Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Texas Sheet Cake

recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (12th ed.)

There are just some recipes that you have to enjoy just for the sheer pleasure of eating them.  Sometimes I try to tweak recipes to make them a little "healthier," but it is my opinion that there are some recipes that are just so classic that you can't mess with them.  This, my friends, is one of those.  I don't claim that it is healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but delicious... oh yes!  So... if you have no self control (like me), make it for a party and I promise it will be so popular, that you will only be able to get one piece to yourself. (Where's the harm in that, right?) So here goes... the classic Texas Sheet Cake.

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 recipe Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting

Grease a 15x10x1 inch or 13x9x2 inch baking pan; set aside.  In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine butter, cocoa powder, and 1 cup water.  Bring mixture just to boiling, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add the cocoa mixture to flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thoroughly combined.  Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin). Pour batter into the prepared pan. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 25 minutes for the 15x10 inch pan or about 35 minutes for the 13x9 inch pan or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

**Make the Chocolate-Buttermilk frosting in enough time that you will be able to pour it warm over the warm cake.

Pour warm Chocolate-Buttermilk frosting over the warm cake, spreading evenly. (Use a very light touch when spreading the frosting, since the warm cake will easily stick to your utensil.)
Place cake in pan on wire rack; cool thoroughly.

Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons buttermilk
2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar (I used 2 cups unsifted and it worked great!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan combine butter, cocoa powder and buttermilk.  Bring to boiling. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.  If desired, stir in 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans.

* If you don't have buttermilk on hand, substitute sour milk for the same amount of buttermilk called for in your recipe. For each cup of sour milk needed, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid; stir. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.

Chocolate-Cinnamon Sheet Cake
Prepare as above, except add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the flour mixture.