Friday, March 18, 2011

The Award Winning Henders Chocolate Cake Recipe

I grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba.  Our closest neighbour lived a mile and a half down the gravel road and the nearest town was six miles away.  I say town rather than city because the population of Elm Creek was roughly 300 people, so perhaps even town is a stretch – village may be more accurate.  The beauty of growing up on the farm was that you never lacked things to do.  We weren’t allowed to watch very much television and in fact didn’t own a colour TV until I was in grade 5 (and no I’m not THAT old!).  We had our imaginations, the great outdoors and if we were silly enough to admit to our parents we were bored they always managed to find plenty of work in our gianormous vegetable garden!

For me the highlight of the summer (besides playing with the eight to twelve kittens that were generally born in the spring) was the annual country fair.  You’d think the rides on the mid-way would be the biggest attraction, but for me this wasn’t the case.  In fact I’m sure I still experience childhood trauma from allowing my sister to convince me to ride the Tilt-A-Whirl.  I’m more a Merry-Go-Round person and that memory still makes my stomach quiver in fear!  No, the part of the fair I waited for every year was the exhibit building.  Here you submitted various items such as baking, sewing and crafts for judging.  Not only was the winner awarded bragging rights for the year, there was also prize money up for grabs!  I spent hours studying the fair book strategically planning my entries.

One year my sister and I ended up in the same age bracket.  There’s four years between us (I must mention here she’s older than I am) so this only happened once, but that particular year we both decided to enter a chocolate cake.  Of course we were both using the same recipe – the recipe our mother always used.  Excitement was running high the day we were off to the fair to revel in our victories.  To this day I don’t know what criteria the judges used to make their decisions but the recipe obviously is a keeper because my sister won first place and I won second!  The taste test must have been quite the challenge.

So here it is, years later, the award winning chocolate cake recipe.  ENJOY!

½ cup margarine
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup cocoa
1 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. creme of tartar
½ cup milk

Dissolve 1 tsp. baking soda in 1 cup hot water, add to cake batter and mix.  Bake in a greased 9” x 13” pan at 350 degrees F for about half an hour.

I'd love to hear your opinion of the cake - click on "comments" below to share your thoughts.

1 comment:

Diane Henders said...

Yes, I'm older. And sadly, no wiser.

But the cake is fabulous. It always rises, always tastes good, and is guaranteed not to make your stomach quiver in fear. Unlike the Tilt-A-Whirl.