The Greatest Texas Sheet Cake EVER! Recipe included…

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Let’s be honest, one of the best things about Texas is the FOOD!  So we’re gonna try something new here on the blog and that’s to share some of the most Texan recipes of all time and our experience preparing them.  It may be one of our family favorites, or it may be something we’ve never attempted before.  We may succeed, or we may fail miserably.  Either way, we hope it makes you appreciate the rich food culture of Texas and makes you hungry for some Texas cuisine.

To kick things off, we’re skipping past the main course and jumping straight to dessert.  One of the most decadent, delectable, and desirable desserts of all time –  TEXAS SHEET CAKE!!!!

Cake

It’s that delicious, chocolaty, fudgy cake smothered with that insanely rich chocolate icing and pecans…oh, the pecans!  You know it and you love it.  

For as long as I can remember, my family has called it “Grandma’s Chocolate Cake.”  It’s been at every family holiday, every birthday, and every graduation party since the beginning of Chet (which is to say – as long as I can remember).  My wife’s family calls it “Groom’s Cake” and, yes, it was served as the groom’s cake at our wedding.

Recently my wife and I set out to compare a few recipes and try to pin down the perfect one.  We started with 4 similar, but slightly different recipes – my family recipe, Laura’s family recipe, Pioneer Woman‘s recipe, and Texas Monthlys recipe.  Turns out, it isn’t the easiest recipe!  

Recipes

Ingredients

But after reading, testing, tweaking, and eating – we think we finally figured it out.  So, Texas Sheet Cake has 3 main parts (dry mix, wet mix, icing mix),  and each of these parts has its own recipe.  

Bowls

You essentially dump all the “dry mix” ingredients into the mixer and turn it on.  It’s easy to do by hand, if you don’t have a froo-froo pink mixer like my wife.  

Blender

For the “wet mix” ingredients, you melt the butter, boil the water and then add them all together.  

Butter

Once you have those two major components done, you ever so gently, mix the wet mix into the dry mix.  

 

You stir it up.  Taste test some with your finger (of course) and then pour it all into an ungreased sheet cake pan.  

Chocolate Pour

You bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  While that’s happening, you prep the icing.  Once the cake is baked, you’re ready for the best moment of all (other than the first bite).  It’s the moment when you pour the icing over the warm gooey cake.  

 

NOTE: We have some people in our home who don’t like pecans in sweets – I call it crazy, but anyway – instead of putting the pecans in the icing for even distribution, we cover half the cake with the pecans and pour the icing on top.  It keeps them separate and keeps my family happy.  

Once that’s all done, you eat it!  Enough said.  We didn’t get pictures of eating the finished product, because we were too busy devouring it to pause and take pictures.  Trust me, it was amazing.

Finished Cake

Enjoy, here’s the full recipe.

 

RECIPE

DRY MIX
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon (this is critical to add a dash of Mexican spice and a truly “Texan” flair)
1/2 tsp salt

Blend all these together in a mixer if you’ve got one, but mixing by hand works too.

 

WET MIX
2 sticks butter (unsalted)
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt the butter, then add the water and cocoa powder.  Mix the other ingredients separately and then add them to the butter mixture. When this “wet mix” is done, add it to the “dry mix.”  You can then stir it up and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

 

ICING
1 stick margarine
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
6 Tbsp milk
1 box powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla

While the cake is baking, melt the margarine and then add the other ingredients.  When the cake comes out, pour the icing over the cake while it’s still warm.

FINALLY, ENJOY!

23 – “Tacos, Tacos, Tacos – May 2016″

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Caution: the delicious contents of this podcast may make you hungry. Here at the Daytripper we love tacos! So we joined Texas Monthly Food Editor Pat Sharpe, writer of the “120 Tacos You Must Eat Before You Die” to discuss tacos, tacos and more tacos. Tune in!

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and the Windows store!

iTunes
Windows – Search for the Daytripper Podcast in your dedicated podcast app.
Stitcher

This endeavor is generously supported by Mighty Fine Burgers.

Best Oktoberfest Brew?

