I wanted to bake something with yogurt in it (you see, it’s yogurt theme at Blogging Marathon) and I wanted it to be simple, quick and of course delicious. I scoured my newly bought cake book “Maida Heatter’s Cakes” for anything that even remotely uses yogurt. I found this relatively easy recipe that uses sour cream and I remembered a sour cream recipe on sailusfood that used yogurt to make sour cream. There – I had somehow made a connection. I love using my loaf tin and I love making loaves simply because it’s non-fussy and almost always turns out well. And Mocha is one of those irresistible combinations – chocolate and coffee; always works for me. I am not crazy about nuts and I generally prefer to leave them out but this time I added them in because the rest of my family likes nuts.
This is the first recipe I am trying from this much lauded (look at the amazon reviews) book and I wanted to be as accurate as possible. The book is also such. Maida (such an apt name, don’t you think for a cake specialist) gives very precise instructions and you better follow. I bought this book just looking at the index. This book is jam-packed with cake recipes, I forget how many and the version (budget version) I bought has no pictures (not one). It was all up to my comprehending and executing skills to make a great Mocha loaf or a horrible mess. I am happy to say the Mocha Walnut loaf turned out really well, just as promised, dark, not too sweet, fine crumbed with wonderful coffee and chocolate flavours. I would have liked it a bit sweeter and without the nuts. All in all it’s a really good recipe and a relatively easy one going by the other recipes in her book.
I picked up the sour cream recipe from sailusfood, which is one blog/website I’ve been following for several years now and she never fails. If you want some reliable Indian recipe, anything, just head here. Such amazing recipes, she inspires me. The sour cream recipe uses hung curd and it works beautifully. You’ll have creamy, luscious sour cream in a matter of minutes with just 2 ingredients – hung curd and lemon juice. I am a sucker for good substitutions and home-made anything, and this is a beautiful home-made sour cream.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins – 1 hr
Makes: 15 slices
All purpose flour/Maida – 1-1/2 cups
Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
Coffee powder (not granules) – 1/4 cup
Baking soda – 1-1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Sour Cream – 1 – 1/4 cups (recipe below)
Granulated sugar – 1 cup
Egg – 1
Butter – 5-1/3 tbsp melted
Walnuts – 1/4 cup chopped fine (not too fine)
Hung curd – 1-1/2 cups (use about 2-1/2 cups yogurt)
Lemon juice – 3 tbsp
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C. Grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
2. To make sour cream from yogurt, first strain yogurt using a cheese cloth. Tie it at an elevated position above a vessel for a couple of hours or inside a container. Scrape the hung curd into a blender. Run the blender or hand mixer on low speed, while slowly adding the lemon juice. Taste in between to check if it is sour enough. The hung curd will get smooth and thicken. Remove from blender and measure out 1-1/4 cup for the loaf. You may have very little remaining sour cream which you can refrigerate in an air-tight container.
3. Chop up the walnuts into small pieces about a ¼ inch or so. Set aside.
4. If you have instant coffee granules and not coffee powder, just run it in a dry mixie jar till it is a fine powder.
5. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, coffee powder, salt and baking soda thrice. Set aside.
6. In a large bowl, beat sour cream, egg and sugar on low speed just until it’s all mixed up – about 1-2 minutes. Add the melted butter and beat until fully incorporated – another 1 minute or so.
7. Add the dry ingredients (the flour mixture) in one go and beat on low just until the flour in fully incorporated – about ½ a minute to 1 minute.
8. Stir in the nuts and turn the batter into the loaf pan. Smooth the top. Place inside the preheated oven and bake at 350 F (180 C) for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then turn onto a rack and cool for about 20 minutes. Refrigerate till serving time. It is best to slice this loaf when cold.
1. While powdering coffee granules, make sure the mixie jar is absolutely dry or you’ll have a sticky mess.
2. Leave out the nuts if you’re like me. I reduced the 1 cup nuts in the original recipe to ¼ cup as I thought 1 cup would be overkill. I think it would work great without the nuts as well.
3. The sour cream may appear a little runny while blended with the lemon juice but it thickens in a short while.
4. Use dark cocoa and good quality coffee for the best flavour.
5. Check the loaf from 45 minutes onwards.
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