This one is being posted by request, as it is required shortly for a birthday. It’s from Amanda Hesser’s Cooking for Mr. Latte and quickly went into regular rotation after its introductory baking. My eldest brother was staying with me at the time and re-named this cake from Hesser’s “Chocolate Dump-It Cake” to “Sneaky Cake” on the basis that you think you don’t want any cake, but then you have a piece to be polite, and then you want all of it. I think that issue comes up with lots of different foods, not just this cake. I don’t really feel Hesser’s title does the cake justice, neither do I feel that you really do get to just dump everything in- there are a few basic cake techniques involved.
There are three things about this cake that make it so nice: it’s easy, it’s moist, and the topping or ‘frosting’ is just melted chocolate chips and sour cream. It tastes incredible, and should probably be marketed by the dairy companies. It’s the topping that actually snuck up on my unsuspecting brother. You can also get away with relatively standard quality chocolate with this cake, it still comes out amazing.
Here is Hesser’s recipe. The only adjustment I’ve made is to reduce the amount of topping to 1 C each of sour cream and chocolate chips. I find it is quite enough for my tube pan cake, but you might want to make more.
2 C sugar
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
½ C butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1 C water
2 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C sour cream, at room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan.
3. Put the sugar, unsweetened chocolate, butter and water into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until everything is melted and blended. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, 15-20 minutes.
4. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
5. In a small bowl, stir milk and vinegar together.
6. Whisk eggs and milk mixture into the chocolate mixture.
7. Whisk in the dry ingredients in several additions.
8. When smooth, add the vanilla and whisk.
9. Pour the batter into the prepare pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until the cake bounces back when touched.
10. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes and turn out onto a rack. Let cool completely.
11. Melt the chocolate chips. Let cool to room temperature. Hesser warns that the sour cream and melted chocolate chips must be at the same temperature, otherwise the topping will come out lumpy and grainy. Test it by stirring a little together, if it mixes smoothly, it’s ready. Combine the rest of the chocolate and sour cream together.
12. When the cake is cool, frost with the chocolate topping.