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PROST!  It’s October, which means it’s time for Texan breweries to start whipping up their own versions of Oktoberfest beer.  We drove all around Georgetown and bought as many Texas-made oktoberfest brews as we could find.  That number was 6.  But we drank em all and made a video about it.  If you’re more of a reader, lookout below.

Shiner Oktoberfest

This one was impressive.  Very drinkable and well balanced between the malt and hops.  This beer was right in all the right places.  Great job to the “little” brewery.

Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Oktoberfest

This one was really high on the malts and low on the hops.  So malty, in fact, that it made us feel like it had honey added to it.  I’d definitely recommend this one to folks who love malty beers, but not the hop heads.  However, if you’re a hop head, you probably aren’t drinking Oktoberfest anyway.

Goliad Brewing Co. Oktoberfest

This one was definitely the hoppy-est of the bunch, making us feel that it wasn’t really an Oktoberfest beer.  Good for hop-lovers though.

Real Ale Brewing Co. Oktoberfest

Really impressed with this one.  It was really malty and sweet, but not too hoppy.  It you’re a fan of Oktoberfest beer, you’ve gotta give this one a shot.  This was Richie and Daniel’s runner up.

Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. Oktoberfest

This one really did it for me.  Just enough balance between the sweet, caramel malts and the hops to make it right up the middle and almost perfect.  Well done.  This was my (Chet) favorite.

Karbach Brewing Co. “Karbachtoberfest”

The tagline on the can is “It’s Still Summer” and they’ve definitely shown it with this beer.  It doesn’t drink like an Oktoberfest at all, but an easy-go-down summer beer.  If you don’t like Oktoberfest beer, you’ll probably ove this one.  I thought it was great, but it doesn’t score high as an Oktoberfest brew, because it isn’t and shouldn’t be called one.  I love you Karbach, but you’re clearly trying to be different from the herd on this one, and cheers to that.  This was Richie and Daniel’s favorite.

14 – “Let’s Talk BBQ!”

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This week we talk BBQ! No matter how you spell it – BBQ, Bar-B-Que, Barbeque. No matter how you prepare it – smoked, grilled, with fire, coals or wood. We are talking about it with the experts! Join us with our round table of BBQ experts – Jess Pryles from Burgermary.com, Daniel Vaughn from Texas Monthly and Drew Thornley from Man Up Texas BBQ as we talk about meat!

Find out more about our experts at:
Jess Pryles from Burgermary.com
Daniel Vaughn from Texas Monthly BBQ
Drew Thornley from Man Up Texas BBQ

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and the Windows store!
iTunes
Windows – Search for the Daytripper Podcast in your dedicated podcast app.
Stitcher

This endeavor is generously supported by Hat Creek Burger Company and Magic Room Studios.

An Intern’s First Taste of Cuvee

Cuvee Cover 2

Howdy Daytrippers!  Let me first introduce myself…I am the summer intern, Linsey.  As a fellow Daytripper fan, it’s been fantastic to spend my days following Chet on his crazy adventures.  I’m having a blast!

A week into my internship, Chet found out I claimed to be a coffee-addict but hadn’t yet tried Cuvee Coffee.  Shocked and appalled, he immediately sent me to the Galaxy Bakery down the street to buy a cup.

If you’ve seen the Spicewood episode of The Daytripper, then you saw Chet take a tour of the Cuvee Coffee factory. If not – check this out.

Cuvee Coffee is one of America’s top specialty roasters, and they’re based right here in the Hill Country.  They roast their coffee meticulously, using formulas and coffee-labs to ensure the taste is just right.

While Cuvee gets their beans  from countries all around the world, including Brazil and El Salvador, I chose the Spicewood 71 Classic for my first cup. Usually, I need to load my coffee with tons of cream and sugar, but with Cuvee I didn’t. The taste was sweet and smooth, and not too strong, which I loved.

And since I enjoyed my first cup so much (and since Chet was paying, of course!) I just had to try the Cuvee Meritage Espresso. I’d never had a cup of espresso before and was expecting to be bombarded with bitter coffee grounds and overbearing tastes, yet Cuvee was just the opposite. It tasted fresh and sweet, with just the right of amount of kick to get me through the rest of my day. After all, coffee is an intern’s best friend!

