baking with "leftovers"

While I was cleaning out the fridge recently, I found a tub of sour cream that was still good, but that I knew I wasn't going to use up.  Because really, I don't eat sour cream - the only reason I'd bought it in the first place was for a staff dinner I hosted - and then they didn't eat very much of it.  Bah.  So here I was, with a large tub of sour cream that I hated to think of wasting or throwing away.

But wait.  Hadn't I seen a recipe for a chocolate cake with a chocolate sour cream glaze in one of my cookbooks?  Yes.  Yes, I had.

I had a small moment of panic when I realized that, in addition to the sour cream I already had, I needed hot coffee.  Which I don't drink.  Thankfully, before I went running down the hall to ask one of my students to borrow some coffee, I remembered the single-serving instant packets I had bought some time ago, to have on hand for Dad and other guests who do drink coffee.  That, blended with a cup of cocoa powder, made a rich base for the batter.

In fact, this batter had lots of rich goodness in it - three eggs, the aforementioned coffee and cocoa, one and a quarter cups of sour cream.  Considering I don't like sour cream or coffee alone, I was very interested to see how they influenced the final product.

One thing I found amusing about the recipe is the author's comment about "how easy it is."  This is true - however, in exchange, it felt like I used a lot of bowls.  Then again, I didn't even have to break out the mixer.

Mmm.  It even looks rich once it baked up in the pan.

Thankfully, I had just the right amount of sour cream left for the glaze, which has just four ingredients: butter, chocolate chips, coffee and sour cream.

And it turned out awesomely.  The cake has a unique, deep flavor that I think would go really nicely with a lot of different frostings or glazes.  The one in the recipe was good - but it didn't turn out as thickly as I expected.  The instructions say to "use a butter knife to spread glaze onto cooled cake," but it was thin enough (liquidy enough) that pouring it worked much better.  However, with such an intense flavor in the cake, it really could have used a thicker, denser icing to hold up to the cake.

Not that it wasn't good.  I definitely enjoyed every bite.  But I do want to experiment with frostings and glazes in the future.  Looks like I'll be buying sour cream on purpose from time to time.

Where I am: home
What I'm reading: the September issue of InStyle magazine


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