Sour cream chocolate cake is not particularly unusual (or, not quite as “exotic” as my other sour cream creation) but for me it was still quite a discovery–I would have never believed how good it could be.
You can guess how I ended up making this: I had another 8 ounces of sour cream. I somehow had managed to get packed for my 6pm flight by 10am. Probably in order to deal with pre-flight antisiness I decided it would be a good idea to make another cake with that extra sour cream. I used a pretty basic recipe, the chocolate sour cream cake recipe from Joy of Cooking. (Note it’s not in the newer editions; I’m not sure why!)
So I assembled the ingredients:
and buttered and floured two cake pans. (I try to remember to leave out a little bit of extra butter when I take the butter out for the recipe to soften; then it’s easy enough to spread. I can use the wrapper from the butter used for the recipe to help schmear it on).
I used our leftover, ultra dark coffee instead of water and followed the instructions’ suggestion to use cake flour.
Pretty simple otherwise: I filled the pans, baked the cakes…
And set them out to cool.
I could not believe how tender this cake was! I am sure it must have been the cake flour, but how much of it was due to sour cream I’m not sure. (For example, buttermilk pancakes are markedly more yielding than regular pancakes, thank to the acidity, I believe. It would stand to reason then that the sour cream could have the same effect in a cake). I wish I could remember the Cake Bible Chocolate Cake I made for little E and Mike’s birthdays–I know it was good but somehow I think this may have been better. It would certainly be worth it to run a rigorous, scientific comparison of the two. All in the name of education, of course. Anyone willing to help? (ha!). But seriously, it would be interesting to compare. (Note that the Cake Bible has a sour cream cake recipe, but as it used only egg yolks, I bypassed it, for reasons I have explained before–just too many egg whites already in the freezer!)
This also made me all the more curious as to how the Cardamom Sour Cream Cake might be with cake flour. This chocolate cake requires a lot of beating of the ingredients–probably more than I did when making the cardamom cake. Yet this was so much more tender. I really wonder if it has something to do with overbeating the cardamom cake. In contrast, I think it’s really important to beat a cake made with cake flour very well–because the flour has so little gluten (relatively) to hold the cake together, you have to provide it by vigorous mixing.
This cake was mainly left for my husband as he was not able to come along due to work. But since it did make two cakes, one was put in the freezer for later. (Ha! I did manage to successfully freeze the sour cream after all!)
Sour Cream Fudge Cake (adapted from an older edition of Joy of Cooking
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 3/4 c cake flour
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 1 c sour cream
- 6 T softened butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1/4c coffee
Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt the chocolate. Sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the sour cream and butter and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the chocolate, eggs, vanilla, and coffee and beat for another 2 minutes. You want the batter to be thick and to ribbon. Using a spatula, pour into two buttered and floured 9 X 2 inch cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan and invert onto a cooling rack.
To freeze, wrap first in saran wrap and then aluminum foil.