Saturday, September 22, 2012
cocoa-sour cream chocolate chip coffee cake.
It's amazing how much colour and flavour just a tiny bit of cocoa powder can bring to a cake. This entire pan only utilizes 1 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder. Can you believe that? And the colour is not just for show. The cake is chocolaty through and through. But no doubt the truckloads of chocolate chips (just kidding, 1/2 cup and a bit more) played an important part too.
I first envisioned this cake to be more like a chocolate chip butter cake with golden bumpy streusel on top, something very much like a New York Crumb Cake but with chocolate chips. Clearly, I was very very wrong, but I like these results too.
The cake is super moist, undeniably due to the sour cream. And I used low-fat sour cream too. If I had used the real stuff, this cake can be your pillow. If its still hanging around, that is.
The crumble is more like cookie dough, I would venture to argue. The high proportion of butter and sugar is definitely unlike your average streusel recipe. In fact, I thought the amount of sugar that went into it so ridiculous that I reduced it by a third. In fact, I would cut down the amount further because when paired with the cake, it can be very overwhelming, as in bounce-off-the-walls hyper activeness. Unfortunately, the cake turned out to be really sweet too, even after I reduced the sugar again by a quarter. But this is my only grouse.
I love the crunch of pecans scattered here and there, and the gooey puddles of molten chocolate chips. (Strangely, the pecans in the crumble ended up embedded in the middle of the cake.) Overall, this cake is pretty fantastic.
Cocoa-Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
recipe adapted from Baking by Flavour
I modified the recipe to contain less sugar. Also, the crumble recipe yields a lot so don't be surprised, be delighted!
For the chocolate chip pecan crumble:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
big pinch of salt
12 tbsp butter, cold and cubed
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 to 1 1/3 cup sugar, depending on your sugar tolerance
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
For the crumble: Mix the flour, sugars and salt in a large bowl. Work in the butter until the mixture comes together like a dough. Work in the pecans and chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed. Set aside. (I formed little clumps of dough just like I did with my crumb cake and refrigerated them before use.)
For the cake: Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Toss the chocolate chips with a tablespoon of the sifted mixture.
Cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar in three additions, creaming for 1 minute after each portion is added. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well to incorporate the first before adding the next. Add in the vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the sour cream, which will be added in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the crumble mixture over the cake. Bake for 55 minutes to an hour or until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs attached.