Cocoa-Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Coffeecake


Recipe adapted from Baking by Flavor by Lisa Yockelson

published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York

I drooled over the pages of this book trying to decide what to bake, and finally decided on this rather magnificent coffee cake.  As I pulled the ingredients from the cupboards, fridge and pantry, the unthinkable occured; I ran out of chocolate chips.  It came as quite a shock because this might be the only house in town that never runs out of chocolate chips.  So instead of all semi-sweet chips, like the recipe calls for in the batter, I substituted with bittersweet chocolate…yum!

This cake has a humble, deceiving appearance and is in reality very sumptuous.  My cake turned out a little less sweet because of the use of bittersweet chocolate, but I figured there was enough sugar in this recipe to go around.  Between the soft, moist cake and the crunchy, buttery top, it really is delicious.  This could be a special Mother’s Day treat, just wave the magic wand over the top and remove all the calories.  Enjoy!


Chocolate Chip Pecan Crumble Ingredients

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, sieved to remove the lumps

big pinch of salt

12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small chunks

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

3/4 cup mimi semi-sweet chocolate chips


Chocolate Chip Pecan Crumble Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.


2. Thoroughly mix the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the butter chunks and with a pastry blender (or two forks if you don’t have a pastry blender), cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is reduced to small pieces.  Stir in the pecans and the chocolate chips.  Work the mixture with your fingertips until it comes together in large and small moist, sandy-textured lumps.  Set aside.


Cocoa-Sour Cream-Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake Batter Ingredients

3 cups bleached all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate wafers-chopped a little, and 3/4 cup E.Guittard bittersweet chocolate wafers-chopped a little.  It pretty much cleaned out a lot of my chocolate stash)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups thick, cultured sour cream


Cake Batter Directions

1. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, into a large bowl.  In a medium sized bowl, toss the chocolate chips with 1 Tablespoon of the sifted mixture.

2. Cream the butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer for about 4 minutes. Add the granulated sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla extract.

3. On low speed, add the sifted mixture in three additions with the sour cream in two additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture.  By combining the batter in this way, you end up with a soft, even textured cake.  As the ingredients are added, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula to keep the batter even textured.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the entire bowl of crumble mixture lightly and evenly over the top of the cake batter.  DO NOT press it in.   This creates a generous topping and allows the cake to bake evenly.


5. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until set and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist pieces clinging to it.  The cake will pull away slightly from the sides of the baking pan.  Cool the cake in the pan on a rack.  Serve the cake, warm or at room temperature, cut into squares.

Chocolate Cake Roll


Chocolate Cake Roll courtesy of Creative Cook’s Kitchen

published by International Masters Publishers AB


There is a commercial about a grown daughter who gives her Mom a Mother’s Day card, and then the Mom pulls out all the old cards given to her by the daughter.  It’s very sweet, and I’m such a sap that I always cry because I have those same cards from my kids when they were little (you know…the ones written in crayon and full of hearts, glitter, and stick people).

If you are planning a special meal for Mother’s Day, and want to be able to spend time with your Mom and not in the kitchen, this is the perfect cake to serve for dessert.  Not only is it versatile in that you can change up the fillings, but it also tastes yummy, looks really pretty, and can be made ahead of time.  I filled this cake with softened ice cream, but you could also use whipped cream, Cool Whip, or a light frosting.  The cake can then be rolled up and frozen until the day you need it.  You can serve it with a dollop of whipped cream, fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, or plain, just sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!


1/3 cup cake flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2  teaspoon espresso powder, optional (this is my addition, it brings out the flavor of the chocolate)

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs, separated

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)


1 8-oz. container of Cool Whip, or whipped cream, ice cream, light frosting, etc.



1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan with waxed paper (I used parchment paper).  Grease and flour lined pan; tap out excess.


2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until fluffy.


3. In a small bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites on high until foamy.  Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff, but not dry, peaks form.


4. Fold 1/3 beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture.  Make sure you are FOLDING and not mixing, it takes a little longer, but that is how you retain the volume from the beaten egg whites.  Alternately fold in remaining whites and flour mixture.  Pour batter into pan; gently smooth top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

5. Dust a clean cloth with liberal amounts of powdered sugar.  Turn cake out onto prepared cloth; remove waxed paper (or parchment paper). Trim the cake’ edges with a serrated knife.

6. With a wide side facing you, tightly roll up the cake with the cloth. Transfer the cake, seam side down, to a wire rack to cool.



7. Unroll the cake; remove the cloth.  Spread softened topping of choice over the cake and to within 1/2 inch of the edges.  Re-roll the cake.   At this point, wrap with plastic wrap and freeze.   The cake slices cleaner if you use a serrated knife and the cake is a little frozen.

Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Finger Sandwiches


courtesy of The Food

These sandwiches were made in honor of the Seattle Seahawks, for Super Bowl XLVIII (I made Cowboy Beans in honor of their opponent, the Denver Broncos).  They turned out so pretty and would be perfect served for Easter brunch, a bridal shower or even for a Mother’s Day luncheon.  If you want all the flavors without the fuss, serve the cream cheese mixture in a bowl, with the salmon and some crackers on the side.  Enjoy!


8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 Tablespoons minced chives

2 heaping Tablespoons horseradish

pepper and salt to taste (smoked salmon is very salty, so go easy on the salt)

zest of 1 lemon

pumpernickel cocktail loaf (you will not need the entire loaf)


8-10 ounces smoked salmon


6-8 chives, green parts only, cut into slim 1 inch match sticks




1. Combine cream cheese, minced chives, horseradish, pepper, salt, and lemon zest.



2. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture on a slice of pumpernickel cocktail bread.  Top the cream cheese mixture with a piece of crispy lettuce, followed by a thin slice, or chunk of smoked salmon.  Garnish the sandwich by placing a small dollop of the cream cheese mixture on top of the salmon and placing 2 pieces of the 1 inch chives in the dollop.