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Many times I decide what to make on what’s about to expire in the fridge. And I’m a coupon shopper so I compulsively buy things because I can get them for super cheap. Sometimes that means I have 17 boxes of cereal…but those eventually all get eaten. Sour cream on the other hand is something I don’t like by itself. It’s great in recipes, but I really don’t cook often…which makes the fact that I want to have a blog focused on cooking a little absurd. So anyways I had sour cream that needed to be used up.

It was a cold day if I remember correctly and the day I set up my blog, so I also wanted to celebrate the start of something new in my life. I am a celebrator. What to do? BAKE A CAKE! I opened up one of my newer cookbooks that I had not experimented from, Entertaining With Friends. Quick cookbook story (I like cookbooks almost as much as cooking): This pretty cookbook is the official cookbook of Friends of Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital here in Nashville so its proceeds help support the life-saving work that goes on there. My first clinical rotation in nursing school was at the Children’s Hospital which I can only begin to describe as special, family-centered, and amazing. Anyways I had wanted this cookbook for several years but just hadn’t bought it yet. Then this past fall, I get an email from The Nashville Scene that I had won it in a contest! I don’t quite remember entering a contest, but I’m sure I did because I like contests (the non-competing kind). Occasionally I win contests and drawings! The cookbook is chock-full of delicious sounding dishes, many local or Southern fare. In it I found a recipe for Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

5 eggs at room temp, lightly beaten

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

cocoa, baking powder, salt, flour

Okay, preheat the oven to 325. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together…at first I just dumped it all in a bowl, but then I knew that if the recipe was lumpy because I hadn’t sifted, I would be a poor baker. And I didn’t want my first blog post (whoops, it’s taken awhile) to not work out because of one step. So sift people.

In another bowl, cream the butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

creamin the buttah

Then add the granulated sugar gradually, beating constantly. This is when having a stand mixer is super handy. I love my Kitchenaid that I got for Christmas in 2009…it may take a post to tell you about my love. Now go on and add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy; scrape down the stuff on the sides of the bowl. Get it all fluffed.

fork beatin the eggs

Next, add the eggs, but remember they need to be beaten. Mix well.

Add the sour cream, vanilla, and almond extracts and mix that up.

measuring the sour cream

Now take the first bowl with the flour mixture and beat that into the liquid mixture at low speed. Fold it a few times with a rubber spatula until it looks smooth, remembering to get the sides and bottom scraped.

Grease a 10- to12-cup bundt pan and flour it then pour in the cake mixture! This is when I had to start using my left hand so I could take a picture.

Tap the pan a few times on the counter before sticking it in the oven. That will bring any air bubbles to the top so the cake bakes evenly.

before going in the oven

Bake for 50 to 75 minutes (mine was around an hour) until the cake is set. The way to test it is to stick a toothpick into the middle of the cake and it should come out with just a few crumbs. The cake needs to cool in the pan for 8 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Put a cooling rack on top of the pan and then flip it over on the rack….this is the part where I had a little trouble. One part stuck to the pan. Oops.

Butter and grease!

Let it cool completely before slicing a piece (which obviously I couldn’t wait to do). Since I had a little chunk that broke off in the inverting process, (which is always so nerve-wracking), I made a little glaze and poured it on top to cover the tear, bumpy though it be.

take a slice!

Really I would have liked it plain, without the glaze.  So pretty easy cake as long as you grease and flour the pan and have time for it to bake. Another little hint, if you don’t want any flour showing, use cocoa to dust the pan instead.

Well it’s been a very big cleaning weekend at my house, clearing out a spare bedroom, reorganizing, and making piles of stuff to sell or give away. I’ll post soon about one item that deserves a little tribute before leaving my closet forever.

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