Monday, February 21, 2011

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Not your ordinary, everyday snacking cake, this
chocolate beauty is rich with butter and sour cream.

This is another in my quest for small cakes that bakes in an 8 x 8 x 2 pan.* It's a perfect dessert cake for guests or special occasions. The crumb is dense but light, moist and chocolaty and lends itself to decorating options, such as fresh berries in the summer. I settled for a simple, almond buttercream frosting. The addition of rum and vanilla flavoring to the thick batter gives just a hint of "richness" that complements the chocolate.

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks) not margarine
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, washed
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum-flavored extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 F. and butter/grease your pan. Cut a piece of wax paper to fit in the bottom and then grease it. Dust with cocoa powder tapping out the excess.

Stir together the dry ingredients of cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt.

I used a combination of regular, unflavored cocoa
and Dutch-processed cocoa.

Beat the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add flavorings.

I now wash all my eggs before cracking them open.
Remember folks, they're pushed out of a chicken's butt!
If you wash an apple, why not an egg? Think about it.

Add flour alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

I think maybe that "J" swirl was from my finger
scooping up the rich batter...

Spread batter into prepared pan. Tap on counter to dislodge any air bubbles. Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking on it after 25 minutes and until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert on wire rack. Cool and frost as desired.

Almond Butter-Cream Frosting
  • 1/4 cup margarine, a bit cool
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Cream margarine until light. Begin adding powdered sugar a little at a time, beating after each addition. If it's not "creamy" but remains "powdered" don't be alarmed. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Beat in. Now add the milk, first just one tablespoon. Beat. Add another teaspoon. Beat. If it needs to be fluffier, add a bit of another teaspoon until desired consistency is reached. Taste. Add more flavoring if desired.

Skim a thin layer on cakes and sides, not worrying about crumbs. Then add remaining frosting. If desired, top with fresh berries or a decoration of slivered almonds.

*Notes: I baked this in a 9 x 9 pan since my 8 x 8 was being used for another purpose. The cake was done after about 25 minutes. May also be baked in a round 8" cake pan.

For a less-rich, but equally great cake, try my chocolate mayonnaise cake with almond cream cheese frosting. Just click on the link below:
Kitchen Bounty: My Favorite Chocolate Cake