• Leigh

Sourdough Discard German Chocolate Cake and Cupcakes


My husband wanted chocolate cupcakes but I had sourdough discard to use up, so I decided to improvise and use the discard to make him cupcakes. I mixed up the batter, and that was fine. It looked pretty normal. The problem was, though, that I had enough batter for a couple dozen cupcakes, not the one dozen I had planned. Rather than just baking the lot and freezing part, I opted to make a one-layer German Chocolate cake with half of the batter. The German Chocolate Cake turned out far better than the cupcakes, I think. The cake--like the cupcakes--has a faint tang to it from the sourdough. That slightly bitter edge serves as a counterpoint to the sweet topping. With brown sugar, coconut, and walnuts, the topping caramelizes under the broiler intensifying the flavor of the ingredients. The result is a simple cake that tastes incredibly good. What about the cupcakes? They're good, too, and with their slightly sour-yeasty taste can stand up to a sweet chocolate icing, if you're so inclined. Or you could just make an extra batch of topping and make German chocolate cupcakes.

Sourdough Discard German Chocolate Cake and Cupcakes -- Makes 1 Cake and 12 Cupcakes

Cake/Cupcake Batter

1 cup of starter (I used rye-based)

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup of low-fat buttermilk

1/3 cup of canola oil

2 eggs

2/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of dark brown sugar

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of espresso powder (optional)

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Topping for the Cake

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of light corn syrup

1/3 cup of dark brown sugar

1/2 cup of broken or chopped walnuts (or use pecans, which is more traditional)

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

For the cake and cupcakes, in a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the starter and the all-purpose flour. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and sugars until well combined. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the starter/flour mixture. Stir in the cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and espresso powder until combined. Set the batter aside for at least an hour or two, if you'd like to give the sourdough process time to do its thing. If you want to bake the cupcakes and cake immediately, that's fine, too. When you're ready to bake your cake and cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line the tin with cupcake liners. Prepare a 9-inch spring-form pan by coating the pan with non-stick spray, lining the bottom and sides with parchment paper, and then spritzing the parchment paper with a bit of non-stick spray. Before you bake the batter, stir in well:

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Divide the batter among the muffin tins and the spring-form pan. Bake the cupcakes for 20-24 minutes and the cake for 25-30 minutes.

Let the cupcakes cool and then frost them with the icing of your choice.

For the German Chocolate Cake, combine all the topping ingredients and spread the topping evenly on the top of the hot cake while you heat the broiler to high. Broil the cake with its topping for 3-5 minutes and then remove the cake to cool completely. Be very careful and watch the topping carefully. The topping will burn quickly if you leave it unattended.

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