Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake, Y'all

Howdy folks. For this cake, the Paris in Paris Sweets refers to Paris, Texas.

Once in a while, I need to embrace the fact that I grew up in the South. I love country music. Sometimes I fantasize about driving a rusty truck, or even a tractor! Okay, maybe more like a cabernet sauvignon harvesting machine than an International Harvester, but I digress.

Whenever I'm feeling particularly "homesick", I like to read Pioneer Woman's blog. I love her blog, especially the incredible step-by-step pictures she provides. When I first read about her Best Ever Chocolate Sheet Cake, I was at once repulsed and fascinated. The entire cake uses almost a pound of butter. On top of that, the icing itself uses a pound of confectioner's sugar. Sweet god.

Of course, I had no choice but to bookmark the recipe and wait for an occasion to make it. An occasion like a friend's birthday. A friend who conveniently works down the hall at work, where there's always plenty of volunteers to help finish a cake, no matter how much sugar went into it...

See this box of butter? Most of it (15/16) went into the cake.

And the icing? It took this much sugar.

It's a good thing I got that five pound bag from Costco.

I followed the recipe, but with one modification. After making the linzer tart, I became a fan of mixing the sharp acidity of fruit with the rich intensity of chocolate. Oh look, I happened to have a jar of real marmalade on hand.

I boiled a cup of marmalade with a good slug of vodka (vodka seems to enhance the brightness of fruit flavors) and some lemon juice for extra tang. I brushed this mixture onto the cake before I poured on the dangerously large pot of frosting.

If you look closely, you can see the layer of marmalade underneath the icing.

The cake was very, very, very sweet. At some places the frosting was almost as thick as the cake (!). The marmalade didn't cut through the sugar as much as I would have hoped (although the places where I could taste the marmalade was delicious). The sugar-forward recipe isn't really my style, and I probably won't make it again, but I sure had a lot of fun making it!

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