I have had my eye on a couple of easy sheet cake recipes. My indecisiveness led me to combine them. 😉 It was a successful combination! This cake was moist and delicious.
The simple vanilla cake is from Food 52, from their book Genius Desserts, contributed by Jami Curl. It was proposed to serve it topped with strawberry compote & butterscotch whipped cream. I included these original topping recipes below- just to keep my options open.
The frosting recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. It was originally from an easy sheet cake recipe with a “reverse creaming” technique. Of course, I’ll have to try this cake as well at some point. 🙂
For the Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake:
- 3 1/3 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 1 T plus 2 tsp (20 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 g) kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (227 g) sour cream
- 1/2 cup (105 g) canola oil
- 1 T (18 g) pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) boiling water
For the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- sprinkles, for garnish, optional
To Make the Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake:
- Heat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection. Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and sour cream with a fork, mixing until smooth. Add the oil and vanilla and use the fork to mix until they’re incorporated. The mixture will be smooth and creamy.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and continue to stir until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated. The batter will turn very thick.
- Add the boiling water and stir until the batter is smooth and uniform with no traces of unmixed ingredients remaining.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth it evenly into the corners.
- Bake the cake for 35 (to be safe- check even earlier) to 40 minutes, until it’s golden, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
To Make the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Make icing while cake cools.
- Using electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar, sifted cocoa powder, and salt and beat again, scraping down sides of bowl, until completely smooth.
- Add vanilla and continue to beat until fluffy and lightened in color, another minute.
- Smooth icing over top of cooled cake (it should not be at all warm to the touch, or else the icing will melt).
- Top cake with sprinkles, if desired.
- Cut into pieces and serve.
Posted in Baking, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes
Tags: American, butterscotch, cake, chocolate, cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, dessert, easy, Food 52, frosting, fruit, quick, sheet cake, sour cream, strawberries, strawberry, summer, vanilla, yellow
After reading the printed version, I received multiple emails from The New York Times about this dish. Sam Sifton was over the moon about this recipe and the book, Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking. He described the book as “excellent and invaluable” and noted that this was his favorite recipe in it. I had to try it.
I agreed with Sam Sifton. 🙂 Lemon-caper sauce is incredible! This wonderful dish was prepared very quickly and was packed with flavor. Tipton-Martin learned the sauce technique that elevates these smothered pork chops from restaurateur B. Smith.
I added additional flour to the sauce to make it more of a gravy. We used fresh bread to mop up all of the remaining sauce on our plates. I served the pork chops with sautéed spinach and roasted red and sweet potatoes on the side.
This recipe was adapted from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking, via The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. I slightly modified the proportions.
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
- 4 bone-in pork chops (about 8 ounces each) (I used 5 boneless pork chops)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 T olive oil
- 4 T unsalted butter, divided
- 1 very small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 T drained capers
- 2 T minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest, plus 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- hot sauce, optional
- Dry the chops with paper towels, and season aggressively with salt, pepper and the thyme.
- Swirl the olive oil into a large skillet, and heat over medium until the oil begins to shimmer.
- Add chops, and cook until well browned on each side and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate, and cover to keep warm.
- Drain most of the fat from the skillet, then melt 2 tablespoons of butter in it over medium heat until sizzling.
- Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until the aromatics soften, reducing the heat if necessary, about 1 minute.
- Sprinkle in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the wine and chicken stock, raise heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the capers, parsley, lemon zest and juice and hot sauce to taste (if you’re using it)(I omitted it), and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until it’s melted and the sauce looks smooth.
- Nestle the pork chops into the sauce, and allow them to warm up for a couple of minutes, then serve, pouring sauce over each pork chop to taste.
- Garnish with more fresh parsley.
Posted in Pork, Recipes, Sauces
Tags: American, B. Smith, butter, butter sauce, capers, dinner, easy, gravy, lemon, lemon zest, pork, pork chops, shallot, smothered, Southern, thyme, white wine, wine