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Monday, July 30, 2007

Texas Sheet Cake (or: Showing My Appreciation to the Folks at G's Workplace for Their Kind Sponsorship)


Now, before I go into my babble about this recipe, I would like to point out that you can still sponsor me and my charity at the Blogathon website. Sponsorship ends tomorrow(Tuesday July 31st) at midnight Eastern Time (that's 9PM Pacific and everything else in between). If you want to read how my posting every half hour for 24 hours straight turned out for me(there is a bit of wackiness and some things you didn't know about me) check out my posts from July 28th and July 29th, I was here from 6am to 6am (there are 49 posts, so if you have the time...). That said, on with my post!

This is a cake my Mom has made for us since before I can even remember. We always requested it for birthdays (well, until we discovered ice cream cakes...yum). I'm not really sure why it's called a "Texas" sheet cake, so I asked my Mom and she has told me it's because the recipe originated in Texas. My theory is that it's big and big things come from Texas (not always good big things, but in this case it's a very very good thing). It's moist with sour cream, chocolate-y with cocoa powder and it's big. The icing sits on top of the cake like a thin coating of fudge. This is also a great cake for picnics (especially family get-togethers, because..well, it's good and it's big...). I'm making this cake as a big thank you to the folks at G's work who sponsored me (you know who you are, I won't name names..) in my insane 24 hour Blogathon for the wonderful charity First Book (did I mention there is still time to sponsor me?)

Oh, and Mom, I did mess around a bit by upping the cocoa powder in the cake part of the recipe to see if that makes for a more chocolate-y cake (as you said the last time you made it it seemed lighter than you remember). I also added some vanilla bean paste to the cake part (extract can be used)

Texas Sheet Cake (makes one really big jelly roll pan)

1 cup unsalted butter (8 ounces, two sticks)
1 cup water (H2O)
1/2 cup cocoa (I used natural unsweetened for this, and this is twice the amount as stated in our usual recipe)
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c sour cream (I upped this amount from 1/2 cup just in case the extra cocoa tried to dry out the cake)
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can also use an equal amount of extract, maybe some that you made a few months ago...maybe like the stuff I made during the Blogathon(why do I almost always type in Blogathong when I type that in? It's a wonder I caught it during the wee hours of the morning during the event)?

Cocoa frosting:
1/2 cup butter (one stick, 4 ounces)
6 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup cocoa
pinch of salt (this is another one of my additions to the recipe, cause a little salt is oh-so-good in icings)
1 lb. confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are what I am using for this today)
____________________
-Prepare one 15 1/2 x 10 1/2inch jelly roll pan by spraying it with pan spray, or you can line it with parchment paper if you want to lift it out of the pan (I did this, cause I'm a freak for parchment paper, you'd think I had stock in a parchment paper company).
-In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda, set aside.
-Combine butter, water and cocoa in 2-qt. saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat.
-Stir in combined flour, sugar and salt. Add sour cream and eggs; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.
-Bake at 375, 20-25 minutes. While warm frost with:

Cocoa Frosting:

-Combine milk, butter, cocoa and pinch of salt in saucepan, bring
to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
-Add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth, add the nuts, mix until blended.
-Pour over the warm cake, spread out and let it set up.

Cut yourself a big ole slice of the cake and enjoy with a nice glass of milk...or tea (not Texas tea) or coffee. Yum!

Happy big baking! And thank you everyone for your support!

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9 comments:

robert said...

It is so funny to see this on tastespotting. My mom has also made this amazing go to dessert since I can remember.

Katya said...

This cake is insanely good! The entire office is going ooooohhhh and aaaaahhhh right now! THANK YOU!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Robert: That's one of the things I love about doing this, is the memories that people have of certain foods. And this cake does rock. Yum.

Katya: Well, it was the least I could do for you kind sponsors (at least the ones I know...I'll have to figure something out next year for sponsorship encouragement...). Glad you like it!

Sam said...

Thanks for the cake! I keep going back to have *tiny* slices of it. I think I've had this recipe before under a different name, but my chocolate-filled brain can't quite remember what it was...

Jen the Bread Freak said...

You're welcome, Sam! Any day I can cause chocolate-filled brains is a banner day for me!

Lisa said...

so wonderful. I couldn't wait to get to work today to try some! Thanks!!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

You're welcome, Lisa! So glad you liked it! :D

Sarah C. said...

Quick question: What exactly is vanilla bean paste? Is it something we don't have in the States, or is it just in specialty stores?

BTW, the cake looks amazing!

örgü said...

mmm it's goood