Friday, September 12, 2014

White Texas Sheet Cake

Seems like "Texas Sheet Cakes" are all the rage on the internet these days. Almost every cooking blog has one and they're all over Pinterest. There are about a million versions, I'm not kidding, a million. There's chocolate, white, pumpkin, peanut butter, red velvet, lemon, and even a "turtle" version. Seriously, if you can think up a flavor combination, there's a Texas Sheet Cake recipe out there for it. One thing all these cakes seem to have in common is that they are big and flat (baked in a jelly roll pan) and all have some sort of icing. They also all use a melted butter method which is foreign to me as I've always made cakes by creaming the butter first. Hmmmm? Well, I like cake. I like icing. And, my Moms is from Texas so I figured I'd find out what all the fuss is about.

Chocolate Sheet Cake with fudge icing seems to be the most popular recipe out there. And, I've heard raves about Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake, it has pecans! But, believe it or not, I wasn't really in the mood to make a chocolate cake. I know, cray cray, you say. But as much as I love chocolate I also love all things vanilla. So I decided to go with this White Texas Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Check it out. . .

Ingredients: butter, AP flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, salt, baking powder, almond extract and baking soda.

Cube the butter and place it into a large saucepan with the water. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat once all the butter has melted.

In another small bowl, beat the eggs well.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and beaten eggs.

NOTE: Throughout this post you'll see that I hand mixed this recipe with a spoon and whisk. Don't. It doesn't work very well. I totally recommend that you use a stand or hand mixer for this cake.

While continually mixing, slowly stream in the warm water-butter mixture. Add it slowly while you're stirring so you don't cook the eggs.

Once all the liquid is combined and the mixture is smooth, add the sour cream, salt, baking powder, almond extract and baking soda. Stir well to combine.

The batter will be very thin. Pour it into a greased 15x10x1 inch "jelly roll" pan.

Bake at 375°F for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for about 20 minutes. 

The original recipe, link above and below, has directions for baking in a traditional 9x13 pan if you prefer or don't have the jelly roll pan.

While the cake is cooling, make the icing. You'll need: granulated sugar, cocoa powder, milk, butter, light corn syrup, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. I didn't want a ton of icing and based on the ingredients it seemed like it was going to be pretty sweet. I cut the icing recipe in half and that what's shown below.

In a large saucepan whisk together the granulated sugar and cocoa powder. I didn't sift my cocoa powder like the recipe suggested and my icing turned out a bit lumpy. Still tasty, but lumpy. Next time I'll sift.

Whisk in the milk (use whole if you've got it). 

Cube the butter and stir it in with the corn syrup. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

When all the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth, remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and powdered sugar (sift it first!).

Pour the icing over the cake and quickly spread it evenly. It helps if the cake is still slightly warm. This icing starts to crust almost immediately so work very quickly if you want a smooth even icing. Again, what you see above is 1/2 the icing recipe and the lumps are a result of not sifting the cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

The whole fam and I really like this cake. It was really moist with just a hint of almond flavor. I'm really glad that I cut the icing recipe in half. It's good, but very sweet and sugary. I think it would have been too much with a full recipe. Its a great snack cake and would be perfect for a barbecue where you have to feed a lot of people. You could totally serve this on napkins and eat with your hands like a brownie. I highly recommend that you use a hand or stand mixer to make this cake. Although my cake tasted great, and was moist, it seemed a bit dense texture-wise. I'm thinking it was a result of hand mixing. Using a mixer would give a fluffier texture to the cake. I will, for sure, make this again, but will totes use a mixer.