Friday, September 2, 2011

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

     With the exception of an occasional bundt cake I can honestly say until I started dutch oven cooking I had never baked a cake from scratch.  For some reason I always thought it was too much trouble and far too complicated for my culinary skills.  Also, I just didn't have the patience to mix and measure all the ingredients.  I know now it couldn't be farther from the truth.  If you can make a cake from a mix you can easily make one from scratch, it's just a matter of keeping a well stocked pantry and having all the ingredients on hand.
      Take this Chocolate Sour Cream Cake from Hershey's for example, this is a made for outdoor cooking recipe.  You can mix all the dry ingredients together in a zip lock bag, dump them into a bowl, mix in a carton of sour cream, two eggs, a bit of vanilla and you have the makings of a rich and delicious chocolate cake.  The batter is very thick, almost like a brownie batter or thick chocolate frosting, you'll need to spread it in the bottom of your oven.  Bake it in your 12 inch dutch oven with 12 coals around the base and 22 on the lid.  Mine was done in 40 minutes, give it a peek after 25 minutes to make sure it's baking evenly.  You may have to shift some coals to or from the center of the lid. 
     You definitely need to double the frosting recipe if you want to completely cover the sides of the cake, you'll be glad you did because your family will be fighting over who is going to lick the spoon.  The frosting is divine, airy, easy to spread and loaded with chocolate.  If you don't have the time to whip up a batch of frosting, use the canned variety.  Whatever you do, you must try this cake, even if it's in your conventional oven.  It's steeped in chocolate and decadently moist but the best part of all, easy enough for a beginner and forgiving enough to make in your dutch oven.  Of all the desserts I've made so far, this one undoubtedly takes the cake, it's the blue ribbon winner.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 16 oz. container dairy sour cream (regular or low fat)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

     Lightly oil or spray a 12 inch dutch oven.  Line with parchment paper.
     Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large mixing bowl.
     Add butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 3 minutes.
     Pour into prepared dutch oven.
     Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 
     Let sit in dutch oven for 15 minutes before removing.
     Cool completely before frosting.

Fudge Frosting
3 Tblsp butter or margarine
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 Tblsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

     Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.
     Add cocoa; cook, stirring constantly, just until mixture begins to boil.
     Pour mixture into medium bowl; cool completely.
     Add powdered sugar alternately with milk to cocoa mixture, beating to spreading consistency.
     Stir in vanilla. Makes about 1 cup frosting.

Spread  thick batter in bottom of 12 inch dutch oven

Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees

Fluffy, rich frosting is easy to spread

One of the best chocolate cakes ever

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