Anyone who makes sourdough is always looking for ways of using surplus starter, to avoid throwing it away. I am not a huge chocolate cake fan, and this cake may sound unlikely, but it’s actually a really good cake, and definitely worth trying if you are a chocolate lover. Tested on the connoisseurs at choir practice, and it got the thumbs up … even if pumpkin spice cake remains the unbeatable favourite!
The original recipe is from Pinch My Salt. I have converted it to metric because I can’t be doing with cup measurements. The first time I made it, it had a rather fudgy brownie-like consistency, but I think that was because my starter wasn’t very lively. Use bubbly starter and it will have a light consistency and taste delicious. For convenience and keeping quality I serve it without frosting at choir practice, but you could use Nicole’s chocolate frosting below, or a classic cream cheese and orange one.
110 g plain flour
340 g granulated sugar
85 g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
220 ml lively sourdough starter (100% hydration)
2 large eggs
120 ml yogurt
230 ml vegetable oil
100 ml espresso coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
frosting (recipe below)
50 g chopped walnuts (optional — I omitted these )
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 30 x 20 cm oblong tin.
You can make this by hand or use a stand mixer.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients, breaking up any large lumps of cocoa powder.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl, and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides and bottom with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are blended.
Pour (quite runny) mixture into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly.
Let cake cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.
If you want to ice it, wait until the cake is completely cold. Spread the top of the cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting (recipe below) and sprinkle with chopped walnuts if you like. If using the cream cheese frosting, store cake in the refrigerator, but take it out and let it get to room temperature before serving. Or ice it just before serving.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
220 g icing sugar
30 g cocoa powder
225 g cream cheese
50 g butter, softened
Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder together into a bowl, then set aside. Beat cream cheese and butter together with a hand mixer until light and creamy. On low speed gradually beat in the sugar and cocoa powder, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go. Once it’s all incorporated, increase the speed on your mixer to medium and beat for another minute. Store in the fridge.