sour cream


Sour cream. It has many uses: dips, baked potatoes, dips, chili topping, dips, …

It’s wrong, I know, but the flavor image that pops into my head is Lipton Onion Soup mix and sour cream. And, of course, I always double the amount of soup mix so that the dip literally burns your tongue. What could be better?

That ability of sour cream to offer cool, tangy flavor is, in fact, very versatile. The curt tang can be a perfect contrast to something that is “too” sweet. “Too” sweet? Yes, it’s possible. Some rich brownie recipes are so intense with chocolate and sugar that it’s hard to eat more than one. Even for a chocoholic, approaching-diabetic like me.

Here is the solution: a Sour Cream Icing that is made with chocolate and becomes the perfect, muting crown for brownies, cakes, or cupcakes.

You’ll want to let your sour cream come fully to room temperature. If it is still cold and is added to the melted chocolate, the chocolate will seize and you are dead. You can’t reheat the mixture. Sour cream does not reheat well. So, just plan ahead and you’ll be able to enjoy every bite of this distinctive icing.

Sour Cream Icing

Yield: about 1 ½ cups


  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 8 ounces sour cream (regular, low-fat, or fat-free) at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Stir constantly until half the chocolate is melted. Remove the top of double boiler from the pot, then continue stirring, off from the heat, until the chocolate is completely melted.

Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave, too. Again, keep in the microwave until only about half is melted, then remove and stir with a spoon until completed mixed and melted.

[Nothing, nothing is sadder than chocolate microwaved until it scorches. You kitchen will smell like it’s been on fire and the glass bowl will be so much fun to clean. That burnt chocolate almost becomes a mortar. Always under heat!]

Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat them into the chocolate with an electric mixer on low speed. Continue beating until the frosting can hold a peak when molded with a spoon, about 4 minutes. Spread immediately.

You can use your stand mixer for this, but here’s a case where one of those little, hand-held mixers is much easier to use and maneuver.

Source: The Ultimate Brownie Book by Bruce Weinstein