Here’s another great Valentine’s Day recipe for you guys: chocolate chip sour cream cake! And, as a bonus, here are two ways to present your cake: marshmallow-topped cupcakes and black forest heart-shaped mini cakes!
The original recipe was just chocolate sour cream cake, but while I was making it I thought the color of the batter looked a little light. That made me worry the cake wouldn’t be chocolaty enough. So I threw in some chocolate chips, and it became chocolate chip sour cream cake. Which means the cake is more chocolaty, and also more delicious!
I also added an extra ounce of unsweetened chocolate to the batter, but only because the recipe asked for three ounces, and you know how chocolate comes in four-ounce bars? I knew I’d end up tossing the one remaining ounce in the back of a cupboard, and then I’d forget all about it. So I added that extra ounce of chocolate, and also some more sugar, because, um … no reason, really. I just like sugar.
You can bake the batter in whatever form you like. I chose to make cupcakes and heart-shaped mini cakes, which, for all intents and purposes, are pretty much the same thing. You should be able to get about 12 cupcakes/mini cakes from both the batter and the marshmallow recipes.
I topped the cupcakes with a light and fluffy marshmallow-esque frosting and sprinkles in a cute pink-dot motif; the mini cakes I sliced in half horizontally and filled with a spoonful of cherry pie filling and marshmallow frosting. (For a true black forest cake, you should use whipped cream instead of frosting; I used frosting because I already had it on hand.)
Oh. And about that marshmallow frosting. It’s delicious! But it takes 12 minutes of nonstop handheld-electric-mixer action. I recommend setting your oven timer and bringing a magazine. (Just make sure to keep it away from the burner …)
Recipe: Chocolate chip sour cream cake
Adapted from “Cupcakes” by Elinor Klivans
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⅓ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stire until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
- On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter.
- Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and the color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain.
- On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it. Mix in the water. Mix in the remaining flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into whatever baking receptacle you’re using (cake pans, muffin tins, etc.). For cupcakes or mini cakes, bake about 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Recipe: Marshmallow frosting
From “Cupcakes” by Elinor Klivans
- 1¾ cups sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 3 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Put the sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar in a heatproof container and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until opaque, white and foamy, about 1 minute.
- Put the bowl over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. The top container should sit firmly over the pan of hot water; be sure to keep the cord of the electric mixer away from the burner.
- Beat on high speed until the frosting forms a stiff peak that stands straight up if you stop the beaters and lift them out of the mixture, about 12 minutes. The frosting should reach 160˚F on a thermometer.
- Remove the container from the water, add the vanilla, and continue beating for 2 minutes to further thicken the frosting.
Assembly: Marshmallow-topped cupcakes
Assembly: Black forest mini cakes
- Take your mini cake (or cupcake or layer cake, same concept for all) and slice it horizontally.
- Spread whipped cream or frosting on one side of each half of the cake.
- Spoon cherry pie filling onto the bottom half of the cake, and top with the, um, top half.
- (I originally envisioned spreading more frosting on top and covering it with chocolate curls, all fancy-like. But then I actually attempted to make chocolate curls, and it did not go according to plan. Hence the unadorned cake. It was still delicious, though.)
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