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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Pecan Icing picture

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Pecan Icing

Chocolate cake for any occasion! That's because it's quick and easy. This is based on the recipe for 1886 Chocolate Sheet Cake which refers to the restaurant (1886 Room) in the iconic Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas.

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  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) cocoa
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the icing:
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa
  • 4 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (measure first, then sift)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Makes one sheet cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the 8 ounces of butter, 1/2 cup cocoa and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Stir well to combine; set aside.
  3. Sift the flour into a large bowl.  To this add the granulated sugar and salt; stir to combine.
  4. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and add the buttermilk or yogurt, baking soda and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour the melted butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon. Add the egg mixture to the batter and continue stirring until the mixture is well combined.
  6. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan (or for a thinner cake use a 15-inch by 10-inch sheet pan) with cooking spray. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour in the pan and roll it around to give the pan a light coating of flour. Turn the pan upside down and tap it to remove excess flour. (See video demonstration:  Preparing a Cake Pan).
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes (20 minutes if using the sheet pan), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  8. When the cake is nearly finished baking, make the icing. In a medium saucepan melt the 4 ounces of butter over medium-low heat with the 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa. Add the half-and-half and continue cooking and stirring for about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar and pecans and stir well to combine.
  9. Allow the cake to cool for about 5 minutes and then spread the warm icing over the top of the cake. Cool the cake completely before slicing.

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