On a recent weekend away to the mountains of North Georgia – a trip celebrating friends and some birthdays – the weather gave us every reason to stay in, cook and do mostly nothing. Forced relaxation is sometimes necessary, you know? The dusting of snow was picturesque as we went into town to the local gourmet shops for provisions for our weekend. Locally raised steaks, Logan Turnpike cornmeal pancake mix, a mostly-successful gnocchi recipe and some vino. It was all very delicious. However, for me, the star of the show was this cake. Go ahead and say thanks to Krissy for the recipe – I sure did.
I love recipes like this: I've called them the "mom-n-em" recipes. Passed down a generation or two, they sometimes have thorough instructions. More often than not, it's a list of ingredients with some loose guidelines. This cake is possibly the best chocolate cake I've ever had – high praise from someone who really isn't a chocolate eater. It also made the member of the group that doesn't eat cake quietly swoon. There's nothing particularly fancy – it's a chocolate sheet cake. However, it's the crunch between the frosting and the cake that's the kicker – a tiny bit of tooth in between two decadent layers. Imagine bits of Whatchamacalit candy bar crunch wedged between moist cake and creamy frosting.
This is also the first recipe I've jotted down in what is my new current obsession – the Moleskine Passions Recipe Journal. It's chic, compact and concise. Everything that you expect a Moleskine to be…but food focused. I am giving one of these puppies away to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering the question – "What is your favorite cake?". One winner will be chosen randomly at 12 pm EST on Saturday, February 13th. Please make sure you leave your name & contact info in your comment so I can let you know if you won!
A winner was chosen at noon using Random.org. Congrats to comment #5 – Beth from BakingTherapy! Thanks to all who left comments – I'm having a blast looking through them all and seeing some new recipes. :)
Nana's Chocolate Sheet Cake
For the Cake:
– For The Cake: Combine the sugar, flour and salt; set aside. Over medium heat; bring the butter, water and cocoa to a boil and pour over the flour mixture. With a wooden spoon mix in the eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour into a greased jellyroll pan and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes (or until cake tests done.) Make sure you prepare the glaze during the last few minutes of baking so you can pour the glaze over the cake while it is hot!
– For the glaze, combine all the ingredients except for the vanilla over medium heat and bring to a boil. Count to about 80-100, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla until thickened. Pour over the hot cake and let set until glossy and hard. Allow the cake to cool COMPLETELY before you frost – this is key. Top with buttercream frosting after it is cool.
– For the Frosting: Cream butter. Mix cocoa and powdered sugar together. Add to creamed butter and add vanilla. Gradually add your milk one tablespoon at a time until frosting is at desired consistency – it may take an extra tablespoon depending on how you like your frosting.