Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chocolate Sheet Cake and The Pioneer Woman

I mentioned in my last post that I had a little brush with blogging fame. One of the blogs I regularly read is written by the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) and she blogs about her life on a cattle ranch and all the delicious food she makes for her family and ranch hands. Since starting her blog, she has turned it into a career and now has two cookbooks, two children's books, and a Food Network show. One day on her blog, she was talking about her upcoming book tour for the children's book she just released, called Charlie and the Christmas Kitty, and it just so happened that one of her stops would be in Kansas City.  (Charlie is their basset hound that has quite the personality.) Since I already had one of her cookbooks, I decided that I had to go meet her and get it signed! Joe was out of town last weekend so I didn't mind spending a few hours waiting to get my book signed.

I went down to the Plaza, bought my ticket (which included a copy of the new kids book) and waited for the Pioneer Woman to arrive. She came out on stage and gave a short presentation before beginning to sign books. What I didn't realize was that the signing would be done in the order of when the tickets were bought. Mine was 316! I waited for about 4 hours to get my 30 seconds of time with Ree, but I guess I can say it was worth it. She was very sweet and I told her that I love her blog and make her bruschetta all the time and everyone loves it. Then she signed my book, we took a picture, and I went on my way.

And since I'm telling y'all about the Pioneer Woman today, I figured I could also share a recipe from her blog and cookbook. The recipe is for a large chocolate sheet cake that I've also heard referred to as a Texas sheet cake. It is a simple, delicious, chocolate cake topped with a simple, delicious chocolate icing. I might have under cooked by a little, but it still all got eaten when I brought it into work. Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Sheet Cake
From The Pioneer Woman

For the Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder

For the Icing:
1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Stir together and set aside. (I also added powdered buttermilk to this since I wasn't using regular buttermilk.)

- In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Mix with a fork and set aside. (I mixed 1/2 cup water in to take the place of the buttermilk, per the instructions on the powdered buttermilk container).

- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the cocoa.

- Whisk together to combine. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup water to a boil.
- When the butter is melted and the cocoa is mixed in, pour the boiling water in the pan. Allow to bubble for moment, then turn off the heat.

- Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture. Stir together for a moment to cool the chocolate, then pour in the egg mixture.

- Stir or whisk together until smooth, then pour into an ungreased jelly roll pan (11"x15") and bake for 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking, begin making the icing since you'll pour it on right after taking the cake out of the oven.

- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and stir or whisk until smooth. If using pecans, add them after mixing in the sugar. After taking the cake out of the oven, immediately pour the icing over the cake. Try and pour it evenly to avoid having to spread it around. If needed, use a spatula to fill in any gaps. Let cool, and enjoy!

This cake really is delicious and you may find yourself just standing over the pan with a fork. I'm just warning you! I hope you all have had a nice weekend and wish you an even nicer week :)

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