Okay, this is our family’s tried and true small cake recipe for impromptu dessert after dinner with friends or special birthdays. My daughter, Sarah Rose, has been known to whip one of these out in under 45 minutes when challenged by her high school buddies after Shabbat dinner. The recipe was made by my great grandmother and grandmother, “Nana,” Emily Griswold. My grandfather’s nickname for my beautiful Nana was “Kewpie” as in Kewpie doll, which he thought she resembled. Thus, the “Kewpie” cake. Welcome to heaven.
Listen: “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Sip: cold milk, hot coffee, or a big juicy cab such as Frog’s Leap Napa Valley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees while you’re dancing, chatting, and mixing. Ask one of the guests to grease and flour an 8×8″ pan and turn up the music.
1 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
3/4 c warm water
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder (We’re particularly fond of the metallic baking powder taste that comes through in this cake; we debate adding a pinch of salt; try it with and without and see what you think.)
Pour batter in prepped pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a pick poke in the middle comes out clean. The cake will come out whitish with a bit of golden tinge.
While the cake is baking and the kitchen is starting to smell delicious, set up a double boiler and get the frosting rockin’.
1 square unsweetened chocolate
2 T butter
Stir in, with vigor
1 1/2 to 2 c powdered sugar
Slather the warm cake with the frosting which will melt a bit. Gather everyone back around the table and enjoy.