This lightly spiced, simple sour cream cake begins our countdown of the last ten recipes to bake in Baked Explorations!
Sunday Night Cake
Yield: one 9-inch square cake
For the cake
1 3/4 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
For the chocolate frosting
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
3 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
Make the cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper and butter the sides and bottom of the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for a few seconds. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl and beat for a few more seconds.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes, loosen the sides of the cake from the pan the turn the cake out onto the rack. Remove the parchment paper and flip the cake right side up. Let the cake completely cool.
Make the chocolate frosting
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa powder. Add the chopped chocolate. Pour 1 cup boiling water into the pan, wait 30 seconds, then whisk until the mixture is combined and the chocolate is melted.
Turn the heat to med-high and whisk continuously for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. (Once the pudding begins to thicken, it will come together very quickly).
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high until the steam escapes and the mxiture is room temperature. Add the butter and mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the frosting is light and puddinglike. If you prefer a fluffier, more spreadable frosting, continue to mix for just a few minutes longer.
Frost the top of the cake, allowing a little of the frosting to drip down the edges. Chill for 5 minutes to set the frosting. Serve immediately.
The cake can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring it back to room temperature before serving.
Excerpted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2010 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.