Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sourdough Mocha Cake

Oh, gosh, has it been a stressful week. The kind of stuff you can anticipate (for the most part) but can't stop. With it only getting worse and a need to use the sourdough starter, it was time to visit an old friend: The Mocha Cake.

The original recipe came from an Old Hickory Farms booklet (copyright date: 1972), that I also got my sourdough pancakes recipe from. It's also probably the recipe I learned to experiment on. The original calls for a half cup of butter, and it comes out dry and crumbly. I started making it with oil and the problem all but went away. Then I ran out of instant coffee and started subbing instant cappuccino, which diluted the taste so I upped it (and the cocoa) from a teaspoon to a tablespoon. Somewhere along the line, the nuts the recipe called for disappeared as well.

The original also says to serve with “hard sauce” and a recipe for a brandy or rum – based glazed follows. I have always just used frosting. So, I think this one is coming dangerously close to my own original recipe.

Now I had a new plan: Applesauce in place of oil. I'm looking to reduce as many calories as possible in as many recipes as possible. With the Amish Friendship Breadexperiment making me a little gun-shy about using Splenda again just yet, and this recipe calling for exactly half a cup of fat, this was how.

The recipe, as follows:
Sourdough Mocha Cake
Adapted from Old Hickory Farms

1/2 Cup Applesauce
1-1/2 Cups Sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 Cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp instant cappuccino
1 tblsp cocoa powder
1 cup ripe sourdough starter
1/4 cup milk

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix applesauce and sugar together until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
  2. In one separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In another, combine milk and sourdough starter (or just use a liquid measuring cup. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  3. Spray an 8” square pan (or 9” or bundt pan) with baker's spray. Pour batter into pan, tapping the pan on the counter several times to release air bubbles.
  4. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes for the 8” pan, 50-55 minutes for the bundt pan and 35-40 minutes for the 9” pan. Cool on rack before frosting.

I noticed it came out darker than usual. I have to say normally it almost looks like a dense white cake and just has the hint of the mocha taste to it. I so wanted to taste it, but I wanted to test out some of my new decorator tools.

The frosting (and I just used a spare can from the pantry) goes on a lot smoother with an angled spatula...

And this Wilton Decorator Triangle was an Amazon add-on well spent!

All in all, the cake wasn't that moist, but it was still pretty good. I think I could even taste more chocolate than I did in the oil-based versions. So, while I might play around with it some, I still have to give it two thumbs up.

Speaking of playing, I've got quite a few more toys that still need to be played with and a certain ingredient I love but don't get often from the grocery store. Stay tuned...

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