Coca~Cola Cake

I was in Atlanta recently, where Coca~Cola has its headquarters. Needless to say that it is everywhere and used for anything so why not a cake? The old fashioned southern recipe from Georgia requires “full fat” coke, the locals might even say “is there anything else?” and I did comply…. I haven’t bought that version in soooo many years! And a lot of sugar, that’s where I drew the line, I just couldn’t put the amount stated…. a healthier version it is and it tasted wonderful! It also came right on cue for another birthday treat: I didn’t fancy making anything complicated, organising the party is tiring enough. The cake is actually best done the day before, so the icing can sip into the cake overnight…

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Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 225g/ 8oz butter (it can be half flavourless oil)
  • 50g/ 2oz cocoa powder
  • 250ml Coca~Cola
  • 255g/ 9oz flour
  • 255g/ 9oz sugar, only! I would even reduce that next time to 200…. {original: 350g}
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • sprinkle of ground vanilla *optional
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Coca~Cola frosting (what did you expect?)

  • 115g butter
  • 80ml Coca~Cola
  • 25g/ 1oz cocoa powder
  • 280g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp of coke extract ( if not available, use vanilla)

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Preparation:

The cake:

  • Prepare a rectangular 33x23cm/ 13×9″ baking tin with butter and flour or greaseproof paper
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My brownie pan was not deep enough as slightly smaller, it needs to be at least 5cm/ 2″

  • As usual, I need to address the lack of buttermilk in France first: add a tsp lemon juice to 125ml of semi or full fat milk, at room temperature and leave for 10mn
  • In a pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa, stirring constantly, then the coke
  • Bring to the boil and whisk for 5mn then set aside

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  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, the baking soda and the salt. Whisk in the sugar ( I used dark brown) and the ground vanilla if used

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  • Gradually, mix in the coke mixture

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  • To the buttermilk add both eggs and vanilla extract and stir into the batter in 3 or 4 batches until well combined

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  • For the purists: at this stage in Atlanta, one adds 2 cups of mini marshmallows to the batter, which disappears in the baking… I had 1 cup in my pantry so I did…

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  • Pour the batter in the tin and bake for 30 to 40mn (should have been 30mn but it took longer so check your oven) until your testing needle comes out clean

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The Frosting:

Cannot be done whilst waiting but once you take cake out of the oven….

  • Sift the icing sugar in a bowl
  • Melt butter in a pan over medium heat then add cocoa and coke. Stirring constantly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add extract if used
  • Add to the icing sugar, whisking until smooth and glossy

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  • Pour all over the cake, filling all the gaps but never using a spatula, if you want to keep the shine
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I cut the top of my cake as I needed it to be flat for my birthday icing topper

  • Let it cool overnight, in a sealed container or can be kept longer in the fridge but it won’t last that long!

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*** On a personal note: the coke flavour is particularly stronger in the frosting and it tasted very sweet. The cake is definitely a keeper as it rose so well, is a bit different than the usual chocolate cake and benefits from being done the day before to allow the flavour to develop…. Next time, I would probably ice it with my usual chocolate buttercream or ganache!

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Chocolate & Pear Sponge Cake

It’s been a while but Christmas did what it does best, piling on the pounds, a couple at least, so I thought it best to stay away from baking for a bit…. I actually baked this cake a while back and simply forgot to post it! Pears compliment really well chocolate and it adds a healthy touch… My baking apron is back on!

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Ingredients:

  • 175g softened butter
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp espresso powder *optional
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp room temperature milk
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a 23cm/ 9″ round loose-bottomed cake tin, greased and lined
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Gradually, add the eggs to the mixture, beating well after each addition. Don’t worry if it starts to look a little curdled.

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  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, coca powder, espresso powder if used and salt.
  • Fold the dry ingredients gently into the creamed mixture until well combined.
  • Stir in the milk and pour the mixture into your cake tin. Level the surface.

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  • Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter.

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  • Bake in the oven for about 1 hour until the cake is just firm to the touch and the sides have started to shrink from the side.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10mn before transferring to a wire rack.

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No Fail Chocolate cake

This is the recipe I go back to time and time again basically because it is easy, full of flavour and very light in the mouth. When I have my hands full with those more and more complicated birthday cakes, this chocolate cake never fails me to get ahead with no worry and it keeps very well!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 200g/ 7oz sugar
  • 90ml/3fl oz milk, room temperature
  • 250g/9oz soften butter
  • 250g/9oz white self raising flour
  • 60g/2oz cocoa powder
  • 1½tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp good espresso or coffee powder *optional but it brings out the chocolate flavour

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a 23cm/ 9″ round or square cake tin
  • Beat the eggs and add the sugar, mixing until light and fluffy

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  • Add the milk and make sure it is well incorporated
  • I change to my paddle attachment and chop the butter into the mixture

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  • In a bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and coffee
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and beat really well till soft and larger in volume. It does take a few minutes hence the mixer!

