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Deliciously dark soured cream chocolate cake recipe

Deliciously dark soured cream chocolate cake recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Chocolate cake

This chocolate cake oozes decadent, dark-chocolaty sweetness and depth. Soft dark brown sugar in both cake and icing gives it an unmistakeable 'wow' factor. They say that all of the fun happens after dark, and this cake is no exception!

213 people made this

IngredientsServes: 24

  • 280g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 110g butter or margarine
  • 550g dark brown soft sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 85g cooking chocolate, melted
  • 230g soured cream, divided
  • 240ml boiling water
  • 110g butter
  • 220g dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 210g icing sugar

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat 110g butter or margarine and 550g dark brown soft sugar until well mixed. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla and melted chocolate. Add 1/2 the soured cream and then 1/2 the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until well blended.
  4. Add the remaining soured cream and dry ingredients to the mixture. Stir in boiling water.
  5. Bake in a greased 20x30cm tin for 35 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before icing.
  7. To make caramel icing:

  8. First melt 110g butter in a saucepan. Stir in 220g dark brown soft sugar and boil about 2 minutes. Stir in milk and bring to the boil. Place tin in cold water and stir in the icing sugar. Continue stirring until smooth. Spread over still warm cake.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(237)

Reviews in English (205)

by cookiequeen

I've made quite a few chocolate cakes from scratch and this rates up there as one of the best(flourless chocolate cake is the best-I am a HUGE chocolate lover!)I took others advice and used more unsweetened chocolate-more like 6 ounces(I used Ghirardelli-spend a little extra on a better quality chocolate-it makes a difference) and I only used 2 cups brown sugar- and also I used 1/2 cup sourcream and a 1/2 cup heavy cream instead of one full cup of sourcream. I baked in two 9inch pans for 43 minutes. I used buttercream fudge frosting from this site and it was soo yummy. Always make chocolate cake a day or two in advance because chocolate cake taste better with age-the great chocolate flavors come out.-18 Jun 2006

by Emily

I own my own bakery and I am always looking for a great chocolate cake recipe. I made this cake just to try it out to see if it was something that I would use for my customers in the bakery. The cake was too bitter, too dense and I found that it didn't have a good taste. The taste testers (my employees) have tasted good and bad cake and we were all in agreement that while it wasn't the worst cake, it wasn't good either. Sorry...I will try again, but I am not holding out hope.-03 Feb 2008

by danielle

This cake was excellent. I used triple the amount of chocolate, as recommended. I didn't have unsweetened chocolate, so I reduced the amount of sugar. I also used coffee instead of the boiling water which added a nice taste. I split the recipe in half and made one 9" cake and had enough batter left over to make 6 cupcakes. The cake was very fudgey and yet was not too heavy. It was also very moist. I served it with white chocolate mousse and strawberries and everyone loved it. I would definetly recommend this recipe.-15 Apr 2007


Chocolate Mud Cake

I have to confess: I’m not the cake maker in the family – my sister is. So when it’s her birthday, unfortunately for her the task falls to me. I always apologise in advance.

For some reason, whether it’s my middle aged oven or a blip in my DNA, I just can’t seem to put out a good cake. So naturally, I begin to get sweaty palms when her birthday approaches. This year, in preparation for the great event I did some internet research and came up with a Chocolate Mud Cake thanks to Nestle and some chocolate cream cheese icing from Donna Hay .

To hedge my bets, I made the cake the night before. The plan was, that should morning reveal it to be an unmitigated disaster I could quickly whip up a second cake and no-one would be the wiser. I needn’t have worried – the cake was lovely and moist and the cream cheese icing was deliciously tangy, though the main problem was that it didn’t set very well, as you can tell by my photo. Hmmm, how did Donna Hay get hers to look so perky, I asked myself, not without a small measure of suspicion. An exhaustive internet search later and I found that gloopy cream cheese frosting is not uncommon and, luckily for me, a few tried and true solutions were readily offered. I’ve listed them at the bottom of this post.* PS: It’s a year later, and I’ve found an alternative cream cheese icing recipe that’s totally yum and will hold up much better than this one – if you’re interested in trying it, here it is .

