Friday, July 26, 2013

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Sheet cake.  It's comfort food.  It's one of those recipes that immediately transports me back to my childhood.  The days where my worries consisted of who was going to come over and play, whose house I was going spend the night at, and the days not lasting quite long enough for me to fit all that swimming and playing in.  Now those were the days!  Can I press rewind?  If it were only that easy!
Even though I can't press the rewind button and go back to the good ol' days, I can make recipes that bring back all those warm, cozy feelings!  Sheet cake is one of those recipes that is simple.  Basic.  And some would even it's kind of boring.  It's definitely not one of the most impressive looking cakes that screams "come to me, I'm pretty, frosted and fancy", it's more of a humble cake that sits to the side and whispers "I'm here, come have a bite if you want".  The whisper is all it needs to have the crowds gather, it is one of the best tasting cakes I've ever sunk my teeth into.  It's also one of the most popular desserts at any "pot luck" or gathering, it's always the first to disappear.
As much as I love baking cakes that are stacked, filled and embelished, I love making simple, basic cakes that are delicious and big in flavor.  There is just something so comforting and unbeatable about those good ol' recipes.  This cake is incredibly simple to assemble; no mixer or special equipment needed.  All you need is a sauce pan, bowl and sheet pan.  A few simple steps and you're on your way to enjoying the best chocolate cake ever.  Another plus about this cake, you don't have to wait for it to cool before frosting.  You're acutally supposed to frost it warm, that's what gives the frosting that perfect texture.  Pour the hot frosting over the hot cake, allow it to set and then the top of the frosting forms an ever-so-slight crisp layer that holds in a layer of fudgy goodness that sticks to your teeth the moment it hits your mouth.  This cake is life changing, I tell ya.
If you can't wait for the cake to cool completely before you dig in, that's quite alright.  The only consequence you'll have is the top won't be smooth, but who cares about looks when you have something this good?  Not me!  Upon cutting yourself a (large)piece of this cake, be sure to pour youself a giant cup of ice cold milk.  Plop yourself on the couch, get cozy and be transported to the good ol' days!

Chocolate Sheet Cake
Ingredients:

1 Stick (8Tbsp) unsalted butter
1/2 Cup vegetable or canola oil
1 Cup water
5 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup buttermilk
2 Cups flour
2 Cups sugar
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp vanilla

For the frosting-
1 Stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter
4 Tbsp cocoa
6 Tbsp pet milk (or regular milk)
1 Tsp vanilla
4 Cups powdered sugar, sifted

Directions:

For the cake-
Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a sheet cake pan (jelly roll pan) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Place butter, oil and water in a sauce pan and place over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, allowing to boil for 15 seconds and remove from heat.  Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add sugar and salt and stir to combine. 

In a separate bowl combine eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk together.  Add to the flour mixture and whisk to combine.  Add the butter mixture and whisk until just incorporated, being sure not to over mix.

Pour in the prepared pan, place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

For the frosting-
Place butter, cocoa and milk in a medium sauce pan and place over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil then remove from heat.  Combine butter mixture and powdered sugar and whisk to combine.  Add vanilla and stir to combine.  Pour over hot cake and spread evenly.  Allow to sit for frosting to harden.  Serve.

Recipe source: My mom

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