Cakes & Cookies

Sourdough chocolate cake

1-DSC_1014I love to tell stories. It is probably evident from my posts. And while telling stories to my boys, I like to use small props, modulate my voice, and even run around to act out the story. My elder son and I enjoy these story sessions, although he doesn’t have much patience with long stories. So, one Sunday afternoon, when hubby was away for a meeting (yes! Sunday afternoon!) and the little one (thankfully!) decided to take a nap, I sat my older one down to a story.

Just as I started, my neighbour’s kid and a couple of other kids in the block walked in and so we invited them all to join us for the story session. So, the story was about an ancient sage and his two wives, both sisters, one good and the other evil. And how a twist of fate makes the good one become a slave to the evil one for 500 years. At last, the good wife bears a divine child who, with the blessings from lord Vishnu, frees his mother from slavery. At the fag end of the story, the sage reappears and asks his evil wife to apologise to the good one.

I really enjoyed narrating the story, but was totally unprepared for the volley of questions that followed. Did people those days live for 500 years? How? Why? What all must the evil sister have done to torture her slave sister?  Why did the sage not help his good wife right at the beginning? If the sister who became the slave was such a good woman, why did God not help her? How did the just-born child manage to free his mother from slavery while his gifted father, the sage couldn’t?


I’m not sure the good lady in the story struggled with her slavery as much as I did trying to answer the children’s unending questions! Whenever I find myself in a spot over how to tackle any difficult situation, I let food do the honours. Take this for example:

Son: Amma, where did you keep the new Avengers activity book we bought yesterday?

Me: (After trying hard to remember and not succeeding): Ikshu, do you want a piece of chocolate cake? Here, take a slice.

Son: Thanks ma. It’s yummy. What about that Aven….

Me: Actually, why don’t you go over to Shravan’s house to play for some time? I’ll pack a couple of cake slices for him too.

Son: OK ma! Bye!


I wish I’d had this chocolate cake ready the day I narrated the story – the indulgence would have diverted their curious minds to chocolate!

This cake is seriously good. I’ve made it on quite a few occasions – it uses sourdough discard after all, and one is ALWAYS looking for different ways to use up the discard than to, well, discard it – and I’ve got rave reviews for it. It is moist and tastes very rich and the texture is close to that of a cakey brownie.

I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour, but skipped the icing. I also tend to add a handful of chopped dark chocolate to the batter. The other changes I make in the recipe:

-Swap whole wheat flour for APF

-Halve the recipe and bake it in an 8” x 8” pan

-Use granulated brown sugar/cane sugar

-Use flax goop in place of egg (I tbsp. flax seed powder mixed with 2.5 tbsp of warm water and set aside for 10 minutes)

Well, next time you refresh your starter, you know what you need to do with your discard. Move over sourdough pancakes!



This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017




9 thoughts on “Sourdough chocolate cake

  1. Sourdough chocolate cake looks absolutely incredible Nandhini, am yet to make sourdough starter at home. Everytime i want to start with it, i do hesitate coz of discarding and refreshing stuffs. Hope a day i will get start with sourdough starter..

  2. Awesome Nandini, though sourdough sounds too complex for my schedule right now, I a drooling over your cake and the modification you have done to the recipe, makes it almost a new improvised one. Coming to the story telling sessions, I used to have this when my boys were younger you said, they have never ending questions and it used to be so hard to answer them..wish I too had something like this to distract HOW thankful I am that they crossed that story asking stage, now their father tells them our mythological stories and he is a great story teller, so we have a wonderful session..:)

  3. Sourdough is something that scares me, I don’t want to even try it in the near future… hehe… but now I am thinking, why not if I get to make this delicious looking chocolate cake! I love reading through your post… got me giggling… My elder one has grown up that phase and is now in the “I-think-I-know-all” phase of having finished ten years, while my younger one wants to know each and everything. Any new thing, “so and so means?” is the standard question, and sometimes it is tough to keep them quiet… hehe…

  4. Nandini , I was so much like you when I was younger , I too told lot of stories and even acted out , but now .. can’t remember any stories ! And that cake looks absolutely moist and delicious .

  5. Sourdough and chocolate. Now I must seek out ur address to visit and bake this cake together ! the questions never seem to end right ? I had a few blooper moments with our mythology sessions with the kids, now I give the little one Amar Chitra Katha to spin out her own story :p

  6. Story telling sessions are handled by my hubby, he has more patience for all this and also he is more into theatricalities needed for story telling, i m more of a moron;)
    Chocolate cake is awesome, sourdough is an alien languge for me, i m so living under the rock wrt sourdough science, hoping to learn someday!

  7. That is a rich and decadent looking chocolate cake. Love the addition of sourdough starter in there. Will definitely try it out soon.
    I always use food to side track my kids and it works ALL the time 🙂

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