Friday, 25 February 2011

Coca-Cola Cake

We all need a friend from the South, a good friend. Someone who can tell us cute anecdotes from the filming of Gone with the Wind (1,400 candidates were interviewed for the role of Scarlett O’Hara), who can say y’all without sounding like a idiot, and who has a treasure box full of rich and mouth-watering recipes. I’m talking recipes so sinful that they would terrify and haunt the low-carb, non-fat, soy-addicted inhabitants of the West Coast. Deep fried okra, lemon meringue pie, skillet cornbread, pecan-peach cobbler, and rosemary catfish, just to mention a few.

It was after lunch, and I was sulking at my desk. I awoke from my depressed slumber when all of a sudden my friend  rushed in to the office. Her ponytail was askew, she was wearing my favourite Terminator t-shirt and carried an oversized baking pan. This could only be good. To my surprise she put the pan down on my desk and whipped out a giant bread knife. “I heard you only got ice cream, so I baked us this cake.” She was right. I had only gotten ice cream.  We were all supposed to get cake on our birthdays, but the management had decided we were too busy to get me a cake this year. Instead I was given a tiny little ice cream. Emphasis on tiny, and not even chocolate flavoured. “The cake is still warm, so the frosting might be a bit runny.” Frosting! Cake! Chocolate cake! I was so happy. Only a true Southern friend would comprehend the importance of getting a birthday cake, and that no miniscule ice cream could ever replace it. I helped myself to a giant piece, and soon my other colleagues were gathered around, longingly awaiting their share. Not only did we love the cake, but we were so very thrilled to have our own secret cake party. I guess there is something to forbidden fruit, or cake for that matter. And the cake, the cake was the famous Cracker Barrel Chocolate Coca Cola Cake.  Never heard of it? Neither had I, but it only took me one bite to make me realize I’d been missing out. Ever since that birthday I have been stuck on this cake like white on rice.

When you feel ready to embrace you inner Southern girl, or boy, follow the recipe below.

Coca Cola Chocolate Cake

Finally a recipe for the metric readers!                                                           

225 g butter
3 tablespoon cocoa
50 g melted dark chocolate
2 dl coca cola (isn’t this fun!)
2 big eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4.5 dl sugar
1 dl buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking powder
4.5 dl flour

100 g butter
50 g melted dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons coca cola
500 g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line a baking pan (approximately 20x30 cm) with baking paper.

Melt butter and chocolate together, then add cocoa and coca cola and give it a good stir. (It might fizz and bubble a bit, just like a magic potion.) Whisk together eggs and vanilla, add sugar and buttermilk. Then you stir inn flour and baking powder. Add all of this to the butter/coca cola mixture and give it a good stir. 
This batter will be on the thin side, it’s not a hefty thing that you have to scrape out of the baking bowl with force and determination. I’m just mentioning it, just in case you feel tempted to add more flour. Don’t.

Pour (with ease and grace) the batter in to the baking pan and bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through, in case you have one of those temperamental ovens that don’t cook things evenly.

When done baking, take it out of the oven, but leave the cake in the pan.

While the cake is baking away, make the frosting.

Melt butter and chocolate over low heat. When melted, add cocoa, coca cola and vanilla. Then you add the icing sugar and stir until its all nice and even.

When the cake has cooled down for perhaps 15-20 minutes, pour the frosting over it while its still in the pan. Most cake recipes require that you cool down the cake first, and then you deal with the frosting and the decorating part. However, by doing it this way the frosting seals in the moisture and ensures that the cake remains, well, moist. In addition this will allow some of the frosting to seep into the cake. Devine.

Put the cake in the fridge until the frosting has firmed up, then its ready to be enjoyed and eaten.  Or, if its an emergency, like it was on my birthday, serve it right away. Just warn your guests that it might get a bit messy.

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