Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Yes, you read that right. Sourdough Chocolate Cake. There is actual sourdough starter in the cake batter. Don’t worry though, because you can’t taste the sourdough. It mixes into the cake batter (with a bit of effort!) but it makes the cake a little denser, almost bread-like, and tones down the chocolate so the cake is still sweet, but not overly sweet. It gives a different depth of flavour to the cake, and the result is – surprisingly – good!

I was really unsure about how the cake would turn out, because of the sourdough in the cake, but I was pleasantly surprised. I found the recipe because I was looking for another way to use up my sourdough starter, and this was a great way!

The original recipe calls for a fed sourdough starter, but I hate throwing anything away, so I used my unfed starter, and the cake turned out fine. I am assuming, then, that either a fed or unfed sourdough starter would work in this cake and it will turn out just fine.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 large Bundt cake

1 c. sourdough starter
1 c. milk
2 c. flour
1½ c. sugar
1 c. canola or vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. espresso powder (instant coffee grounds work as well)
2 eggs

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sourdough starter, milk, and flour. The mixture will be thick. Let sit, covered, at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Mixture will expand slightly.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray or brush with Miracle Cake Release.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking powder, cocoa, and espresso powder. Beat on low speed to combine. Don’t worry – the batter might be grainy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beating after each addition.

Add the starter mixture to the batter, and beat on low until fully incorporated (this might take a while – it took me about 10-15 minutes). The starter is a bit elastic-like and will not want to cooperate for the first few minutes, but just keep at it – it will incorporate eventually.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a sharp knife or toothpick comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn out cake and let cool. Glaze with your favourite icing sugar glaze (with different flavours if desired) or icing. Slice and serve!

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

 

It’s been really hot lately. Too hot to turn on the oven. So I wanted a dessert that wouldn’t take too long and wouldn’t heat up the house unnecessarily.
These peanut butter bars are just the ticket. A thick layer of peanut buttery goodness, topped with a smooth chocolate layer. The best part is, there is only a small handful  of ingredients, and you probably have them in your kitchen right now.

I wanted to try and emulate the Reese’s peanut butter cup flavour, so where it calls for peanut butter in the recipe, I added a few tablespoons of Reese’s peanut butter chips as well as the called-for peanut butter.

Go ahead, make these. They are simple, and take more time to chill and set up than they do to make.  Enjoy them, and not turning on the oven for a big reward!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch pan

For the peanut butter layer:

2½ c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. butter, melted
2 c. icing sugar
1 c. creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp. Reese’s peanut butter chips (optional)

For the chocolate layer:

3 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 c. chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
2 tbsp. Reese’s peanut butter chips (optional)

Line a 9 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a large, microwave safe bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, icing sugar, peanut butter, and peanut butter chips (if using). Pour into the lined pan, and spread into an even layer.

In a small microwave safe bowl, mix the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips (if using). Microwave at 15-second increments until smooth. Pour over the peanut butter layer and smooth into an even layer.

Place pan in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours before serving. Once set up, bars can be sliced and served.