A little late on this on but better late than never. As I mentioned in my last post I actually had an event I could use a sheet cake at. The last cake I made I wanted to rent the pan since I figured I would probably never make a large cake like this again - imagine my surprise when I was making one just a month later.
The event was a Reunion picnic for the Rev-Elations chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association. It is the first time they tried this and I wanted to try to make it a little more special with the cake. The frosting job was a little difficult. As you can see a lot of writing in not a lot of space - I think my hand is still cramping up from doing the lettering. I think the frosting job came out pretty good though. The event was also a big success - lots of good food and good times with all the past and current members. If you want to know more about the Christian Motorcycle Association and what we do please check out this link.
Now on to the cake. I was a little worried after reading all the food network reviews. It has the lowest rating of he recipes that I have seen. People didn't like the lemon, the cake was dry, it overflowed... Well a lot of the problems seemed to be with people adjusting the cake for a different size pan - this can be difficult if you don't know what you are doing. I like citrus so I decided to leave that as well. I am not sure I have ever made a cake with sour cream or corn starch as ingredients. This would defintly be an experiment.
The cake was very good. It was very moist (dry usually means overcooked which doesn't take long with a cake) and it was a sweet cake. The citrus was noticeable but not overwhelming at all. The frosting was thin which made me a little nervous. The recipe wanted it frosted in the pan - informal like - which is not what I did. My cake was cold when I frosted it and the icing set right up when it hit the cold cake so it worked out well. The frosting was very chocolaty and not too sweet. I think this was a nice combo with the sweet cake. My wife liked the lemon too and even thought it might need more since it was hard to taste with the frosting. Overall I really enjoyed it and it is a recipe I would make again. Reading comments on food network and the other blogs I might be in the minority though.
Thanks to Susy of Everyday Gourmet for this recipe. She ended up making two separate double layer 9 inch cakes instead of the sheet cake. Check out her blog to see how she changed the second cake up a little. Looks yummy.
Birthday Sheet Cake(Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style, Page 216)Makes 1 12x18 inch cakeIngredientsFor 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 sodaFor 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. Have the children decorate the cake with chocolate candies.