How am I going to phrase this?
Erm …I’m getting old.
Well, older. (I don’t know why it feels like such a surprise to me, I am a human).
I have now experienced 17 years of life on Earth – and I have to say that it does keep getting better, especially these past 1 1/2 years where I’ve been creating my own little corner of the internet, full of butter, sugar, cinnamon and chocolate.
To celebrate, I made myself a cake!
It’s not like I’m not already getting 3 other cakes from 3 other people,
but I wanted to make something super-special-awesome-time to bring into school.
I don’t really know why I’m making all this extra cake;
I don’t feel older,
I’m sitting here wearing plastic dinosaur earrings and drinking hot chocolate.
I still feel as excited when I get a comment on my blog as when I was 15,
I still freak out and tell my mum when something bonkers happens,
For example, one week ago, I was literally just waking up when I got a notification of a ping back.
Now, when I’ve just woken up, my mind literally can’t handle ANY information until exactly 10 minutes and one cup of coffee later.
Even if you tell me something super important and exciting, I won’t recall it, and will become SO confused at a simple sentence. (I once got a random spam e-mail saying I had ‘been chosen’ in the first sentence, and literally thought I was a superstar/magician/mega-special person for about 20 minutes. I then had to keep reminding myself during the day that that really wasn’t true, when I kept getting flashbacks, like “why am I in a maths class, I’m more important than thi… oh wait.”)
So anyways, this ping back, was from freaking Joy the Baker’s blog. I mean.
I can’t even.
Most exciting moment of mah blogging life.
The only way I could explain it to my friends (who, apart from me, know nothing about the blogging, baking world), was literally by comparing it to them being mentioned by one of their favourite actors, actresses or singers.
Just knowing she had read my blog makes me want to do the macarena (and I can’t even do the macarena!).
Well really, just knowing anybody has read my blog makes me blush and want to hug everyone!
But, as a thank you (after already thanking her about 1000 times I think – if not in typed words, in my mind) I decided I’d make a recipe from her cookbook which I had purchased last summer in Seattle.
Whilst flicking through her cookbook, I noticed a recipe for Texas sheet cake; as soon as I saw the word ‘birthday’ in the descriptive paragraph above the recipe (combined with my belief that anything Joy bakes must taste heavenly), I was sold.
But I wanted to make it extraaaaaaa insane; and when you want to make something extraaaaaaa insane what do you do? You incorporate some sort of delicious batter or cookie dough. Of course, duh.
I went with brownie batter because it’s pretty much as close to chocolate frosting you can get with a batter, and because it’s so freakin delicious.
and THANK YOU for tweeting and instagramming (why are you underlining that google, it’s totally a word) me, for reading this blog, for pinning my pictures, for commenting on my recipes, and everything else you do to make my life heck tonnes more awesome than it already is,
I GIVE YOU ALL A PIECE OF THE BIRTHDAY CROWN (please get that Mean Girls reference)
– The Texas sheet cake recipe is from the Joy the Baker Cookbook – I only slightly adapted it by reducing the sugar by 1/2 cup, because I was like “ummm, I’m going to be pouring brownie batter all over this cake, maybe I should make it a little less sweet…”
– The eggs should be safe to eat by the time you’ve finished with the batter – they’re tempered by the butter-chocolate mixture, and then heated again in the saucepan. If you’re still anxious about it though, once you’ve poured the batter on top of the cake, just pop that pan back into the oven for a further 5 minutes at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
-If you’re still put off by the egg thing, substitute them for 3 tbsp cornstarch/arrowroot and increase the milk to 4 tbsp (skip the steps which involve tempering, and heating the batter for 5 minutes )
-The chocolate chips are completely optional, I think I would have preferred it if I’d put pecans on top, like in JTB’s recipe, instead to be honest!
- 1 cup (220 g) unsalted butter
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup (250 ml) brewed coffee (or warm water)
- 2 cups (260 g) all purpose flour
- 1½ cups (300 g) sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (125 ml) sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease and lightly flour a 15 x 10 x 1 " jelly roll pan.
- Place the butter, cocoa and coffee in a large saucepan. Heat and stir just until the butter has melted. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt to the pan, and whisk in. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla to the pan, and whisk until completely combined.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan (keep that saucepan! we're going to use it again in a second!) and bake for 20 minutes - while it's baking make the brownie batter frosting (see below).
- 2 medium/large eggs (use pasteurized if you can find them) (see notes)
- ½ cup (110 g) unsalted butter
- 4 oz (110 g) bittersweet chocolate (I used 70%)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1¾ cups (175 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (65 g) all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp milk
- optional: ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, and whisk together lightly.
- Using the same saucepan as before, melt the butter and chocolate together.
- Whilst this mixture is still warm, pour about 4 tbsp of it, 1 tbsp at a time, into the eggs, whisking the eggs constantly. This tempers the eggs :)
- Add the tempered egg mixture to the butter-chocolate mixture in the saucepan and whisk together.
- Whisk in the salt and powdered sugar, then return the pan to a medium-low heat and stir constantly with a spatula (making sure to scrape the sides + base of pan) for 5 minutes (this kills any bacteria by partially cooking the batter).
- Stir in the vanilla extract, flour and milk and whisk until smooth.
- Pour over the still-warm cake and spread it out evenly, sprinkle on the chocolate chips (if using) and leave to cool to room temperature. To store: cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate.