Pesto-Basil Chocolate Cake with a Parmesan Sour Cream Icing

At work we have an Iron Chef Challenge once a month where a group of people cook off and have their dishes judged by a panel of fellow employees. This month’s secret ingredient is…. PESTO! Right away I knew I didn’t want to do something traditional with pesto, so I ventured off to what I know best: Dessert. I made a Basil Chocolate Cake with a Parmesan Sour Cream Cheese Icing and topped it off with some pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese. This is also one of the best things I’ve ever eaten – SERIOUS FOODGASM.

So let’s get to the recipe for the Basil Chocolate Cake. I also have to give thanks to Enlightened Cooking for such a good base recipe!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup hot water

In a food processor, combine the sugar and basil leaves and blend until a smooth paste develops (will be slightly watery). Then beat together the sugar-basil mixture, cocoa powder and the melted butter. Add in one egg at a time. Add in your baking soda, vanilla and salt. Mix until blended and gradually add in the flour and finish with the hot water.

Pour the cake batter into a 350°F oven and bake for 22-25 mins or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Once baked, let cool then cut into individual servings for icing.

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 7 tablespoon reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate chips (melted and cooled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Combine the sour cream and melted chocolate and slowly add in all ingredients until completely blended. Using a flat icing knife ice onto each individual piece of cake. Top each cake with grated parmesan cake, pine nuts and a basil leaf for garnish.
Enjoy! I LOVED this dessert & I hope you do too!


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