Newborns cry a lot. Miles cried a lot when he was little, so Roy made up a song for him a few days after he was born. "Little baby Miles, keeping happy all the while, with your little baby smiles, you're so happy all the while..." And, this simple little song about being happy seemed to make Miles happy. The song became something you could hear regularly in our house. We are constantly singing variations of it even though Miles really doesn't cry that much anymore. Over the past year it has become ingrained in our heads.
This year has gone by quickly. Miles turned one this week, and a few days before his birthday I started singing "Little baby Miles" and then I stopped and thought, no he's big boy Miles now. And I suddenly felt sad. Where had my little baby gone? Although I'm loving Miles at age one, that first year seemed too pass much to quickly. I had an irrational mommy moment thinking "Oh my gosh, before I know it he's going to have a license and drive away from the house!"
Luckily my craziness was reigned in by making a cake for him. We had a few people come over to celebrate this birthday. The poor little guy has some eczema that is aggravated by dairy and eggs, so I had to make a vegan cake for him. The cake turned out cute and he liked digging into it. I got the cake topper on Etsy (love that site). I won't share the recipe here though as it wasn't very tasty. Vegan butter = weird aftertaste.
Luckily everyone else got cupcakes. Chocolate with vanilla frosting, yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and chocolate with Nutella frosting. I'll share the recipe for the Nutella frosting in a future post, as it was so good that I'm sure I will be making it again.
Instead the recipe I will share today is Texas Sheet Cake from America's Test Kitchen. About a week earlier we celebrated Miles birthday with our Bible study, and I made this cake then. One of my favorite cakes that my mom would sometimes make for my birthday is Art Smith's Auntie's Chocolate Cake. The two cakes are similar - chocolate cake and warm chocolate pecan icing poured over the hot cake. But, dare I say it, I think I like this Texas Sheet Cake better. I think the main difference is that this icing has less confectioner's sugar than the Auntie's cake. And that means more chocolate flavor. So, I guess we basically celebrated Miles' birthday with my favorite cake. That's okay though because before I know it I'm sure he will be requesting whichever cake ends up being his favorite. And then driving off with his license.
Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!
Texas Sheet Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs plus 2 yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 sour cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
Cake: Adjust rack to middle of oven and heat to 350 degrees. Grease 18 x 13 inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Whisk together eggs and yolks, vanilla, and sour cream in another bowl until smooth. Heat chocolate, butter, oil, water, and cocoa in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk chocolate mixture into flour mixture until incorporated. Whisk egg mixture into batter just until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached, about 18 -20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and immediately begin making icing.
Icing: Heat butter, cream, cocoa and corn syrup in large saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Spread warm icing over hot cake and sprinkle with pecans. Let cake cool on wire rack for one hour. Then refrigerate for one more hour. (At this point you can cover the cake tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) Bring to room temperature before serving. Cut into 3 inch squares and serve.