BS' in the Kitchen

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Pesto-Basil Chocolate Cake with a Parmesan Sour Cream Icing

December 11th, 2011 · 3 Comments · cake, Dessert, Fresh herbs, Just for Fun

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 350Β°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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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Kat

    Hi BS!
    I wonder why I could never succeed making this Pesto-Basil Chocolate Cake with a Parmesan Sour Cream Icing
    How did you do it? I’ll try again for sure and this time I’ll refer to your recipe as my guide πŸ™‚
    Thanks also for the tempting food photos. Looks like they were made by professional. Have you ever heard about food photography site called ?
    Your pics should be on the Food Porn home page, that’s for sure!

    • bsinthekitchen

      Hi Kat,

      What issues were you having with the cake? My best tip without knowing where you hit your hurdle would be to make sure your pesto is nice and smooth before adding to the cake. Overall, making the cake reminds me of making zucchini chocolate cake. Hopefully I can be of more help once we know the problems you had πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the compliments on the photography! Bob & I have learnt lots about photography through our blog. We do know about Food Porn – great site! πŸ™‚


  • Cindy Mac

    Pesto and chocolate just doesn’t sound like the mesh at all. But after trying this cake, it is sooooooooo goooooood πŸ™‚ It is not super sweet or super savory – just a perfect mix of the 2.

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