shuna lydon

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« Trick Or Treat? | Main | NaBloPoMo. what is that you say? »

01 November 2006


Very happy to have the recipe. You have inspired me to make cupcakes for the first time in my life.

If you are feeling particularly giving, then I would really LOVE it if you would share your amazing cornmeal cake recipe.

Shuna -- first, thank you for this. Then, a question. Do you think it's possible to sub heavy sweet cream for the sour cream? Will the frosting not emulsify properly if I try it this way? I love sour cream, but have had some family members who did not love sour cream/chocolate frostings I made in the past. In any case, I just want to say mmmmmm...I'm so happy to have this recipe. I'm off to L.A. on a work trip, or I'd make the softly luscious yellow cake and this gorgeous frosting this weekend -- next weekend it is, for sure.

Sergio-- So nice to have you back at Eggbeater. MAYBE one day for the cornmeal cake...but I have to be ready for that-- I do so love that people have to come into Poulet for it!

Julie-- I am sorry to say i can not answer your question, you will just have to try it yourself. The flavour is not overwhelmingly sour cream.

If you do experiment with this change I will make these suggestions:

1. add a little more chocolate to the mix
2. substitute only 1/2 of the requires sour cream with cream. And use the heaviest (= highest buttercream content) cream you can find.

Please do let us all know of your findings! Substitutions are always a little tricky.

Yum. Thank you. In this era of frostings dished out of buckets, this one is refreshing.

Thank you so much for the recipe! I have Very Stressful Exams this weekend and had planned to do nothing on Sunday except _bake something_ (it makes me happy). I am so glad this companion to the Yellow Cake post showed up before then, because I know what _I'll_ be making!

Yum! I have to admit that your recipe writing style is growing on me. At first it seemed awkward, but now I like it, and it obviously makes sense for restaurants, or anyone who continually tweaks amounts (like me)...

Looking forward to the cocoa-sourcream recipe!

Thanks for posting this--I'l definitely give it a try!

I totally get the salt--ying and yang.

I'm curious why you melt the chocolate the old-fashioned way and not in the microwave on medium? (Doing so isn't necessarily fast, but it's less troublesome and there are less pots to wash.)

Also, why sour cream? Why not use creme fraiche (which is rich but less sour)?

I'm dying to know the reason the hot water is in there. What does it do?

I love going to Poulet and picking myself up a slice (it has been a while since I have seen the cake produced however), but the day quickly looms in which doing so would require a plane ticket or a really long drive. Perhaps I can find solace in making it for myself and my fiancee (who, while normally hating cake, enjoys this particular variety).


Thanks for coming by with comments and questions.

I don't use a microwave to melt chocolate mostly because than I can't watch the chocolate melt, which I find keeps it safe.

Also I am using the bowl the chocolate is melted in to add other ingredients to, so really in the end a microwave method would dirty one extra bowl. (The pot that is the bain marie does not get dirty at all.)

I think when all you need is a little chocolate the microwave is great.

The hot water is there to soften the molecules and also to pull them all together. Disclaimer: I say this as a pastry chef and not a scientist. The hot water helps you achieve the sheen, which is indeed lovely.

Creme Fraiche would be a delicious substitute for sour cream yes. The place where I have developed this recipe cannot afford such things and sourcream is a more accessible ingredient for the average home cook/baker.

When I am doing a lot of baking at home I have, on hand: sourcream, buttermilk, cream so that I can have a lot of fun. But creme fraiche is not as easy to find.

I hope this covers it. Feel free to throw all manner of questions eggbeater's way.

Thanks much for the answers, Shuna! I'll try this frosting soon.
ps: I look forward to your daily posts this month. Might you whip up something with persimmons? I'll wait to see...

SWEET doesn't TASTE sweet & rich WITHOUT the SALT... I don't think you're crazy at all.

For the sake of you eggbeater readers, I headed over to Poulet yesterday and sank my greedy teeth into the moist and delicately crumbed yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting. I'm selfless that way. Just in case y'all were hesitant to make these cupcakes, I'll vouch that this recipe (and the previous one for yellow cake) are worth any amount of effort to make. I could've eaten a dozen. Not as sickly sweet as NYC's Magnolia. Plus nice deep chocolate flavor. Only problem is the baker had the day off, so I didn't get a chance to blow her a kiss.


was searching for "moist" yellow cake recipes and was a bit overwhelmed, and so glad I came across this blog. I will definitlely be trying the yellow cake. Thanks so much for sharing. In both the frosting and cake recipe, what do you mean by "here's the long awaited recipe, but not "the" recipe.."?


Hello Audrey,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. In answer to your question-- I say it's not "the" recipe in order to say that it's the recipe I tested and like but that it may not be the ultimate recipe. The one that is The One, you know?

It's a fine point, really. But one I like to make when publishing a recipe. I like to be able to give people the freedom to change it the way thay'd want to and not feel like they can't because it's the King of all recipes.

hi shuna,
i'm going to make these for my roomate's birthday! they look divine! one question: is the corn syrup absolutely necessary? because a) i don't have any and b) it seems kind of evil
thanks for the recipe! johanna


Try it with Agave syrup, your own homemade thick simple syrup, honey or another invert sugar. It's necessary for smooth consistency, pliable-ness. But feel free to try it with something else, omit it altogether--- but can I ask a favor back?

Please come by eggbeater and tell us all what you did so that we can learn from your experimentation. Please?

This is one of the nicest chocolate frostings I have ever made/tasted!

Thank you Shuna for sharing some of your recipes.

hello Michelle,

This is great news! Thank you so so much for stopping by and telling me. Comments like these make me want to share more!

I agree, but of course I'm biased.

well it's a year later and i have just discovered this recipe today. i wanted to dress up a boxed yellow cake and did a search for chocolate frosting. i followed the directions to a T until it came to adding the water - the mixture looked VERY loose so i opted against it. it was almost like a ganache/glaze consistency. luckily my 9 month old son needed attending to because when i came back, the texture of this frosting had firmed up and it's DIVINE. like satin, or silk, and it's delicious! my boxed cake doesn't deserve it :)

Hi Shuna, I'm desperately in search of a good chocolate frosting and can't wait to give yours a try, but I'm wondering what purpose the corn syrup serves in your recipe and what, if anything, I could use as a substitute? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Hello Mari-- Look above you in the comments-- your question has been asked and answered already. ~ Shuna

my wrists!
Well, it will be worth it :)

Hi! I made this frosting this week with 75% dark chocolate from Trader Joe's. I made it in a stand mixer. It was so glossy and had such a lovely texture, I can't imagine how it could be any better--but I'll have to try it in a food processor sometime. Thanks for sharing!

Hi! I made this (in the food processor) with creme fraiche for the middle layer on a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercreme frosting. I ran out of eggs for more buttercreme, and this was the PERFECT complement to the flavors, and a beautiful silky smooth surprise in the middle of the cake. Thanks for sharing this recipe that is sure to become a favorite!

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