Mini Chocolate Layer Cake

Texas Sheet Cake is a recipe I have wanted to try for months.  Why I haven’t is beyond me.  I guess I was just too busy trying all the other recipes I had on my “must make or die” list…

Texas sheet cake cut into rounds with "Perfect Frosting"

I had never heard of Texas Sheet Cake until I posted a recipe for Chocolate Mayo Cake (which is great but Allan won’t eat now, as he has a thing about mayo being in chocolate cake) and someone mentioned Texas Sheet Cake as an alternative.   

This morning I woke to the Chinese Grand Prix, which Allan had very thoughtfully set for me as an alarm call.  I am spoilt!

So, to thank Allan (and to celebrate Schumi’s 8th place… hopeful for higher in Europe…) I decided to make this cake at last.

But I decided not just to make the sheet cake, but to turn part of it into a mini layer cake.

Because Allan has been particularly good to me recently.  We have had no hot water for three weeks, and Allan dutifully takes me to an empty house and stands guard with Bob while I shower and wash my hair in hot water.  That deserves cake, actually it deserves a medal for being such a saint, but cake was as good as it could get today.

I loved the fact that the recipe calls for the butter to be melted with the cocoa and water and brought to the boil.  Melted butter always seems so much better to me, so I was certain that this would be a good cake.  The cake batter was exceptionally thin when finished and I was so glad that the recipe warned me of this beforehand.

The cake took about 40 minutes in my rubbish oven, and came out with a bump in the middle, but the smell… oh it was so good! 

The search was on for a cutter to make the mini layer cake.  As I might have harped on about a zillion times before, almost everything we own is in storage.  Having to fly everything up here meant that we brought only what was deemed essential.

The defintion Allan has for essential was “DVDs, Wii (which hasn’t been plugged in yet…) and anything you need to feel happy”.  Another reason he should be sainted!

Cutters didn’t make the cut.  Which reminds me of something a friend posted on facebook a few days ago, “Once a pun a time I was good at word play”…

Our glasses taper, a fact I hadn’t realised until this morning.  The jug is straight sided but is too big and the handle comes to the top.  Then inspiration hit me.  A tin can!

I cut rounds from the sheet cake and I made a couple of small, mini layer cakes using the “perfect frosting”,

But then figured that Allan deserved a much better effort.

Mini Layer Cake

So I cut four more rounds, cut them in half and sandwiched them back together with a quick chocolate buttercream, then sandwiched two of the rounds together before joining them with a layer of sliced chocolate cherries in the centre. That made it an eight layer cake.   

I crumb coated the whole thing with frosting then frosted it and used smarties to cover the flaws… I mean to decorate it.

Grated chocolate and a chocolate cherry went on top.

It was small but a tiny slice was more than enough at one sitting. It was really rich and I know Allan appreciated the effort.

Eight layer cake

I started baking at 9am and with all the chilling and frosting it was ready to slice at 3pm.  I should have given the cake longer to chill so that it would hold up better as it was starting to look decidedly like the leaning Tower of Pisa…

But it tasted great!

Texas Sheet Cake made into a Mini Layer Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup butter
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Grease a 15X10X1-inch or jelly roll pan or a 13X9X2-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1 cup of water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

With an electric hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat chocolate mixture into the dry mixture until thoroughly blended.

Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin).

Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in a 350° oven about 25 minutes for the 15X10-inch pan or 35 minutes for the 13X9-inch pan, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 24 servings.

Mini Layer Cakes