Thursday, September 10, 2009

BB: Birthday Sheet Cake

The Barefoot Bloggers selection this month, chosen by Susy of Everyday Gourmet, is Birthday Sheet Cake. We don't eat a lot of dessert-type foods, and I'm not a cake fan at the best of times, but I decided to make it just for the fun of it, and tomorrow I will share some with the kids meeting in the afternoons for a class across the road at the Ix-canaan Library. Even sharing with the kids, it seemed like a lot of cake, (and a lot of chocolate) so I halved the recipe.

Birthday Sheet Cake
Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved

Serves: 1 (12x18-inch) cake


I didn't have a single stick of unsalted butter in the refrigerator ... as a matter of fact I didn't have a single stick of butter at all. What I did have, was a bowl of butter mixed 50/50 with olive oil, which is what I use on bread and potatoes so we get the taste of butter with the health benefits of olive oil.

I had about half as much cream as I needed, so I completed filling the measure with home made yogurt.

I don't have either an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, so I did all the mixing by hand.

Instead of corn syrup in the frosting, I used some of my special doncella honey, figuring that the drop of lemony flavor would marry nicely with the bits of lemon zest in the cake itself

I don't own a 12" X 18" baking pan ... so I did some measuring and calculating, and discovered that two of my usual baking pans have the same basic "square footage" as half of the larger pan ... perfect.


For the cake:

18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:

24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Chocolate candies for decorating (recommended: M&M's)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time,

then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well.

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed.
Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula,
and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in the pan to room temperature.

For the frosting, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted.

Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it's thickened.

Spread the frosting evenly on the cake, and decorate.


The chocolate frosting was superb, and I thought as I was putting it together that it would make a great topping for ice cream. It was much better than the cake itself, which I found heavy and dry. I doubt that I would make it again ... especially since I seldom make cakes anyway.

*** UPDATE*** This cake is MUCH BETTER served cold ... right out of the refrigerator, with a big hot steamy mug of tea, coffee or chocolate. For some reason, the refrigerated cake doesn't seem so dry, especially when combined with the creamy chocolatey frosting. And the flavors meld as well.


An update to this recipe ... this cake is much better when eaten cold. For some reason, the cake doesn't seem so dry and the creamy cold chocolate really accents it.

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home