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Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting -- Looking for Recipe

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  • Barham Turner Nov 1, 2004 04:56 PM
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My most potent and longest-lived food memory is an incredible chocolate layer cake with glossy chocolate sour-cream frosting that a high school classmate brought to school many years ago. If I tell you that I have already had my 30th high school reunion you can get some idea of how memorably delicious this cake was.

Does anyone have a recipe for a great chocolate layer cake and dark chocolate frosting that isn't too sweet and has a bit of a tang from sour cream? It can be either a from-scratch cake or from a mix, but the key thing is the frosting.

If Chowhound fails me, I guess I'll have to track down the classmate who now lives in London. Help!

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  1. m
    Marcia M. D'A.

    Hi, just noticed your post. In the early 70's I frequently made a Michael Field recipe for a chocolate cake. The icing was nothing more than chocolate chips, melted and sour cream then beaten in. No additional sugar which is what made it so nice and tart.

    I have the cookbook with the icing and the cake recipe, but it is packed away and I can't look for it right now because of terrible dust allergies. Perhaps you could try a search. Field was a concert pianist who became a cooking teacher and died fairly young. His recipes were innovative for the time.

    Sorry not to be more specific. If you want to try a little experimenting, my recollection is that the icing used a 6oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 8oz. of full fat sour cream.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Marcia M. D'A.
      Barham Turner

      Thank you for your post and I have a hunch you are on the right track. I was hoping someone would come up with an early 1970s reference. I have a couple of Michael Fields cookbooks and I will check them and go from there. Anyone else familiar with this now vintage recipe?

      1. re: Marcia M. D'A.
        Barham Turner

        Bingo! The first of my Michael Field cookbooks I picked up, "All Manner of Food," contains the recipe you mentioned with the chocolate sour-cream frosting just as you remembered it. It's called "New England Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Sour-Cream Frosting." Even weirder, the bookmark is placed at that page. I'll make it and report back. Thanks again.

        1. re: Barham Turner
          Marcia M. D'A.

          So glad you found it. Nobody even remembers Michael Field, anymore.

          I was doing a little googling, and found a very similar recipe by Alice Medrich, in her book, A Year in Chocolate. If you enjoy really good and not too sweet chocolate desserts, Medrich is the best.

          1. re: Marcia M. D'A.
            Barham Turner

            Thanks for the Alice Medrich tip. Looks like a chocolaty holiday season coming up.

            1. re: Marcia M. D'A.

              I have "All Manner of Food," too. I don't think I've ever used it, but I'm thinking I have a reason to now!

              Thanks. Good that some of us can remember him by making his cake.

              1. re: peg
                Marcia M. D.A.

                Good recipes never die - they are just adapted by other cooks. That said, do try the recipe. You will not be disappointed.

                1. re: Marcia M. D.A.

                  I read it tonight. It sounds delicious - the soul of simplicity, completely dependent upon the quality of the ingredients, specifically the chocolate. I have everything on hand, so I'll give it a try this weekend. Could that frosting be any easier?

                  I love Mr. Field's admonition against refrigerating the cake - "..it will give it a woolly texture." Yikes! No fridge, I promise!!