Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy birthday baby; or, Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake

Okay, so I felt a little irresponsible making this. Almost 4 sticks of butter are in this artery-clogging recipe. But hey, birthdays only come once a year, right? And my wonderful husband LOVES chocolate, so I thought I'd pick the "ultimate" recipe.

I'd give the end effort a B+. The chocolate flavor was YUMMY, but I thought the cake ended up a little dry. I'm not sure if that was my fault or the recipe's. One blog suggested that the chocolate/hot water mixture can evaporate if let sit; however, this mix goes right in the flour, so I may have undermeasured the water. I'm not super-careful in that department, anyway.

Dryness aside, the chocolate flavor was to-die-for! I also liked the fact it was a sheet cake. I've never made one before and eating thin pieces make me feel a little less guilty.

Ha ha, my husband just looked at my blog and said, "WHAT?!?!? You didn't tell me this had 4 sticks of butter!!!" Whoops :)

Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1 3/4 sticks of butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound minus 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir and set aside.

3. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add 1 cup of boiling water and allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

4. Combine buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir mixture. Add to butter/chocolate mixture. Stir by hand or with your mixer until smooth. Pour into sheet cake or jelly roll pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

5. While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely and set aside.

6. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, and turn off heat. Add milk, vanilla, powdered sugar, and stir by hand or with mixer until smooth. Add pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. Enjoy!

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