Milk vs. sour cream
Can someone please explain the difference / end result / benefits of using one over the other
Sour cream adds fat content to your cake, and can make a cake very tender. Since it is slightly acidic, it can help react with the baking power, and make a lighter cake. If you already have quite a bit butter in your cake, the cake could get a little too delicate. I've made a butter cookie recipe with sour cream, and it was very, very tender and light.
Milk is also great, and makes a tender cake, and milk can replace water one to one in most baking recipes.
One issue is cost: sour cream is more expensive than milk (at least where I am).
Hope this helps!
thanks, so one more question then, what is the best sour cream? I was making a chocolate recipe and it was turning out dry at times then I realized those were the times I was using a generic brand.
Using Buttermilk or milk soured with some vinegar has the same effect, I always use the latter
I use sour cream in whatever brand is available. I've not noticed a difference in the brands.
The whole-fat version of sour cream adds more tenderness to a cake (fat=tenderness=calories).
If you use milk and vinegar that allows some tenderness, but will not boost the fat content as much. A T of sour cream has nearly as many calories as a cup of skim milk.
To save calories, use milk (or water), but, if you're wanting smaller slices anyway, sour cream can help make a cake moister, more tender, etc. It is all a balance between fats, sugars, and leavening at the molecular level.
At a certain point, too much fat will cause a cake to fall apart.
Hope this helps!