Runny frosting aside, I’m happy to report that I received no complaints about my cake making abilities and actually got a few compliments – always a bonus.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup neutral tasting oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g (7 oz) dark chocolate (chopped into small pieces - I used bitter-sweet 72% cocoa)
  • 1 cup freshly boiled water
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g (17.6 oz) (1.1 lb) cream cheese, chopped
  • 2 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar mixture, sifted
  • 1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (360 degrees F). Line base of a greased 22cm (9 inch) round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine milk and lemon juice and set aside to sour. Place oil, chopped chocolate, hot water, and coffee in a sauce pan. Stir over a low heat until smooth and chocolate has melted. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and sugar into a bowl. Add eggs to chocolate mix and mix well then gradually stir in the soured milk. Add chocolate mix to dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Pour into cake tin.
  4. Bake for 55 mins or until cooked (mine took 1 hour 5 minutes). Check for doneness by inserting a skewer or knife into the centre – it should come out clean, though I've read if it comes out with moist crumbs, it's still fine.
  5. Set the cake tin on a wire rack and leave to cool in the tin.**
  1. Place the butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6–8 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
  1. Once the cake is completely cool, take it out of its tin and trim the top from the cake with a large bread knife. Then slice the cake in half horizontally. Place the top part of the cake upside down onto a serving platter (its trimmed top is now at the bottom) and spread with half the frosting. Place the remaining layer on top (the base of the cake will be on top) and spread the remaining layer of frosting over top. If not serving immediately, place the cake in the fridge (the oil in the cake will ensure the cake doesn’t dry out).

Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i) Top image – Canon 18-55mm lens Bottom image – Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting


Chocolate (cheat’s) birthday cake!

My daughter Aoife turned 18 recently (so how did that happen?) – she was celebrating with some of her friends and I was tasked with making the cake. I was all set to make a fancy cake with lots of butter, eggs, dark chocolate, soured cream etc and then decorate it. I was stressing about it in the office that week at work when one of the girls in the office questioned why I was going to such trouble for a bunch of teenagers and why not use a cake mix out of a packet instead! Horror of horrors to the ears of someone who makes a point of making everything from scratch however the more I thought about it the more I thought that perhaps this was actually a brilliant idea. Continue reading &rarr


BAKE & DONATE Essential Chocolate Cake

This week’s Monday Bake Date includes an extra special treat. In honour of my mother on her birthday, we are Baking & Donating “that” essential one bowl chocolate cake with an optional (but also essential) ganache icing. A sweet tribute to the woman who infused my love of baking, cooking, gatherings and sharing.

She, like many others in her age group, is isolating at home alone right now, but that will not stop us from putting a smile on her face on her special day. So, this week, I thought it would be wonderful to make a deliciously moist chocolate cake for anyone who has anything to to cheer during these strange days and really spark some joy.

I hope this is recipe, inspired by the quintessential All American soured cream cake, is one that will become part of your repertoire to use for celebrations and birthdays or just to share with friends for tea.

BAKE & DONATE “THAT” ESSENTIAL CHOCOLATE CAKE

I have called this the “Essential Chocolate Cake”, because this is just that recipe that you need in your armoury for an easy birthday cake, light enough to take icing, but decadent enough to enjoy with a dusting of icing sugar and a cup of something hot for an afternoon pick me up.

This has all the nostalgia of childhood cakes like those from the pages of The Silver Palate and Maida Heater’s classics (if you know, you know) with a next generation twist of coffee, dark brown sugar for a molasses-y kick and olive oil instead of the butter for more intense flavour undertones.

For Monday’s get together I am going to ice this with a simple yet decadent ganache which is a very handy trick to have up your sleeve for those “I can’t be bothered with buttercream” occasions.

A note on replacements: If you can’t find sour cream, please don’t fret. Full fat, preferably Greek yoghurt works just as well for the cake. I love to use dark muscovado sugar here for added depth, but dark brown sugar works just as well. And if all else fails, go back to the original 1970’s version of good ol’ all white sugar.

For a single layer slightly higher cake, I make this in a 24cm (9 inch) cake tin with a removable base. If I am going all out for a filled and fully iced version, I make this in two 22cm cake tins and reduce the cooking time to 30-35 minutes allowing for equal layers without the stress of precision cake division. This also makes great cupcakes for easy sharing. They will take 20-23 minutes to cook depending on size.

