Aunt Mary's Triple-Decker German Chocolate Cake Recipe

"I tried it, mission accomplished!" -John Fountain on baking Aunt Mary's German chocolate cake shown here.

“You almost need to Zoom it, at least the steps and what you do or its not going to come out good...” -Aunt Mary, 82 

Well, I won't Zoom it, but I’ve included pictures from my own foray into baking Aunt Mary’s German Chocolate Cake, which turned out splendid. Here’s the recipe and detailed instructions.

Ingredients for Cake: Four egg yolks; one bar of Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate; two cups of sugar; two sticks of unsalted butter; two cups of cake flour (or sifted, if ordinary flour. Aunt Mary sifts her flour about five times); one cup of buttermilk; one teaspoon of vanilla extract; one teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt. (Three 8-inch pans greased with Crisco Regular Shortening  and sprinkled with flour (shake off all excess flour.))

Ingredients for Icing: For icing: One stick of unsalted butter; one can of evaporated milk, one cup of sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract; Three egg yolks, one medium bag of pecan pieces; 1 medium bag of coconut.

Cake Instructions: Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before you start. Aunt Mary says she sets them out eight hours before she bakes. As you get started, separate seven egg whites from yolks; beat seven egg whites, and set egg yolks to the side (four for the cake, and three for the icing). Aunt Mary says, “I usually put all the egg whites together and beat them and set them to the side...”

Unforgotten: The Untold Stories of Murdered Chicago Women

As we prepare to launch our project on 51 murdered Chicago women next weekend, most of them African American, I am excited to share the work of my journalism students over this past year at Roosevelt University. But as a journalist for the past three decades, I am also troubled, disheartened to some degree.

For while I know that we as a society care--we have to care--about the injustices inflicted upon even the least of these, sometimes it is difficult  to tell. 

Among the stories I have written over a career, the least amount of feedback I receive from readers of all races is when I have chronicled the lives and deaths of Black people. For stories about the trivial, for my recent story about cake, for instance, I received no less than nearly 60 emails, from Florida to Hawaii. I'm not mad about that. Matter of fact, the responses just may have inspired a cookbook.

But what about the Unforgotten: The Untold Story of Murdered Chicago Women?

It is a different subject than cake, for sure, weightier, substantive and so deserving of our attention. 

-John W. Fountain