Texas Sheet Cake
1 cup water
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup sour milk *
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
frosting of your choice (I used a caramel frosting, but chocolate works just as nice)
2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped **
Grease a 15" x 10" baking sheet pan and dust with cocoa powder (instead of flour to reduce the chance of a white residue from flour being left behind).
Over low heat, combine the butter, water, and cocoa in a small saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until butter melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Mix the milk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed; add the cocoa mixture and continue mixing until well blended.
Combine the sugar, flour, and salt in another bowl; whisk to combine (shortcut sifting). Gradually add to the buttermilk-cocoa mixture and mix just until all the ingredients are combined. The batter will be thin.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 F for 20 - 25*** minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
* To make sour milk, just add 1 tbsp. plain vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Fill to one cup mark with milk and stir. Let the milk sit for a minute or two before using in a recipe. For this recipe, I used 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice and filled to 1/2 cup mark. Buttermilk or sour cream (same amount as milk) will also work.
** To toast the pecans, evenly spread the nuts on a baking sheet and place in a 350 F (preheated) oven for about 5 - 10 minutes or until they become aromatic. I like mine salted, so I lightly spray them with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 - 2 tsp. kosher salt before toasting.
*** I usually slow my oven to 325 F and bake for 25 - 30 minutes to ensure a level cake.
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