Most of us have a sweet tooth. As a mid-day snack or to top off a meal, a little bit of sugary goodness makes everyone feel a little better. While everyone has different favorite for easy desserts, nothing beats cake for a fun and festive treat. If you are lucky, you grew up in a home where someone baked. Store bought treats are nice but having someone at home in a chef shirt making something with love really makes it special. Cakes have the added benefit of being relatively easy to make. Many can be made with one bowl and one pan meaning minimal mess to deal with. Home-made cake is easy to fake as well. A cake mix makes baking even simpler and very few can tell the difference between a box mix and something made entirely from scratch.
Not everyone has the time and enthusiasm to bake at home. There are also occasions when it is just easier to hire someone in a chef pant to bake for you. This is especially true of last minute occasions like an early morning discovery that it is a co-worker’s birthday. Most grocery stores have a bakery where you can get a good cake at an affordable price. Some are pre-made with generic sentiments on them or you can have a cake personalized. A lot of times, grocery store sheet cakes healthy recipes are two or more flavors so if you have a large group, everyone is sure to find a flavor they like. Keep in mind that some of the workers at the grocery store might not have any training in cake decoration so be sure to be clear on exactly how you want the cake decorated and what the store’s policy is if the decoration is not done properly.
Ingredients: 2 sticks of unsalted butter, 2/3 cup of water, ½ cup of cocoa powder, 2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 cups of granulated sugar , 1 teaspoon of salt , 2 eggs, 1 cup of butter milk, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of vanilla , 4 tablespoons of half-and-half, spray oil (grape seed/vegetable), 2 cups confectioner’s sugar (sifted), 1 cup of chopped pecans
Preparation Instructions: Add the two sticks of unsalted butter into a small sauce pan with 2/3 cup of water. Add ½ cup of cocoa powder to the butter and water. Mix the butter, water, and cocoa together until the butter melts and you have a nice and smooth batter. Sift two cups of the all purpose flour into the large mixing bowl. Add the two cups of granulated sugar and a teaspoon of salt to the flour. Mix the flour together with the sugar and salt. Next, whisk the two eggs together in a medium mixing bowl. Once that is done, add the buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla, and whisk it all together. To complete your cake batter, first add the cocoa and butter mixture to the flour. Then, proceed to slowly add your wet ingredients into the cocoa/flour mixture. Use a rubber or plastic spatchula and gently stir the ingredients together. Once the batter is completed, spray you large cake pan with cooking spray. Add one tablespoon of flour in the cake pan and spread it around. Tap the pan upside down to remove the excess flour from the cake pan. Pour the cake batter in your prepared pan and bake the cake for 30 minutes at 350*F. On another small saucepan add one stick of unsalted butter and three heaping tablespoons of cocoa together. Once the butter and cocoa have melted together, add the half-and-half to the mixture. Stir the mixture really well and then proceed to add one teaspoon of vanilla. Next, continue stirring the mixture adding the sifted confectioner’s sugar to the frosting. Take the cake out of the oven after 30 minutes and test to see if it is done with a toothpick. You can do this by poking the cake with the toothpick, and if the toothpick comes out with no cake residue, the cake is done. Let the cake cool on the wire rack. Pour the warm frosting on the cake and spread it out gently over the cake.
Of course for special occasions, you will want to go all out for a cake. Weddings and milestone birthdays or anniversaries call for something different made by someone in a women’s chef coat. These are times you want something that looks as fantastic as it tastes. It is never too early to start planning for a big party. When you go out to other people’s events and taste a particularly yummy confection, ask for the baker’s name. Friends and family are the perfect resources to tell you who are the best bakery chefs in town. Another good idea is to pull pages from magazines or the internet of cakes you think look fabulous so you can make sure your baker knows what style of decoration you are looking for. Your baker should also have a look book to show what kind of cakes they have made in the past and should be willing to have a tasting for you to make sure you will like the cake’s flavor.