Sunday, July 02, 2006
I wonder if they all circle around and sing too
Chocolate Sheet Cake
The New Best Recipe Copyright 2004
¾ cup cocoa, preferable dutch-processed I used natural
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch baking pan.
2. Sift together the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl covered with plastic wrap for 2 minutes at 50 percent power; stir until smooth. (If not fully melted, heat 1 minute longer at 50 percent power.) Whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk until smooth.
3. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined. Whisk in the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth and glossy. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; bake until firm in the center when slightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature, at least 1 hour; ice with frosting, if desired, and serve.
Serves 10 to 12.
I baked this lovely birthday cake for Don. If you knew Don like I knew Don, well, you wouldn't know Don at all. I have no idea who he is. In fact, I think his name is Dan. There's some sort of ritual at my husband's workplace where the guys bring in cakes for each other, definitely on their birthdays and perhaps for other reasons that I haven't quite pinned down. The wives bake the cakes, not the men, as far as I know. It's sort of funny because these are guys working in a warehouse loading trucks all day. I don't mind since I like to bake birthday cakes and I really only get to make one for my son.
Usually I bake a sample cake in a custard dish when I'm trying a new recipe and sending it off somewhere. I did it with this recipe but, well, I was weak and I ate it without photographing it or even frosting it. (I used the Easy Buttercream, BTW.) I thought this was a great chocolate cake - quite chocolately with great texture. I'll definitely pull out this recipe next time I need a chocolate cake on the fly.
Question of the Day: How many birthday cakes do you generally make in a year?