Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Chocolate Sheet Cake

In baking, as in life, you often get out what you put in. May we take a moment to acknowledge how wise that last sentence sounded? Baking is turning me into a right old philosopher! (See Mama? There are some advantages to baking :D)
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, you get what you put in. There are exceptions to the rule. Like banana bread, and .... well, banana bread. Oh, and brownies! I am not saying you have to spend an entire day slaving over your oven with a list of ingredients as long as the Great Wall of China. All I’m saying is that when picking a recipe, don't go for the one that is simplest because it probably won't be the best.

As usual, in a very long winded way, I finally reach my point. This recipe jumped out at me because it is pretty simple to make and despite the thought of chocolate sheet cake not particularly appealing to me, I thought it would be nice to have a nice chocolatey recipe - where I'm guaranteed to have all the ingredients in my cupboard - on hand for those lazy weekends when I want some home baked goodness. Plus it's a Pioneer Woman recipe and her recipes are decadent if anything! So I made it. And I wasn't impressed. For me, it tasted like a faux brownie. You know how sometimes you're in some generic cafe and they have these huge slabs of brownies, dark and inviting and practically speaking to you. You consider that you’re on a diet and you really shouldn’t and then finally, after mentally beating yourself up, you give in and have one. And after all that it’s extremely underwhelming? Well that's how I felt with this chocolate sheet cake. Plus I thought the icing was too sweet.
However, a couple of friends tried this and they both really liked it. One of them had warned me that she wasn't in the mood for cake so would hang on to hers till later. She opened it in front of me, “just to taste”, and standing there, devoured the whole thing. And she's not a dessert person. She thought it was simple and chocolatey but not too intense. Different strokes for different folks and all that. Perhaps I just expected too much.

Anyway, if I haven't put you off after that review, here's the recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. Till next time folks!


For the cake
2 cups flour
2 cups of sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 heaped tablespoons cocoa
226g butter
1 cup boiling water
½ cup buttermilk
2 whole beaten eggs
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons vanilla

For the frosting
140g butter
4 heaped tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
300g icing sugar



1 - In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
2 - In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
3 - Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. 4 - Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
5 - In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.
6 - Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing.
7 - Melt butter in a saucepan.
8 - Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat.
9 - Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Stir together, and pour over warm cake.


Adura said...

I've had enough of all this! You have a week to bake me *everything* I've ordered.

I think cos you're offically a cake-baker, you have very high standards when it comes to baked goodies.

Maybe it was yummy, maybe it was not... How can I tell? When you didn't offer me any!

Mari said...

Love the simplicity of this recipe. Too bad I’m not a chocolate lover.

Onada said...

I don't like chocolate but this looks awesome! Vickii you owe me a cake - NOW!!

Ms Afropolitan said...

You should patent that initial philosophical quote - wise words!

Especially for someone like me who when it comes to baking and cooking is always looking for shortcuts!

It looks lovely!

Chic Therapy said...

lol @ your friend who devored it all after fronting..it must have tasted pretty good

Vickii said...

@Adura - LOL you make me laugh. I promise that when I'm back at FF covent garden, I will show up some Mondays with baked goodies for you :)

@Mari - You're not a chocolate lover?? You're not a chocolate lover?? Please consider our childhood friendship officially over!

@Onada - I love it when people who live across an ocean demand cake because then I can give my standard 'when you come and visit, I'll bake you cake' response ;p No, really, I will!

@MsAfropolitan - I'm sure most of that quote has already been copyrighted by someone else but I'll try ;p I'm all for shortcuts, I just wouldn't approach an entire cooking or baking endeavour looking for the easiest way :) I'm sure you're a great cook, as you are at everything else!

@chic therapy - I still maintain it's not amazing but she liked it so I'm happy about that :)

titi said...

I will be trying this one out next week, will let u know how it goes:)