An alternate name for this recipe would be "Jackson Pollock Cake." But, as it is, this recipe is sourced directly from Greg's grandmother. Stevens Point, WI lies directly in the middle of the state. While finding that Wikipedia entry, I found out that Joel Hodgson, writer/actor/creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, was born there! Perhaps I will call this "Joel Hodgson Cake" when I'm feeling particularly nerdy.
Anyway. I got off track. While we're not entirely sure where Greg's grandma got this cake recipe, surely it must be from one of the following:
A) When she visited Stevens Point, or
B) She had a friend or relative living in Stevens Point who made this cake for her, she loved it, and then got the recipe.
This is all to say that many great things came out of Stevens Point: UW-Stevens Point, the world's largest trivia contest, Joel Hodgson, Kathy Kinney (from the Drew Carey show), Joe Pavelski (Woo! Go Badgers!), and this cake recipe.
Stevens Point Cake (from Greg's grandmother via Greg's lovely mother, Peg)
-2 oz. bitter choc.
-2 tsp. bak. soda
-1 cup very hot water
-1/2 cup shortening
-2 eggs beaten
-2 cups brown sugar
-1/2 cup sour milk Add 1 TBSP. of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk
-1 tsp. vanilla
-2 cups flour
1. Chop the unsweetened chocolate and put it in a small bowl. Add baking soda and very hot water, mixing together. It will foam up a bit. Let it cool.
2. Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs, beat till creamy. Add vanilla.
3. Sift flour and add alternately with sour milk.
4. Beat in the chocolate mix.
5. Bake in 9 X13" greased pan for 30-40 min. @ 350. Test with toothpick inserted in center (it will come out clean).
-2 egg whites
-1 cup sugar
-1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
-1/3 cup water
-2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1. Beat two egg whites until stiff, and set aside.
2. Boil sugar, cream of tartar, and water in small covered sauce pan for 3 min. Then uncover and boil without stirring until small amount strings from spoon. Test this step constantly (**NOTE: This could mean when you take the spoon far enough out into the air that the sugar makes a string (like spun sugar). At least, this is what worked for Greg and I. The first time, I didn't notice any strings, and the mixture burned very, very quickly. You must be vigilant, or you will be doing it all over again.**).
3. Beating all the while, pour slowly into beaten egg whites. Beat until it is glossy and tastes like marshmallow goo. Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
4. Pour the frosting onto the cake and spread evenly. Don't worry if you get little drag marks--the frosting is magic and will even itself out.
5. Melt two ounces of unsweetened chocolate in a small saucepan. Drizzle some (not all) of the chocolate onto the frosting. Using a rubber spatula, drag little curves and lines through the drizzled chocolate to create your masterpiece.
6. Wait until frosting and chocolate hardens somewhat (maybe two hours) until cutting.