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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with raspberries

This is the cake I made a few weeks ago for my uncle's 50th birthday; as you can tell, I couldn't decide which photo I liked the best, so you get all of them in a pretty collage. Don't you love little silver cachous? They make something clad in dull brown into something so glamorous, and they do it with such ease (just like an Italian policeman :-) ) Although I'm really keen to try the silver dusting powder Stephanie has used with her chocolate cake!

This is the recipe for the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake in Nigella's newest book, Feast. When I was trying to decide on a recipe, I looked through her chocolate cakes collection and noticed with surprise that this recipe is almost exactly the same recipe as her Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Icing in Domestic Goddess. Funny that when I saw that recipe in Domestic Goddess I dismissed it almost right away, thinking it sounded too fussy and a bit weird, but given a new name and the added wow-factor of a photo in Feast, suddenly I was considering it.
I thought the addition of the sour cream to the icing might appeal to those eating it on the night, who were mainly men not big on sweets or chocolate. Along a similar theme, instead of sandwiching it together with the icing, I made up the raspberry cream filling she gives for her Valentine's Day heart cake. Dark chocolate and tart raspberry cream is a great combination.
Out of the three gooey chocolate birthday cakes I've made recently (one I haven't yet posted about) I personally think this was my least favourite. I didn't quite take to the slightly acidic flavour of the sour cream in the icing, and found the texture of the cake to be a little heavy and dense. The raspberry cream filling worked well, but I think there needed to be a little more of it to really taste it.
However, my grandmother told me a few days later that it was the best chocolate cake she's ever had in her life, and the things I didn't like so much about it were exactly the things that made it her favourite! She enjoyed the sour cream icing and loved the raspberries in the cream. So, there you go....definitely worth trying, especially if you may have people around who are not as chocolate obsessed as you may be.

Read on for the recipe:

Old Fashioned Chocolate cake (sour cream chocolate cake with sour cream icing) with raspberries.
Adapted from 'Feast' Nigella Lawson

200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb
40g cocoa powder
175g soft butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
150ml sour cream

75g butter
175g goold quality dark chocolate, in pieces
300g icing sugar
1 tbls golden syrup
125ml sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

200ml whipping cream
200g raspberries

Preheat oven to 180C and prepare two 20cm sandwich tins.
Put all cake ingredients into a food processor and process until you have a thick, smooth batter.
Divide the batter, using a spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, which should be around 25-35 minutes.
Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don't worry about cracks as they'll be covered by the icing.
To make the icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl. While they are cooling, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl (or put in the food processor and blitz) to remove the lumps.
Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar. Or just pour the mixture down the funnel of the food processor on to the icing sugar, with the motor running.
When you've done, you may need to add a little boiling water or icing sugar for consistency.
Choose your cake stand and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running down the plate), then sit one of the cakes uppermost (domed) side down.
Whip the cream until thick but not stiff. Add the raspberries and crush with a fork, though not too finely. The cream should turn wonderfully pink, in a rose-and-white mottled fashion. Sandwich the two cakes with this mixture.
Spread the top and sides with the icing and leave a few minutes til set, then pull away the paper strips.


  • It looks gorgeous, even if you weren't pleased with the taste.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 5/12/2005 06:48:00 pm  

  • Like Barbara said, even if you weren't enamoured with the taste, you did a lovely job with this cake. The pink of the icing and the glittery cachous are lovely additions to the dense chocolate. I always love seeing cachous, especially since I used to snitch from my Mother's baking cupboard.

    Congrats on the photography award!

    By Blogger tara, at 5/12/2005 11:37:00 pm  

  • Hi Barbara and Tara - thanks for your compliments. It wasn't so much that I didn't like the cake, but more that I preferred the others I'd made. Although, having said that, I didn't really like the sour cream icing very much - imagine chocolate melted with acidic plain yoghurt. Not to my taste, but definitely appreciated by other people.
    One potential hazard with using silver cachous, I've noticed is that they're damn hard and you can easily break a tooth on one! You're happily taking mouthfuls of gooey cake and suddenly bite down on something very hard - it can be a bit of a shock!!

    By Blogger Niki, at 5/12/2005 11:42:00 pm  

  • My friend Kelly Sue pointed me to your website and I am instantly in love. How can anyone resist pictures of sour cream chocolate cake with raspberries!?

    I am definitely trying this as soon as I get my kitchen in order.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/13/2005 12:08:00 am  

  • If it's dusting powder you're after, there's a fab little cake decorating shop in The Port Phillip Arcade just off Flinders St (entrance also on Flinders Lane)between Swanston & Elizabeth way closer to Swanston) They have dusting powder and wilton colouring paste in every colour imaginable! I brought mine with me to Canada - I have red glitter and pink, cream, silver and gold powder! The dusts and glitters come in a variety of vial sizes and are kind of expensive, but a little goes a very very long way!. You can also hire specialy cake tins from there. You should really check it out! The guy who runs it is fabulously helpful

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/13/2005 05:48:00 am  

  • Oh Lyn, you have no idea how good that sounds to me!!! I'm so excited; I never had any idea something like that existed, let alone being in the CBD! How wonderful! (can you tell I'm excited?) I'm working part-time in Collins St at the moment, so I can certainly see a lunchtime expedition over there very soon.

    By Blogger Niki, at 5/13/2005 04:25:00 pm  

  • Oh my oh my oh my that looks AMAZING! Where was I when you made that??

    Hayley the Drooling.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/15/2005 12:15:00 am  

  • Yum! I LOVE sour cream cakes. I tend to make lemon sour cream cakes though, as the tartness of the citrus seems to balance well with the sour cream.

    I find sour cream cakes a little heavier but they are always so deliciously moist and keep really well. I haven't tried a chocolate sour cream cake but it sounds like it could have potential.

    I'm with your granny on this one. I like a bit of kick with my cake. And good call on the raspberry addition. I'm drooling already.

    By Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop), at 5/16/2005 02:46:00 pm  

  • Hayley - just wait until you see the next chocolate cake...your drool might short-circuit your computer ;-)

    AG - Thanks! Incidentally, I'd be very interested in a lemon sour-cream cake, if you have a good recipe. Interested in doing a post about it...? :-)

    By Blogger Niki, at 5/17/2005 11:09:00 pm  

  • Hey Niki
    Are you trying to thwart my recent health kick? I have a trusty Womens Weekly one I've used a few times. I may just have to subject myself to wanton pleasures...

    By Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop), at 5/18/2005 05:10:00 pm  

  • Hi again

    I made the lemon sour cream cake last night and dutifully posted it to GrabYourFork. Ok ok I was sly. It's for this month's Sugar High Friday. A convenient post to kill two birds with one stone.

    Hope you're rustling up something citrus-y too!

    By Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop), at 5/20/2005 10:05:00 am  

  • Oh! I had no idea the theme for SHF had been released. Who is doing it this month?
    I'm just over to check your entry right now!

    By Blogger Niki, at 5/20/2005 10:34:00 am  

  • This looks divine! Just what I was hunting for...

    By Blogger Erin, at 10/24/2008 07:44:00 am  

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