To be ready to bake together, please make sure your oven is on and hot and all the ingredients are measured out. You will need a medium sized heat proof bowl or jug for the chocolate/coffee mixture, a large mixing bowl and a smaller bowl for the dry ingredients. I find it easier to pour the coffee from a measuring jug if you have one to hand. You will also need a whisk and a rubber spatula and parchment paper (or those pre-cut rounds) to line your cake tin.

For the icing you will need a medium sized heatproof bowl, a small saucepan and a rubber spatula.

Feel free to make this in a stand mixer for ease of whisking, but I will demonstrate the “by hand” version.

butter for greasing the cake tin

85g (3 oz) dark chocolate (preferably 70% or over)

250ml (1 cup) freshly brewed, hot coffee

210g (1 3/4 cups) plain flour

300g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar (granulated)

50g (1/4 cup) dark muscovado sugar (or dark brown soft sugar)

125 ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil

Ganache Icing:

230g (8oz) dark 70% chocolate

230ml (1 cup) double (heavy) cream

Preheat your oven to 180C (350F)

Butter your cake tin (or tins) and line with parchment paper, making sure that it goes right into the crease of the tin to ensure crisp edges.

Break up the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl with the cocoa powder. Pour over the hot coffee and stir until everything is melted together and set aside to cool slightly while you get on with the rest of the cake.

In another medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk together with a fork to combine and remove any lumps.

In a large mixing bowl, start with the sugars and whisk or mix together with your fingertips until there are no lumps (muscovado and brown sugar can sometimes clump together).

Add the eggs and olive oil to the sugars and whisk together until pale, thick and completely emulsified. Add the vanilla and give it another stir or two.

Pour in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture and incorporate fully before adding the sour cream and mixing again. I usually switch to my rubber spatula at this point in the game.

Add the flour mixture making sure you stir in the same direction the whole time. this ensures a lump free cake batter. Careful not to over-mix as this will keep the cake lighter. This is quite a wet mixture so do not worry.

Pour in to the prepared tin or tins and pop straight into the hot oven.

Bake for 45 minutes, but check after 40 minutes to make sure you do not overtake (every oven is slightly different). It will be done when the cake has started to pull away from the sides of the tin ever so slightly, it’s spongy to the touch, a cake tester comes out clean and if you listen carefully, you should not hear too much bubbling from the centre of the cake.

Run a knife around the edge of the cake when it comes out of the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a rack for 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin and allowing to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the ganache icing.

Break up the chocolate into pieces and place in a medium sized heatproof bowl.

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place over a low- medium heat until it reaches scalding point (just before a simmer).

Remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes without touching the mixture before mixing together until thick and glossy. Allow to thicken back up for a few more minutes if you want to before pouring over the top of the cake and easing it slowly to the edge, allowing it drip down the sides.


Each ingredient serves an important role. For best results, do not make substitutions.

  1. All-Purpose Flour: The structure of the cake. Do not use cake flour– when combined with ultra-light cocoa powder, cake flour is too fine.
  2. Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder: Do not use dutch-process cocoa powder. If you’re interested, see dutch-process vs natural cocoa powder for an in-depth explanation.
  3. Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Use both baking soda and baking powder for lift.
  4. Salt: Salt balances the flavor.
  5. Espresso Powder: Espresso powder is optional, but I recommend its addition because it enhances the chocolate flavor. The chocolate cake will not taste like coffee, I promise. I use espresso powder in my chocolate zucchini cake, too!
  6. Oil: Don’t use butter in this cake batter. Cocoa powder is a particularly drying ingredient, so this cake needs oil for suitable moisture.
  7. Eggs: Use 2 room temperature eggs. To speed up the gently warming, place refrigerated eggs in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes. Did you know what the temperature of your ingredients has a direct correlation to the success of your recipes? Unless otherwise noted, use room temperature ingredients.
  8. Buttermilk: This chocolate cake requires the moisture and acidity from buttermilk. Lately I’ve been using a mix of sour cream and buttermilk, as well as reducing the hot liquid. You can read more about this next and see my dark chocolate mousse cake, tuxedo cake, black forest cake, and German chocolate cake recipes.
  9. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor.
  10. Hot Coffee or Hot Water: Hot liquid enhances the cocoa powder’s flavor. It also encourages it to bloom and dissolve appropriately. You’ll notice I don’t use hot liquid in my chocolate cupcakes recipe. That’s because there isn’t the same volume of dry ingredients. With this amount of cake batter, we need a hot liquid to break up the cocoa powder lumps resting in all that flour. If you don’t drink coffee, you can use hot water. For deeper and darker flavor, though, use coffee. (Decaf coffee works!)


