Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever - GF Style!
Credit for the non-gluten-free (NGF) recipe goes to Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman. I love her cooking. You will too. Unless you hate butter. Or became vegan. Either of which means you're much thinner than I am and never binge on chocolate cake.
As I explained here, most recipes can be easily converted by making substitutions for gluten ingredients. For this recipe, I used Better Batter All Purpose Flour Mix:
Instead of wheat flour, this contains Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Potato Flour, Pectin (lemon derivative), and Xanthan Gum. According to the box it is approved for Feingold Diet, Vegan, Kosher, and GMO Free. PKU: .09G Phenylalanine per serving.
Because the batter tasted a little weird prior to baking (I'm a very picky eater - probably falling under the classification of "Foodie") and the cake would have had the same taste if it weren't frosted, I'm not 100% sold on calling this my go-to flour substitute. However, I can say that the texture and consistency for cake were SPOT-ON with this product. It was a moist, chewy, melt in your mouth consistency that made me forget I was eating a gluten free cake. In addition, it was tested by two dyed-in-the-wool NGF eaters and they scarfed it up like nobody's business, so it even passes off as "normal" food.
I'd like to test this product with a few other recipes, as well as try other products with this same recipe before making a final judgment. I suspect that perhaps the buttermilk was affecting the flavor of the batter and not the flour substitute. For now, the jury's still out on this one, but it's a decent substitute if you've got no other options.
So with that, here's how I made this cake:
2 cups Better Batter All Purpose Flour Mix
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4T (heaping) cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 whole eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 sticks butter
4T (heaping) cocoa
6T milk (I used whole organic)
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Pan size: 18x13 half sheet cake pan (I bought mine at GFS, my local restaurant supply store)
Preheat oven to 350.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. I'm lazy, so I used the mixer. In a saucepan, melt butter, then add cocoa and stir until combined.
At this point, freak out that you forgot to boil the water and quickly put the tea kettle on high while continuing to stir the cocoa and butter mix.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture and stir lightly to cool. (On my kitchenaid I had to hold it just under the "stir" level so it wasn't beating it to death.)
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. My Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing (for baking, anyway) mandates that all vanilla additions be generous. So I always slop extra vanilla over the sides of the teaspoon. You'll thank me later.
Pour into mixing bowl and stir all together, then pour out onto the ungreased baking pan (after panicking and checking Ree's site to make sure the recipe didn't call for pre-greasing). Smooth out with a spatula until it is evenly spread on the pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
While the cake is baking, quickly wash the pan you originally melted the butter in cuz you'll need it for the frosting. (Unless you have more pans than me. Then you can simply grab another. And make me jealous of your large kitchen.)
Melt butter in saucepan, then add cocoa and stir to combine. Turn off the heat, then add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together until you've removed as many lumps as humanly possible. A few won't kill anyone - they're just bits of powdered sugar. And who doesn't like sugar? Besides the vegans who haven't read this far anyway?
If you like nuts in your chocolate (I don't) or if you need to make this cake appear more healthy, feel free to add in some chopped nuts before pouring the frosting over top of the cake.
Spread the frosting over the entire cake with a spatula, and then devilishly enjoy licking the spatula and the bowl of remaining frosting. YUM!
Once the frosting looks like it is crystallized over the top, it is safe to cut a piece and enjoy. CAUTION: HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! I'm not responsible for any chocolate cake binges - you were warned!