I was feeling a little emotional about making this week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, the Sunday Night Cake. It's just that this was the final cake recipe I had yet to try from Baked Explorations, and I guess it's finally sinking in that I'm almost done baking my way through every single recipe in the cookbook (I've never missed a week of Baked Sunday Mornings, and after this week, there are only six recipes from Baked Explorations that I haven't tried yet). The cookbook says the cake is derived from an Edna Lewis recipe and describes it as a gently spiced sour cream cake with a puddinglike chocolate frosting. It sounded terrific.
The Sunday Night Cake is a sheet cake, so it requires less fuss than many of the other cakes from Baked. For the cake portion, you beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy, add in eggs one at a time, and alternately add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon) and sour cream. You pour the batter into a pan, bake, and cool.
For the frosting, you make what is essentially a chocolate pudding on the stove from sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, unsweetened chocolate, and boiling water. You cook the pudding until it's thickened, and then transfer it to the bowl of a mixer and beat it until cool. Then you add softened butter and beat until the frosting is light and puddinglike. I know that the frosting is supposed to be runny, because the recipe instructs you to let the frosting drip down the sides of the cake. But I was going to serve this cake at an office party, and I needed to cut it into slices and transport it neatly to work on the subway. So I beat the frosting until it was a bit fluffier and also chilled it until it was firmer before spreading it onto the cake. I kept the cake in the refrigerator overnight and the frosting held its shape just fine.
Several people at the party told me that they enjoyed this cake and I'm going to take them at their word. But I would definitely not make this cake again, and Tom opined that it is one of the worst recipes I have ever made from Baked. Thankfully, there are so many other wonderful cakes from the guys at Baked that I'm not going to miss this one at all.
Recipe: "Sunday Night Cake" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.