mae Cook.