So my dad calls me about two weeks ago and starts to jibber jabber about some old recipe that my grandmother used to make. Apparently the Nielson's company used to make cocoa and they had chocolate cake, chocolate fudge and chocolate syrup recipes printed on the can. He had called Nielson's directly and spoke to a lady there about locating the recipe. She couldn't help him because they didn't have a record of it, maybe he could try eBay?
Before I became a Stay At Home Mom I worked for eBay in their Infringement Department. I had to do all the standard eBay website training and spent all my time looking at listings on the site. I learned the ins and out of telling the difference between good sellers and bad sellers, fake items and real items. So what does a dad do when he needs to find something on eBay and buy it from a good seller? Call his youngest, that's what.
He gave me a description of the cocoa tin and the span of years the cocoa was produced in and within two minutes I had found a seller who had the very tin of Nielson's Cocoa he was looking for. By the time I called him back and sent him the link he was ecstatic to say the least! By the time he yells into the phone "Buy it! Buy it!" I've already clicked the Buy It Now and am committing to the purchase. Did I mention that I used to work for PayPal too? Click, click, click, dad's credit card is in my PayPal account and now all we have to do is wait. That reminds me I need to leave feedback!
About a week later there is a knock on the door. I haul myself out of bed. With the dog barking, his collar in one hand, trying to stay out of view of the postman with my p.j's and bed head a package is shoved at me and then the sound of footsteps going back down the stairs. I look down at the dog who seems pleased with himself. 'if only I could have just one bite of the postman?' I toss the package on the kitchen counter and head back to bed.
When a decent hour of the day arrives, noonish I'd say, I call my dad. "We'll be over right after lunch!" I let him open the box and have the first look at his new prize. It's the right one and I get right down to copying all the recipes off the tin. Can you believe it still has the cocoa in it?
Anyhoo...this is getting to be a long story. I say that I'll make the cake as my b-day cake coming up. I made it and it was really, really tasty! I'd say even better the next day. I made a simple cocoa buttercream to frost it with. Just butter, cocoa, vanilla and icing sugar. I cut each cake in half and frosted the inside with it and then spread some strawberry jam in the middle. This is the way that Grandma Dolly made it and that's the way that I made it this time too!
It's not a groundbreaking recipe to say the least, but it seems to be a tasty one so I'm sharing the recipe with anyone who wants it! Here it is:
½ cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten well
2 cups flour, sifted
1 cup milk
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter, add sugar gradually, cream thoroughly. Add eggs and beat all together. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture alternately with the milk, beating well. Add vanilla. Use a lined 8” x 10” cake tin or two 10” layer cake tins. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.
(I used two 8x8 square baking pans and they were about a third full before baking and added the vanilla after the eggs and not at the end)
And here's my dad giving V some cake.