Mrs. Stuart's Chocolate Cake

In the little town of Howard, New York there lived a lady named Mrs. Stuart.  Her darling little grey house was on the corner and across the street from the one church in town. She and my grandmother were friends and she passed the most delicious chocolate cake recipe to my grandmother, Mildred Lyke in the 1940's.  This recipe has been baked and loved by the Lyke family even since.  

It is served for birthdays and celebrations of all kinds.  This past Saturday was my Grandma Lyke's 106th birthday and though she has passed, we still celebrate her special day by doing the things that remind us of her.  So, after a long walk in the woods & a trip to the nursery to buy a Jade plant (one of her favorites), and bringing home a Cardinal, and having some laughs with our kids...I stayed up late to bake grandma's cake.  

You will love this chocolate cake!  It is so dense with chocolate and so light...so moist and rich.  It is easy to see why this cake has been baked for more than 80 years.  One bite and I was instantly transported to my childhood on the farm with my family.  Isn't it wonderful how one bite can do that?  

I have made this cake from scratch many times and will give you a little hint that my Aunt Sonnie told me....never use an electric mixer with this recipe.   The first time I made this cake, I followed her advice and the cake was over the top amazing.  The second & third time, I used my stand mixer because I didn't see the big deal about making it from scratch.   The times I used an electric mixer...it was bready and dry.  When I follow my Aunt's advice...it is perfect every time!  Just sayin, cause I know there will be someone who will try it and I testify that my Aunt's advice is true.  Amen!

Mrs. Stuart's Chocolate Cake

1/2 Cup Cocoa
1/2 Cup Soft Butter
2 Cups White Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Cream
Dash of Vinegar
2 Cups Sifted Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Boiling Water

Place the butter, sugar, vanilla and cocoa together in a large bowl.  Separate the yolks from the whites and add the yolks to the large bowl with the other ingredients.  Save the whites in a separate bowl for later.  Add a dash of vinegar to the heavy cream and let sit for a few minutes.  This will sour the milk.  Add the sour milk to the other ingredients and mix by hand.  (I love to use a Dutch Whisk for this, but a spoon will do.  Just be sure to mix gently.  Add the boiling water and mix again until smooth.  
Whip the egg white to fluffy peaks and fold in to the batter.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Never use an electric mixer!  Bake in an 9" x 13" glass greased pan for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

**This was a favorite in the Lyke fanily.  This old recipe was given to Mildred Lyke by Mrs. Stuart lived in the gray house on the corner, across from the church.**  

Favorite Recipes, Howard Bicentennial Cookbook

There isn't a frosting recipe with the cake, but I made my Cocoa Cream Cheese Frosting which is amazing with the decadent cake!

Cocoa Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 Cup Soft Butter
1 Package of Soft Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Milk
2 Teas. Vanilla
1/4 cup Cocoa
 4 Cups Powdered Sugar

In your mixer beat until smooth the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and cocoa.  Add the powdered sugar and mix well.  With the mixer going, slowly add the milk until the frosting is smooth.  Add more milk or powdered sugar until you get the consistency you love.

I promise you this cake is worth the love and effort it takes to make it by hand.  I'm not sure why it works best by hand, unless it is the love.  Maybe this is why this cake has been made for so many special occasions in our family, or why one bite transports me back to my good childhood memories.  It was served when we were together, laughing and sharing our love.  

Many blessings...

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