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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Vanilla Yoghurt Cake

Yoghurt cake is a traditional French bake which uses usually a plain natural yoghurt, but really anything in the fridge can do! and it is so easy to prepare: no scales nor standing mixer! As you will see later, it can also be baked in whatever tin you own! The only must: a yoghurt!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 vanilla yoghurt pots
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • sugar
  • flour
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • 50g melted butter
  • 1½ tsp baking powder (1 sachet)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease&flour your chosen tin: the first time I used a kouglehof tin (like a bundt but deeper, from Alsace) and sprinkled some chocolate chips at the bottom. The 2nd time, I went for a basic 8″/20cm round tin

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  • Pour both yoghurt pots in a large bowl. Wash one of the pots as it will be used as a measuring cup! that easy!

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  • Add egg yolks and mix

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such beautiful deep colour when it comes from my own chickens!

  • Add 1 pot of sugar and mix (and up to ½ pot more if plain yoghurt used): I chose vanilla sugar
  • Add 3 pots of flour: plain if that’s all you have, but I mixed it myself with 2 plain + 1 cornflour first time and 2 plain + 1 rice flour second time. Mix well and add ground vanilla

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  • Mix in the melted butter (you could use ½ pot of oil if easier or preferred, but I never use oil in my cakes as I can taste it….)
  • Add the baking powder
  • Whip up your egg whites

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  • Gently fold in

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  • You should get a very smooth batter

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  • Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 35 to 40mn, until firm to the touch

On my second go, upon request from a neighbour, I used pearl sugar

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was worried about using brown rice flour but still got a beautiful rise!

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Nutella Rock Drops Cookies

Yep, the apron is back on! What better way to start but with our favourite chocolate spread? This is my second time of making these in two days, they are soooo easy and it answers the question: convert or not convert (into grams)? The first time I did, only because my cup doesn’t fit in my flour tin and I didn’t want to make more washing for myself… This time, I didn’t….

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼cup oats
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla
  • 90g cold butter, diced
  • splash of vanilla extract *optional
  • ½ to 1 cup of nutella

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 190°C/170°fan/ Gas 5 and prepare a large baking sheet, greased and lined
  • I put buttermilk at the top of my list because: 1)In the UK, I never had any 2) It simply isn’t sold in France. So it has to be made first to be ready when required. Add 1 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice to 250ml of milk. Do not stir.

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  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, soda, salt and ground vanilla.

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  • Cut the butter in and mix it in with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
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OK, I use gloves, I hate when it goes in my nails…

  • Add the buttermilk and mix with a spatula until just combined and no more. Add the vanilla extract if used.

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  • With a knife, swirl the Nutella into the dough: first time I didn’t measure but this time I did. The boys liked them more with a “heavy hand in the jar”…

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  • Scoop the dough onto the prepared sheet. Makes 15 to 18 rocks

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  • Bake for 15 to 18mn, until golden brown

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And the answer? don’t convert, an extra bowl to wash won’t make that much difference. They came out exactly as I wanted in the first place, even if the boys asked for “more Nutella”. The first time, when I used a converter and measured all the ingredients, I found that it made for a wetter dough which spread out whilst baking and ended up with slightly burnt edges…

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Kaki (Persimmon) & Cinnamon Crumble Cake

Kaki fruits are in full season and can be of an acquired taste. They are delicious on their own, eaten as an apple, or transformed into a very tasty cake as you will soon discover!

 

 

Ingredients:

Kaki filling:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 45g dark brown sugar
  • 4 Kakis peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh if you can (unlike me!)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 60ml water

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For the batter:

  • 110g soft butter
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 525g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 375ml buttermilk (if unavailable, make your own adding 3 tsp white wine vinegar to skimmed or semi milk)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract

For the crumbs topping:

  • 55g butter
  • 75g flour
  • 75g light brown or vanilla sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground vanilla

Preparation:

  1. Fruit filling:
  • Melt the butter in a medium size pan and add the brown sugar
  • Add the chopped fruits and lemon juice and cook, stirring for 2 to 3mn
  • In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water
  • Add to the pan and cook a further 2mn until thick
  • Leave to cool down completely

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2. Cake batter:

  • Start by making up the buttermilk if you haven’t got any
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a 23cm/ 9″ round or square cake tin
  • In the mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy
  • Add one egg at a time, beating well each time

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  • In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon

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  • Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk and cinnamon extract to the egg mixture and beat until well incorporated

3. Crumble:

  • In a mixing bowl (use the flour one and save on washing!) combine the butter, flour, sugar and ground vanilla using your fingers until you get fine crumbs

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4. Assembly:

  • Spread half of the batter in the prepared cake tin
  • cover with the fruit filling
  • Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter, as much apart as you can

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  • Sprinkle the crumble over evenly

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  • Bake in the oven for 50to 55mn, until golden brown and skewer comes out clean

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  • Leave to cool slightly and serve warm with custard or ice cream…. although cold the next day was just as nice! If it lasts that long…. 😉

 

 

Ma Vanille!

C’est une de mes épices préférées et je l’utilise beaucoup dans mes gâteaux…  Je l’ai sous deux formes:

  • Vanille Moulue:

ground vanilla   obtenue en moulant des gousses de vanille, elle peut être utilisée à la place ou avec (moi: toujours avec!) de l’extrait de vanille. Parfaite pour toutes vos créations culinaires, elle s’adapte mieux mélangées dans de la crème ou du beurre… Attention, elle ne peut pas être dissoute dans du liquide car elle n’est pas soluble!

Voici la mienne: 018   http://lafarandolepicee.wordpress.com/

  • Extrait de Vanille: à mon avis le meilleur, sans aucun doute, pour une saveur beaucoup plus complète et plus riche. Je fais en fait mon propre extrait de vanille après avoir découvert la possibilité dans un de mes livres ( américain celui-là).

023   J’ai placé la bouteille dans la lumière pour la photo mais je la garde toujours à l’abri: mettre 2 ou 3 gousses de bonne qualité dans une bouteille opaque et la remplir d’un alcool blanc (clair comme la vodka ou le gin, j’utilise de l’alcool de fruit). C’est maintenant que l’attente commence: à l’ombre pour 4 à 6 semaines et à secouer de temps en temps…. Après ce délai, il vous suffit juste de remplir la bouteille après chaque utilisation…

 

All about Vanilla

By now, you might have noticed a recurrent spice in my baking: Vanilla, I just love it! I use it in 2 forms:

  •  Pure Ground Vanilla: not to be confused with Vanilla powder (which has added sugar, etc) it is made by grinding pure vanilla pods.

ground vanilla                                                                                                                                       It can be used in combination or as a substitute to vanilla extract. Great for all your baking, it is best when used or folded into cream or butter. Can also be used to flavour your ice cream! Beware, it will not dissolve as it isn’t water soluble.

This is mine: 018    http://lafarandolepicee.wordpress.com/

 

  • Vanilla Extract: for a much fuller and richer flavour rather than plain essence… I actually make my own, after reading the how to in one my baking books, that one from the USA…

023   I had to position the bottle in direct sunlight so you could see the pods inside but the bottle has to be quite opaque for better results: drop 2 or 3 really good vanilla pods in you bottle and fill it up with a clear alcohol. In the UK, I used vodka but after a recent accident I had to start from scratch and in France I bought a fruit alcohol. I added a tablespoon of ground vanilla (not in my “recipe”). You must leave it in the dark for a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks ( I know, such a long time!!!) but shake it from time to time…. After that, I top it up whenever I use it and always store away from sunlight….