This is the week my IRL friends have been waiting for since I started posting recipes. As many of you know from reading this here blog, I bake. I LOVE to bake. When I met Ilina for dinner in May, we talkd about her not enjoying baking because you have to follow a recipe. I giggled because I almost NEVER follow a recipe when I'm baking! I bake like a lot of people, myself included, cook. Throw in a dash of this and a bit of that, make sure you have enough fat and liquid, stir it up and call it a cake!
I've baked this cake for everything from birthday parties to BBQs and it always gets rave reviews. People I've worked with still talk, years later, about Jen's wonderful home-made chocolate cake. Well, dear people, my secret's about to be out of the bag.
This sheet cake, which I like to describe as "If Fudge and Brownies Had A Baby," is the best chocolate cake I've ever had. I cannot pretend to have invented it. Oh, no. I got it from.........The Cake Mix Doctor, Ann Brynn. Do you know her? She has many books. Every single one of her recipes starts with a boxed cake mix, but not a single one of them TASTES like a box cake. The first ingredient in this cake is a box of dark chocolate cake mix. (My friends are tearing their hair out and cursing right now, having thought for years that I spent hours sifting flour to make this cake. HA!) While I won't take credit for the cake recipe, I WILL take credit for the glaze. The book calls for a pecan-caramel icing for this cake, but I found that waaaaay too sweet, so I use a chocolate glaze. The result is beautiful. And easy. You can take liberties with the recipe by adding different extracts (almond is my favorite) or even throwing in some nuts.
WARNING: Not a low-fat recipe. But very comforting. And tasty.
I'm heading into the kitchen to bake one of these babies in a few minutes, so I'll be sure to come back and post a picture of my finished product! Enjoy!
TEXAS SHEET CAKE
1 box dark chocolate cake mix (Don't get the kind with pudding in the mix--it's too moist)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease or spray a 9 x 13" cake pan. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon. Don't be alarmed by how thick it gets--it will be like a ball of stiff brownie dough. Once it's all mixed together, press the dough into the pan. Don't worry if it doesn't reach the edges; it will expand as it bakes. Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes. During that 5 minutes, I like to poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick so the icing can seep into the whole cake. (optional)
Meanwhile...make this glazey icing!
HEY Y'ALL CHOCOLATE GLAZE
1/3 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk and butter. Bring to a boil, the reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until butter and sugar are melted. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Immediately pour over cake and let set for at least 1 hour to harden.