Nana and Boppa were Texans for about one hot minute. I’m not exactly sure why or how it happened, but I know that Boppa was having to move around a bit–somehow involving the Navy, I think to repay his medical school debts during the Korean War. I know they also lived in Memphis for a nanosecond. They were in San Angelo, Texas long enough to have two girls and for Boppa to open his first pediatrics practice. I think docs just for kids was kind of uncommon at the time.
Anyway, you can see some crappy photos of his first office below–I have another of the interior of the waiting room somewhere, it is actually quite cool looking, but I couldn’t find it. There was always a early-50’s-ish green chair in the den at their house in Hayward–not the best looking chair around but it is my understanding that it came from that first office. Sentimental sap that I am, that old chair is now in my rumpus room keeping the hi-fi company. I just couldn’t bear for it to go to the Goodwill.
It would have missed us. C’mon you know chairs have feelings. Shut up.
Anyway, maybe San Angelo is where the Texas Cake recipe is from. Is it because it is enormous, like the state of Texas? The similarities end there. I have no other ideas why this cake might be labeled as a ‘Texas Cake’.
Nana used to make this one over and over–It’s easy, it feeds a giant crowd, and it tastes fantastic. Truly. A moist chocolatey (but not too cloying or sweet) cake that’s almost brownie-like in appearance. But it’s cake. I also like the icing–Liquid when you pour it on hot, then cools and sets but not into something thick and icky. It’s a thin layer of chocolate, studded with chopped pecans.
Now I know, that looks like a lot of steps, but I promise you it’s practically as easy as a box cake mix. You just have to go slowly when you are adding the hot chocolate mixture into the flour and egg mixture, lest you end up with scrambled egg in your cake. That would be gross. And other than buttermilk, it’s made with very common ingredients–ones that may be lurking in your cupboards right now! Another plus? Nana says this cake freezes beautifully if you want to save half for another day. It IS a pretty big cake.
Nearly as big as Texas itself.
Serve with an enormous scoop of vanilla ice cream, naturally.