September is here! The month that brings with it the end of the summer, and the beginning of Sally’s foul mood. Aren’t you thrilled? Well, I cannot let meteorology ruin the mood of my favorite event in the whole blogosphere: The Secret Recipe Club‘s Reveal Day is here, for us members of Group A. My assignment was the blog Crazed Mom, hosted by Nicole, from St. Louis. Crazed Mom, what a cute name for a site, it tells it all. Nicole is a mom to five teenagers. Let’s make a brief pause to let that sink in. Five teenagers. She also takes care of a toddler and a newborn on a regular basis. Five teenagers. One toddler. One newborn. I have a full-time job that demands quite a bit of energy and commitment, but I am always in awe of women whose job is to take care of one or several kids. How do they do it? I know there are plenty of rewards, but imagine having to deal with kids at different phases, one going to school, dealing with homework, sleepovers, another too young to leave your radar, some very picky eaters, some with food allergies. And of course, you are also a woman, a wife, a daughter, maybe a sister, with goals and dreams for yourself. Not easy to find balance. But Nicole does it all and blogs about a ton of interesting stuff, in fact she’s been a presence online for 12 years! Unreal! I had a lot of fun browsing her site, even if this past month was particularly sad and stressful for us. I did not have as much time as I normally like to indulge in the stalking process, but still composed a list of possibilities to share with you today. Here they are: Chicken Kiev with a Twist, The Best Blueberry Muffins, Caramel Coconut Cupcakes, and Spicy Gingerbread with a Mocha Glaze (if that doesn’t make you go weak in the knees, you need therapy). But once I saw her take on a Texas Sheet Cake, I decided I had to make it. I’ve often heard about it, but had never tasted or even seen one face-to-face. I had to take matters into my own hands, and jump on this opportunity to enlighten myself on this American classic.
TEXAS SHEET CAKE
(from Crazed Mom)
for the cake:
1 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
for the icing:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar (sift it first to remove lumps – otherwise icing remains lumpy)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the cake: In a saucepan, combine the butter, water and cocoa over med. heat until the butter melts. Don’t let it cook too long. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, flour, salt, eggs, and baking soda. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Careful, it’s hot. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Pour into a sheet cake pan or jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
For the icing: In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa and milk over medium heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and combine with confectioners sugar and vanilla. Mix well with a mixer to remove lumps. Spread over the sheet cake while it is still hot.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: This is a rich cake. Very rich. As Nicole says, eat a slice and go take a walk. But I tell you one thing, it is decadent delicious, it’s the kind of cake that with each bite you feel more and more naughty, which is a good feeling to have every once in a while. I took it to our department and it was basically gone within 45 minutes. I also got several visits to the lab of colleagues thanking me and giving me hints of “you can bake this one again anytime!” I guess by now they realized that a food blogger rarely repeats recipes and once something really good shows up in the mail room, they better enjoy. Be Zen. Savor the moment. Literally.
Confession time… My friend Gary is my guru for all things involving baking. I was wondering about the size of pan to use and wanted to run a question by him, so I texted. Then I told Phil about it. I just texted Gary, I had a question about that sheet cake I’m making today. Phil almost lost it, laughing so hard – “what kind of cake are you making????” It turns out that my spoken sheet apparently sounds exactly like another word that starts with SH. It’s a good thing accents don’t travel by text.
Nicole, I loved stalking your site, and agree with you, this is one amazing cake, I am not surprised that you requested it every year for your Birthday. If we have to get one year older, might as well celebrate in style!
And, for all my readers, you can delight yourself with the recipes made by my virtual friends with a poke in the blue frog smiling quietly at the end of the post.
ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, September 2015
TWO YEARS AGO: Sour Cherry Sorbet: A Labor of Love
THREE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen – September 2013
FOUR YEARS AGO: Raspberry Sorbet at Summer’s End
FIVE YEARS AGO: When three is better than two (four years with Buck!)
SIX YEARS AGO: Grating Tomatoes (and loving it!)
SEVEN YEARS AGO: A Peachy Salad for a Sunny Day