Sour cream and chocolate chip cake

This is a lovely tea cake from Smitten Kitchen – I made it to celebrate our ukulele club’s first birthday. As you’ll see the batter has quite a bit of sugar, and is a nice light cake with a crunchy outing – a lovely cake to serve in squares for afternoon tea.

1/2 cup (113 grams) at room temperature
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (approx 500 grams) sour cream
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking tin, and line the bottom with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 175C.

Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until stiff, and set aside. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until creamy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla.

If your name is Celia and you’re lazy, you dump in bits of the flour and sour cream alternately and stir the mixture all together until combined and quite stiff. If you’re a proper baker, sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a small bowl, and then add it alternately to the creamed butter mixture along with the sour cream. And you’ll probably spill far less flour on the counter than I did. After the sour cream and flour is all stirred in, fold the stiff egg whites into the batter. Well, “fold” – it’s more a firm stirring, because the batter is quite stiff.

Mix together the cinnamon and additional sugar in a small bowl. Spread half the batter mixture into the baking pan – it’s easier if you blog it in in spoonfuls and then smooth it out. Sprinkle the batter with half the choc chips and half the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Spoon in the rest of the mixture and gently smooth over with a spatula. Sprinkle over the remaining cinnamon and sugar, and then the last of the chocolate chips. Gently press the chocolate chips a little into the batter to keep them in place.

Bake for about 45 -50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Cut into chunks and enjoy – it’s gorgeous while still a little warm, with the melted chocolate layer in the middle.

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