Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Alas, I'm so ashamed of myself. I made a HUGE mistake on this cake. It was already bad enough that I couldn't get the pink to turn out magenta (I was afraid my buttercream would turn into a soup-like consistency). But after - AFTER - I had iced the cake (and we're not talking a crumb coat here) I realized that I had forgotten to add the vanilla. So I can't even say that this cake has vanilla buttercream.

I want to run and hide.

Not to mention that I'm really hating the digital camera. I need to upgrade to something that actually takes decent pictures of food.

ugh...I'm just regretting this cake! Fortunately the cake part of this...thing does happen to be totally and completely delicious. It's extremely moist, wonderfully chocolately, and very light. As husband would put it, "nom nom nom!" But I do need to provide a crumbly cake warning. These cakes were very delicate. When I was wrapping them so I could firm them up in the fridge, I thought they were going to split in two. Overall, I wouldn't recommend making this cake any bigger than what the recipe specifies, I would go with something sturdier if you're going to make a sheet cake. But then again, it's so good I wouldn't blame anybody for trying.

And yes, can you believe that this buttered chocolate cake is for someone's birthday? In my defense, it was a last minute request, so I just got a little flustered and hurried.... Okay, excuses are lame. I'm never going to let myself live this down.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake
This recipe is the chocolate cake part of Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze from "Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes"

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake, but I stuffed it into two 8-inch cake pans and baked it until it was done (maybe 40 to 45 minutes)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and side of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper. I recommend the parchment paper simply because I've never had a good experience with waxed paper in the oven...or maybe I'm just doing something wrong.

2) Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the prepared cake pans.

3) Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool the cakes in thier pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.

For the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream, you can find the recipe and the method on this posting:

Icing with no vanilla...I'm gong to put this down on my Lessons Learned list.

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