The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, January 18th 2020 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Old-Fashioned Southern Memories
I remember several years ago my Grandma Barbra getting a satellite dish and telling me all about the new shows that she had found while browsing through one afternoon. With excitement she told me about a food channel that had “this older southern woman” and all the delicious food she fixed. She also told me about “this young woman who talks all the time” and compared her motor mouth to mine. Ha! Come to find out the two women she was talking about was Paula Deen and Rachael Ray. Who would have thought? I always say that my Grandma Barbra discovered both food personalities before anyone else in Kennard. For the record, I do believe she was one of the first people in Kennard to get a newer dish installed. On many occasions Grandma Barbra and I would sit and watch these food shows and write down different recipes to try, taking them into the kitchen and putting our own spins on them. Years later, all of Kennard would get what is now known as “The Food Network” and I remember my Grandma Deloris being just as thrilled with the new addition as anyone else. Her and my Grandpa Max would watch, write down recipes and put their own spins on things. I think about memories like this a lot, especially since both of my Grandma’s passing recently.
They say that during times of grief, it is the good memories that help pull you through. I am relying on that to be true because other than the support of my family and friends, these good memories are all that I have. Some of my favorite memories are both of my Grandma’s talking about their southern roots. The stories they shared were often remarkably similar, just perhaps different places and different people but they were just as comforting. Some of the stories they would tell were disturbing, taking place in an era that I can’t even seem to imagine, but most of their stories were not only uplifting and kind but incredibly fascinating. Grandma Deloris shared with me one time about how she would drink so much milk when she was a little girl that her Dad, my Great Grandpa Willie Davis, said it would be cheaper to buy a cow than to continue paying for all the milk he had to order! So, what did he do? Next thing my Grandma Deloris knew, there was a cow in the backyard! She loved telling that story. Same with my Grandma Barbra and the story she would tell about fixing my Great Grandma Flora and I pancakes every single day for lunchtime for years when I was younger. I’m surprised I didn’t turn into a giant pancake before I was 10! I can still see their smiles telling their stories to me. When developing the recipe, I am sharing with you today, I wanted something that was classically southern, the Bundt cake, but updated with not only better flavor but better texture. I love this recipe!
Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
This is best eaten the same day it is made. If any leftovers, wrap and chill in refrigerator for up to a day. Feel free to substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips with white chocolate chips. Also feel free to add ½ cup chopped pecans. The dusting of powdered sugar is optional. This cake can even be frosted with homemade chocolate frosting.
1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 heaping cup sour cream
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.
In a large bowl whisk together the Devil’s Food Cake Mix with the chocolate instant pudding mix. Add in vegetable oil, warm water, slightly beaten eggs and pure vanilla extract. Mix with a fork until light and combined before adding in the sour cream. Mix the sour cream in well using a spatula, being sure to get the bottom and the sides of the bowl.
Finally, add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips and gently fold them in using the spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
Lightly hit the pan on the counter a few times to loosen any air bubbles.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 47 minutes.
Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, run a knife around the outside of the cake and flip out onto a serving plate.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve this warm, room temperature or cold.
Ask and Answer: I have gotten several questions about quick frostings and what the ratio of butter to powdered sugar should be. This really depends on how thick you like your frostings. I like mine thick enough to hold shape but thin enough to spread easily. If the consistency is like that of slightly melted ice cream, it is perfect. The base for the perfect frosting is 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened beaten together with 3 ¾ cups powdered sugar, or the amount of powdered sugar that is found in the rectangular boxes you will find in some stores. Beat both together and add in 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and a teaspoon of salt. This is vanilla buttercream. Add in melted chocolate for chocolate buttercream, or other flavorings such as orange juice and orange zest, lemon juice and lemon zest, maple flavoring, peppermint flavoring or anything that sounds good to you. If you like your frosting extra thick, add more powdered sugar. If you like your frosting thinner, slightly add in milk until desired consistency.