Rick Stein: Grilled sardines with a tomato, garlic, thyme dressing (serves three to four)

RESTAURATEUR Rick says: “I wrote this recipe as a result of some irritation at being given such delicacies as ­perfectly fresh sardines in the French fishing village of Port-Vendres that had been fried within an inch of their lives.

“It was almost like eating sticks. Granted, a lot of river fish are quite tasteless but not sardines. There’s no excuse there. Here’s a better way.”

For the dressing:

  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large garlic clove, grated or very finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp piment d’Espelette or a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 medium tomato, skinned and cut into a small dice
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD: Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and season with salt and ­pepper.

Brush the sardines all over with the oil and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt.

Grill them on a hot ­barbecue or under a hot grill for about 2-4 minutes on each side, depending on size.

Spoon the dressing over and around the ­sardines and serve with a green salad.


Chocolate Mud Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing

1 hour 0 hour

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup Meadow Fresh Original Milk
½ cup Olivani Pure Olive Oil
250g dark chocolate, broken up or roughly chopped
1 cup hot strong coffee, can be strong instant
2 cups Edmonds Standard Grade Flour
2 tsp Edmonds Baking Soda
1 tsp Edmonds Baking Powder
1 cup Chelsea LoGiCane™ Low GI Sugar or Chelsea Raw Sugar
½ cup cocoa
2 eggs

Chocolate Ganache Icing:
400g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup Meadow Fresh Original Cream

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of a 22 - 23 cm spring-form tin with non-stick baking paper and spray with non-stick baking spray.
Mix the lemon juice with the Meadow Fresh Original Milk and set aside for it to sour the milk.
Place oil, chocolate and hot coffee in a microwave bowl or small saucepan and heat gently, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool.

In a large bowl, mix the Edmonds Standard Grade Flour, Edmonds Baking Soda, Edmonds Baking Powder, Chelsea LoGiCane™ Low GI Sugar or Chelsea Raw Sugar and cocoa.
Mix the eggs and soured milk into the cooled chocolate mixture, combine thoroughly, and then whisk into the dry ingredients.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. When tested, fudgy crumbs will still adhere to a skewer. This is the desirable sticky mud cake consistency. Cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then turn out and cool further on a wire rack. When cold, cut the cake in half using a serrated knife, ice the centre and top with thick chocolate ganache icing.

Chocolate Ganache
Place both chocolate and Meadow Fresh Original Cream in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool then refrigerate for 30 - 40 minutes until the mixture is a thick spreading consistency. Chill the frosted cake and serve with softly whipped cream or thick yoghurt.


Baked Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep: 20 minutes. Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes, plus cooling time.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C (160 ° C fan oven). Double wrap the outside of a 20cm (8in) spring-form cake tin with cling film.
  2. Heat the golden syrup and low fat spread in a saucepan until melted. Stir in the crushed biscuits and cocoa until well combined. Tip into the prepared tin and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon, pressing down well. Chill for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat the cream cheese until soft. Gradually whisk in the condensed milk, dark chocolate, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the set biscuit base. Sit the cheesecake in a roasting tin.
  4. Pour boiling water into the tin until it comes halfway up the side of the cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, without opening the door, and leave for 1 hour to set.
  5. Cool and chill for 4 hours or overnight. Remove from the tin and cut into 15 slices.

Commonly Asked Questions

Absolutely! Your ice cream might have a different texture but it should still work. You can use a freeze-and-stir method. We do it by freezing our ice cream mixture for an hour then stirring it until smooth using a fork. We freeze it for another 3 hours, repeat the stirring, freeze again and stir for every hour. Once your entire mixture is frozen you can already enjoy soft-serve style ice cream, or freeze it for 2 more hours for a firmer ice cream that you can scoop out.


Not just for rabbits!

Charlie is off on his travels again, so I decided a visit to my parents was in order and, of course, cake was requested!

So, on Friday afternoon I whipped up a carrot cake and I was mighty impressed with the results.

This cake is three layers and served around 14 decent slices. I think you would get 10-12 slices if you were having bigger wodges.