So, fellow coffee lovers, grab yourself a cup of Cuvee, and raise a steaming mug to Texas family values and world-class taste!  I’m now a faithful drinker.

If you’ve never had it (or need to restock), Cuvee Coffee is now available via The Daytripper General Store where Chet is compiling some of his favorite Texas-based shirts, food, and cool stuff.  Order some today.  You won’t regret it.

Coffee Picture

Cans for Q in Arlington!

cansforQBlog

CansForQHowdy Daytrippers! Join us next Friday, May 2, in Arlington for “Cans for Q!” Come on out to celebrate the debut of the Arlington episode as well as raise support for your local food bank. The party will be at Rudy’s Bar-B-Q on Friday, May 2, 2014. We will all eat together starting at 6:30pm and at 8:00pm we will debut the Arlington episode!

Here’s the deal - Bring a canned good donation and we’ll give you a free 1/4 lb of brisket (one per customer). Turn your cans into delicious BBQ…yep, that’s what we do!

So, come on out on Friday, May 2 at 6:30pm to the Rudy’s BBQ and join us for “Cans for Q!” In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek at the Arlington episode.

Details:
Arlington Cans for Q
Friday, May 2, 2014, 6:30pm-8:30PM
Rudy’s Bar-B-Q, 451 East I-20, Arlington, TX 76018

Join Me on a BBQ Tour!

A Daytrip with The Daytripper BBQ

Daytrippers!

I’ve got some exciting news. On Saturday, March 2, we are taking our second official “Day Trip with The Daytripper”. It’s a full-on day trip with ME embarking on an epic barbeque tour and I want YOU to come along for the ride.

We’ll be making stops at Snow’s BBQ, Southside Market and Louie Mueller BBQ. Pitmasters from each of these great Texas “Q” joints will be providing us with an exclusive behind the scenes tour on what makes their smoked meats so heavenly. And along the way we’ll be throwing in some surprises!

Tickets are $125 per person and includes transportation, food and non-alcoholic beverages during the tour. Tickets can be purchased by clicking on the “BUY NOW” button below. The tour will be departing from a central location in the Austin area around 8:30 AM in the morning and will return around 4:00 PM. Details will be emailed to all participants one week prior to the trip. All tickets are 100% non-refundable but are transferable to another person. Event will go on, rain or shine.

I hope to see you there. Keep on trippin!

-Chet


THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. LEARN ABOUT FUTURE EVENTS BY SIGNING UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE.

MEAT UP photos

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The inaugural MEAT UP was Awesome! We had about 80 hungry Daytrippers load up into two giant buses and head to Lockhart and Luling for some serious Bar-B-Q grub. I was too busy eating to take any pictures, but luckily lots of other folks did.

Here are some of the AWESOME photos that folks took in between the Bar-B-Q gorgings.  Check em out.

FoodJoy Blog – Barbecue Road Trip with KLRU and Chet Garner

Austin Pixels – A Day Trip with The Daytripper

Blue Eyed Bon Vivant – Meat Up BBQ Tour with The Daytripper

Caleb Marsh – Daytripper Meat Up 2011

David J. Neff – KLRU TV BBQ Meat Up

Rick Ward – BBQ

Yeah, the bus broke down, but not even that could stop the Bar-B-Q train.

A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who came out, and to KLRU for hosting the event.

If you missed this one, don’t worry.  Just stay tuned…

MEAT UP with The Daytripper

KLRU Meat UpIn case you missed the LIVE pledge event, there are still a very limited number of seats left on the MEAT UP tour.  Read more for more information…

This event is going to be AWESOME.  One Day.  Three Bar-B-Q joints.  Hosted by yours truly.  To support KLRU and join me on the “Meat Up” follow this LINK.

Hope to “meat” you there.

Cans for Q

Cans for Q food driveThe Daytripper has teamed up with Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q for the first ever “CANS for Q” food drive happening at the Rudy’s in Houston on Hwy 290 on Friday night (July 8th) from 7-9pm.

How does it work?  You bring a canned good, and we magically upgrade it to a 1/4 lb of brisket.  It’s as easy as that.  All the items collected will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.  More Details HERE.