It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Recipe : Peanut Butter Sheet Cake With Chocolate Icing

I'm a big fan of The Pioneer Woman, not only for her funny posts about life on a cattle ranch, but also for her recipes, which are easy to follow and generally VERY yummy.  I particularly like it when I can source all of the required ingredients here, which doesn't happen with every recipe she posts.

I'm also a big fan of cake (who isn't a fan of cake?), and an ultra big fan of Sheet Cake.  My friend Kris in MI makes a gorgeous Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake which blows my mind, and I can never replicate it as well as she can.  The only thing with Sheet Cake recipes is that they seem to use every flipping bowl in your house, so maybe it's not something that should be attempted unless you've got a dishwasher - or a lot of time on your hands.

This is a great Pioneer Woman recipe; it's easy to follow and it works.  Get out all of your bowls and let's get cooking!  My notes in italics, as usual.  Oh, and yes, I know it uses a lot of butter and sugar, but it's really yummy and I'm not advocating you eat it all yourself (though that's certainly possible, I'm not judging!).

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake with Chocolate Icing
  • Cake
  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. quarter teaspoon of salt
  4. half cup of buttermilk
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  7. 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  8. one and three quarter sticks of butter (about 210gm)
  9. half cup of peanut butter
  10. one cup of boiling water
  • Icing
  1. one and three quarter sticks of butter (about 210gm)
  2. 4 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
  3. 6 tablespoons of milk
  4. 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted (about 500gm of icing sugar, and I forgot to sift mine)
  5. 1 teaspoon of vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (about 180c).
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt.  Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whist together buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla.  Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt one and three quarter sticks of butter.
  • Stir in peanut butter until smooth.
  • Add boiling water.
  • Let the mixture bubble up for about 10 seconds.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Pour the peanut butter mixture over the flour/sugar mixture and stir until halfway combined.
  • Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir gently until the batter is smooth.
  • Pour the batter into a sheet pan or jelly roll pan (I'm never quite sure what a sheet pan or jelly roll pan are, so I used 2 x 28x23cm non-stick pans, or you could upsize and use one larger one) and smooth the surface.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven.
  • While the cake is baking, make the icing.
  • Okay, to do the following bit I melted the butter in a small saucepan and added the cocoa powder and milk whilst it was in the saucepan.  Then I tipped the saucepan contents into a bigger bowl and added the icing sugar that way, or I find that you get icing sugar all over your kitchen (and yourself).  I added half the icing sugar in one go and stirred that in, and then the rest of it in intervals whilst I stirred it in because I didn't want it to be too thick.  At one point it looked like it was splitting, but I kept stirring and it was fine once I poured it onto the cake.
  • Melt one and three quarter sticks of butter.
  • Stir in cocoa powder, then the milk.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar and stir until smooth.
  • Pour the icing over the warm cake right out of the oven (yes, really) and smooth the surface.
  • Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and eating warm.  Nah, didn't do that.  We ate ours cold later on and it was still yummy.

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