It's been so long since I last put some batter in the oven that I've started doubting whether or not I can bake at all. Is it harder than I remember? Would my new attempts be complete failures?
Well, only one way to find out.
I had originally purchased ingredients for making a brownie (i.e. tonnes of chocolate and butter) but because I just ate some brownie at Flamingo on Saturday, I decided to change tactics.
Our fridge was bulked up with left over sour cream from my chicken pie so when I saw the chocolate and sour cream cake in Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a domestic goddess', I knew it'd be perfect.
I'll post the full recipe below though I only used half the quantities and I also made some alterations to the icing, which I'll explain as I go.
Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Sour Cream Icing
For the cake
- 1 and 1/3 cups plain flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp soft, unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder (good quality)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 90g milk chocolate + 90g bittersweet chocolate(I used all 70% cocoa chocolate)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup (I omitted this)
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted (I used half this amount)
- 1/2 tsp hot water
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line 2 x 8in cake pans (I only made half the amount of batter so I used a mini loaf pan) with baking paper.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
3. Using an electric mixer, incorporate the butter.4. In another bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sour cream, eggs and vanilla.5. Slowly add the sour cream mixture to the flour and butter, beating thoroughly until mixed.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.7. Bake for 30min (mine only took 20min because I had half the quantity). When the cake is ready, an inserted skewer will come out clean and the cake should be starting to shrink back from the edges of the tin. Leave for 10min in the pan then transfer to a rack to cool.
8. To make the icing, melt the butter and chocolate either in the microwave or in a bowl over hot water.
9. Let it cool a little, then stir in the sour cream, vanilla and syrup.
10. Add the sifted icing sugar and hot water. Blend until smooth.11. Coat your cake with the icing. If you wish to layer the cake, you can use the icing the sandwich the layers.
I have to confess... I ate about 1/5 of the cake the moment it came out of the oven. As you can see from my photos, I'm very lazy when it comes to lining the tray properly with baking paper. Rather than cutting the correct shapes, I just shove a piece down there. As a result, the batter collects in the folds of paper in the corners.
To compensate for these defects, I simply trim the edges off. And what better way to use up the edges than by popping them in my mouth?
I was also too impatient to wait for the cake to cool before icing it. Even though I halved the amount of icing I made too, it was way too much than necessary for coating my cake. I ended up just pouring it on and spreading to make the covering reasonably even.
I dug into a slice of the cake while it was still warm... and I think my impatience (lol) actually paid off! It was like biting into a warm chocolate pudding with a lovely ganache-type sauce.
Though this cake looks extremely rich and sweet, it wasn't at all. I think the sour cream cuts the sweetness of the chocolate, and there was a slight saltiness that really added to the flavor. I loved that the inside of the cake was moist and squishy but there was a slight crunch at the crust.
We stored the rest in the fridge and I had a chilled piece the next day. It was almost like an entirely different cake. The texture was more like mudcake though a bit 'dry' for my liking. The icing was glorious though - firm but melted instantly in the mouth, like the inside of a Lindt ball. I think I would prefer to warm the cake a bit before serving.