HISTORYMAKER 2001 | 1937-2013
Eddie Basha was head of Arizona’s only family-owned supermarket chain. A man of diverse interests and skills, he avidly collected contemporary Western American and American Indian art, sharing it in a private museum. The Basha family arrived in the Southwest when Eddie’s grandparents immigrated from Lebanon to the Arizona Territory. Eddie, a strong family man, cared about children and served for decades on various boards of education in Arizona. He gained wide recognition as a civic leader and nearly won the state’s governorship when he ran as a Democrat in 1994. Eddie fed the hungry and involved himself in building stronger economic and social bonds between American Indian and other minority communities in Arizona.
One of Eddie’s favorite memories growing up was coming home from school with his best friend, Roy, to the chocolate cake his mother had baked. What made it even better in Eddie’s memory was having the cake with a “really cold glass of milk.” This is still a Basha favorite for birthday celebrations!Contributed by Nadine Mathis Basha, Eddie’s widow
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
Grease two 9-inch round pans with softened butter; dust with flour. Preheat to 350˚. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with 1-inch of simmering water, stirring until melted. Combine buttermilk and vanilla. Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add one third of the flour, followed by half the buttermilk mixture, add the second third of flour and half the buttermilk mixture, add the remainder of flour and mix until just blended. Add the melted chocolate. Gently fold in boiling water. Pour into pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Eddie Basha’s Chocolate Frosting
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
This recipe is enough to frost the top and inside layer of Eddie Basha’s Chocolate Cake. Double the amount if you with to frost the sides.
Combine ingredients and beat until blended, then chill for 2 hours. When ready to frost, use an electric mixer to whip into stiff peaks.
Republished with the permission of the Historical League, Inc.