quick chocolate cake with thai tea buttercream

hey all!

i was inspired to make a chocolate sheet cake thanks to an old-timey cookbook my mom gave me with a quick chocolate cake recipe in it from 1966.  first you make the cake part which is easy-peasy (and takes 30 mins from start to finish) and then make the buttercream and split out three sections-one to flavor with thai tea, one to color pink for roses and one to color green for leaves (which is totes optional).

things have been dandy over here.  my little buddy is growing up fast and starting to consolidate naps.  the other day he even sat up on his own.  he also tasted lentils and loved it (i was v proud).  the last few mornings we spent time outside watering plants before the soldering midday nebraska sun came out.  baby #1 enjoys laying on a blanket under the shade of the tree watching the leaves sway in the breeze while i water veggies and pluck weeds.  our grapes, tomatoes, tomatillos, cucumbers and the smallest lacinato kale plant are come right along.

a few weekends ago we went to our old neighbors' house.  they're no longer our neighbors as they have moved to a different home, but we still enjoy tortillas, grilled corn with tajin, parm and mayo followed by coffee or tea and banana bread (with a little nutella) with them (you see the husband is from mexico city and the wife is ukrainian which explains the tradition of hot drinks and desserts after dinner).  their daughter (banana bread girl) hardly ate any of her food to her grandmother's disapproval.

"this girl!!  she never eats ANYthing!" her grandmother shouted "i eat her food, this is why i will get fat!" said in a thick russian accent.

banana bread girl smiled a toothless grin.  she doesn't take her strict grandmother seriously.

two seconds later, banana bread girl arrives to the table with a 4" x 4" piece of banana bread.

"i thought you were full?" i said.  oh, not full enough for banana bread.

dirt bike man asked her where her two front teeth went to and asked if it was from eating too much banana bread and not enough real food.

again no words from banana bread girl, but only a toothless grin.  i think banana bread girl would have eaten this cake too.

quick chocolate cake with thai tea buttercream

makes a quarter sheet tray full

1) In a small saucepan, melt 1.5 oz of chocolate, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of butter.

2) In a large bowl place the following ingredients: 1 cup of sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of milk, 1 1/2 cups of sifted all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon  baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of soda, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 starbucks via packet or 1 1/2 teaspoons of instant coffee.

3) Add chocolate mixture and beat with whisk until combined.

4) Grease a quarter sheet tray (10" x 15") with butter or baking spray and pour in cake batter.  Bake for 12-15 mins at 375 F or until cake is done.

for the thai tea buttercream

1 cup room temp salted butter

4 cups powdered sugar

4 T milk

2 T Thai tea

1/2 cup of milk

pink and green gel food coloring

2 cups extra powdered sugar

1) beat butter, powdered sugar and milk together.  remove a third of the frosting and set aside.

2) in a small saucepan add 1/2 cup of milk and thai tea together.  bring to a boil and shut off heat and let steep for 5 mins.  strain out tea.  it is ok if some tea escapes into the strained mixture.

3) add thai tea to buttercream.  beat.  add an additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar at a time until frosting is the right consistency to spread.

4) to the reserved buttercream: split out another 1/3 of frosting and color this green and the rest color pink.  

5) once cake is cooled, frost cake with thai tea buttercream and pipe on roses and leaves.  i used a small star tip to make the rosettes, simply draw a circle using the star tip and a leaf piping tip for the leaves (Wilton #65).

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