Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52—with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: Deep, dark, and fudgy, this old-fashioned, American-style sheet cake is best eaten cold, straight from the cooler, at your picnic or barbecue.
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My writing partner and coauthor of Flavor Flours, Maya Klein, created this irresistible American-style chocolate cake with knock-your-socks-off milk chocolate frosting.
The cake is made with rice and oat flours, rather than wheat, and it’s so darned good that you won’t need to make a separate cake for people who can eat wheat. Trust me.
Baked in a sheet, it’s perfect for a barbecue or picnic. On a hot day, refrigerate the cake for a few hours beforehand, then let the cake sit in the shade to prevent the frosting from melting. Otherwise, postpone frosting for another day—the naked cake is still something to write home about.
2 cups (400 grams) sugar 1 1/3 cups (200 grams) white rice flour 1/2 cup (50 grams) oat flour (gluten-free oat flour if gluten is an issue) 2/3 cup (60 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon xanthum gum 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 large eggs 1 cup milk 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup neutral flavored vegetable oil (such as corn, safflower, or soybean) 1 cup boiling water
For the milk chocolate frosting:
1 cup heavy cream 17 1/2 ounces (500 grams) milk chocolate or 55% to 62% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 1/2 pound (225 grams/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
Pick up a copy of Alice's James Beard Award-winning book Flavor Flours, which includes nearly 125 recipes—from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread—made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too).
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).