Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

I had a tub of sour cream in my fridge for months that was about to expire (April 2th) and I really didn't want to throw it away so I decided to make use of it. I glanced at the index of my baking-books for sour cream and I could only find one recipe with sour cream (in its name): Nigella Lawson's 'Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Icing'. It looked vaguely familiar so I browsed the chocolate cakes at and it turns out that this cake also goes by the name of 'Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake'. The overall taste of this cake is amazing and exceeded my expectations. I can't really say how the cake itself, with no icing, tastes because I only tried it with the icing and the icing is really chocolate heaven!!! Beats the Nutella frosting I made a couple of weeks ago easily! So my review is based on the combination of the sour cream cake and sour cream icing: 5 out of 5, one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever made (or tasted for that matter). Very moist and gooey and rich.

Ingredients for the cake:
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons best cocoa
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for the icing:
- 3 ounces milk chocolate
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon hot water

Instructions for the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Then, using an electric mixer, add the butter.
- In a wide-mouthed measuring cup, whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs and vanilla, then slowly add this cocoa mixture to the ingredients in the bowl, beating until thoroughly combined. (I added ¼ cup milk because the batter didn't have a dropping consistency)
- Pour the batter into 2 8-inch (I used 2 9-inch) pans buttered or lined with parchment or wax paper and bake for 30 minutes (mine needed 25 minutes). When they’re ready the cakes should be starting to shrink back from the edges of the tins. Leave for 10 minutes in their pans on racks, then turn out to cool.

Instructions for the icing:
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or in a bowl over hot water. (I went for the latter; smallest chance of failing)
- Let cool a little, then stir in the sour cream, vanilla and syrup.
- Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and a little hot water, blending until smooth.
- When you’ve got the texture right - thick enough to cover but supple enough to spread, adding more sugar or water as required - you can ice the cakes.

Two 9-inch pans waiting for their trip into the oven.

The fabulously flat cakes all done.

Gorgeous melted chocolate.



And done!

The sour cream chocolate icing in the middle made it all very moist and gooey (and delicious).

A chocolate Pacman cake!


Eliana said…
I have a tub of sour cream that is about to expire as well. I must try this.
Anonymous said…
Love the pacman shot :P
I made this cake few days ago but converted it into cupcake..the cake was a hit but the frosting was kinda too sweet..
Hey, seems like we both loves nigella lawson..heehee..
Mmm chocolate and sour cream go together like rice krispies and marshmallows! :D
Anonymous said…
Nigella Lawson is so GLUTTONOUS, it's quite nauseating to watch.
Anonymous said…
Umm, your conversions are off, which may be why the cake came out so flat.
Paris Pastry said…
Don't think so, this is the exact recipe from the book. The cake is flat because I used a large pan.
Anonymous said…
"exceeded" not "succeeded" your expectations.
Paris Pastry said…
You're absolutely right anonymous. Thank you for correcting!
Anonymous said…
How exactly was it you melt the chocolate and butter together? Just the chocolate and butter in a bowl on top of a boil of boiling water?

Sorry, I'm newer to baking :S Just want to know for sure so I don't mess anything up!
Paris Pastry said…
@Anonymous: When melting chocolate, but a pan with water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Once its cooking, turn the heat lower so it begins to "simmer". Then, take another pan that fits on top of the other one, without the water touching the second one, and put the butter and chocolate in it. Let it melt, stir frequently, will take a few minutes. If you are new to melting chocolate (which isn't very hard), you should know that the water of the first pan may never touch the bottom of the second pan, so don't put a lot of water in the first pan.

I recommend watching a little video about how to melt chocolate first:

Hope this helps!

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