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  • Spoon into the prepared tin (I sprinkled chocolate chips because I didn’t want to ice it later) and bake for 55 to 60mn, until dark, slightly firm and the sides shrink from the tin

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  • Leave in the tin to cool completely then dust with icing sugar or top with a simple chocolate buttercream

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Biscuits aux pépites de chocolat et flocons d’avoine

Omettez les pépites de chocolat pour une version plus saine ou substituez à votre goût!

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Ingrédients:

  • 160g farine fluide
  • 100g flocons d’avoine
  • 3/4 c. à c. levure chimique
  • 1/2 c. à c. bicarbonate de soude
  • 1/2 c. à c. sel
  • 100g sucre
  • 35g cassonade (ou sucre brun)
  • 50g beurre doux et mou
  • 1 c. à s. généreuse de compote de pomme (sans sucre, ce rajout me permet de réduire la quantité de beurre)
  • 1 1/2 c. à c. d’extrait de vanille
  • 1 gros œuf
  • 50g pépites de chocolat (ou autres)

Préparation:

  • Préchauffer le four à 180C/ 160Fan/ Gaz 4
  • Mélanger la farine avec les 4 ingrédients suivant dans un bol
  • Dans un bol plus grand, amalgamer d’abord la pomme et le beurre puis y ajouter les sucres et battre jusqu’à l’obtention d’un mélange crémeux
  • Continuer de battre en ajoutant l’œuf et la vanille
  • Peu à peu, verser le mélange de farine en battant à petite vitesse ou à la main
  • Incorporer les pépites
  • A l’aide d’une cuillère (j’utilise mes cuillères à glace) déposer la pâte sur une plaque préalablement préparée (parchemin) : 24 (plus ou moins) sur 2 plaques, une pour le four et l’autre au congélateur, telle quelle.
  • Enfourner 10 à 12mn et sortir dès que les bords brunissent. Laisser refroidir 2mn puis transferer sur une grille de refroidissement
     

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Notes:

  1. Aujourd’hui, j’ai voulu expérimenter en ajoutant du cacao en poudre (de pâtisserie): j’ai donc réduit ma quantité de farine dans le mélange initial de 10g et divisé le tout en 1 tier/ 2 tiers. Dans le premier tier, j’ai mélangé 1 petite c. à s. de cacao et dans le deuxième 1 cuillère de farine
  2. J’essaye de réduire à chaque fois la quantité de sucre. Cette fois-ci, la balance était parfaite dans les cookies au chocolat (peut être dû au goût amer du cacao) alors que j’ai trouvé ceux à la vanille encore trop sucrés. A vous de juger!

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Chocolate Chips Oats Cookies

Only simple wholesome ingredients needed here   002  as you can see. I always use reduced fat butter, that’s the one that seems to work best for me, I even make my own Vanilla extract, which I will introduce into this blog at a later date, never fear! These are a favourite of my boys, they call them “the healthy cookies” but today I thought I would add some cocoa powder in the mix….

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Ingredients:

  • 150g plain flour (+1 tbsp for later)
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g white sugar
  • 35g brown sugar
  • 50g soft butter
  • 1 tbsp apple puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 scant tbsp cocoa powder
  • 50g chocolate chips (or cranberries, or raisins, or you favourite chopped nuts, possibilities are endless!)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180C/ 160fan/ Gas 4
  • In a bowl, mix the flour (150g) with the next 4 ingredients
  • In another large bowl, mix the apple puree (used to reduce the amount of butter) with the butter then cream together with the sugars
  • Add the vanilla and the egg and beat until well blended
  • Gradually, add the flour mixture, mixing at low speed or by hand until just combined
  • Stir in the chocolate chips
  • I divided the mixture into 1/3 in which I added the cocoa powder slowly ( to taste, I don’t like it too strong) and 2/3 in which went the last of the flour

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  • Spoon or scoop ( I love my ice creams scoopers! perfect for the job!) the dough on prepared baking trays, you should have enough for 2 trays: 1, well spaced, goes straight into the oven and the over in the freezer, ready for those emergencies!

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  • Bake for 10 to 12mn until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Let them cool for 2mn then transfer onto a cooling rack

Notes:

  1. I have made these several times and reduced the sugar amounts each time: today, the chocolate ones were fantastic and it might be due to the bitterness of the cocoa, perfect balance. Whereas the plain vanilla ones still tasted too sweet to my palate… to be continued….
  2. They can come out differently, sometimes like today, other times a little more flat but they still taste the same, YummY!!!

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