Monday, April 07, 2008

Chocolate Coke Cake

Sun 06 April 08

By now, I figure I should be spending pretty much every waking hour studying for the WSET Advanced exam at the end of April. Of course, I'm not. I'm finding plenty of other things to do, and that includes trying out more recipes from James Martin's Desserts.

I was actually going to make the chocolate cola cake for last week's exercise in shed building, but it started earlier than anticipated, so the baking was pushed out.

This is a really easy cake to make, and I think Mr Martin makes it more faffy than need be. But more on that later.

Preheat oven to 160C (fan forced - 180C otherwise).

Melt 250g of unsalted butter with 200mL of Coke (or non-branded cola). In the food processor, put 250g of self raising flour, 300g of golden caster sugar, a pinch of bicarb of soda and two or three heaped tablespoons of cocoa. When the butter has melted, add this mix to the flour and sugar and combine well. Add 2 eggs, 75mL of milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and when well combined pour into a 23cm greased (and preferably base lined) spring form tin, and bake for at least 40 minutes, or until done (in my case, it was actually pushing an hour).

When the cake is cool, ice with a butter frosting: 30g of softened butter, 100g of icing sugar, at least 1 tablespoon of cocoa and enough Coke to combine. You don't want the mix too sloppy - it should be firm, but spreadable. This is actually half the quantity given in the recipe but it was ample to ice the top of the cake.

All straightforward.

So - let's move on to the problems. Firstly (and principally), by melting the butter you end up with a VERY liquid cake batter. And this means that it's inclined to ... escape from your spring form or loose bottomed cake pan. I don't know if heating the Coke does something good for the baking, and I can only assume that melting the butter is suggested to make the work easier if you don't have a food processor. Andy suggested that, perhaps, if you don't have a food processor, you would just buy a cake. Really? Surely you'd just buy a food processor!

The other problem is that I don't think the cake tastes as good as the batter. Maybe I should stop eating so much cake batter, maybe I'm too used to eating cakes laden with chocolate rather than cocoa ... but I was just a little unconvinced by the finished product. To be fair, this doesn't mean it's inedible AND the icing is delicious. The cake also keeps well (it's so moist) and the flavour does seem to mature quite a bit. In addition, in the book Martin adds a sauce made from more Coke, a melted chocolate bar and cream, with some optional marshmallows for good measure!

I'll be making this cake again, because it is quick, easy and tasty. Using the Coke adds a bit of novelty, so it would be fantastic if you ever need to 'take a plate', but it's probably not up there with some of the great cakes you'd use to impress dinner guests. However, next time I won't be melting the butter and Coke and I might be looking for a way to incorporate some real chocolate in addition to the cocoa. I'll make sure I keep you posted!

From James Martin's Desserts I've also made a delicious jalousie.

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Blogger Robert McIntosh said...

Didn't the fact it had Coke in it put you off from the beginning?

When you said, "I was actually going to make the chocolate cola cake for last week's exercise in shed building" I expected you wanted something really solid and stodgy, maybe a good foundation stone?


8:57 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Well, yes, to be honest - but then, it was the sort of odd combination I had to try ... I'm still not sure what the Coke adds to the finished cake.

Although it is quite a dense, fudgy finished product (mmm) I'm not sure it's _quite_ foundation stone material! ;)

11:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, my friend made a coke cake for her birthday party and all her mates were kinda half exited and half dreading it and in the end we didnt even have it coz she didnt want to eat it without lighting the candles and there were none in her house! GREAT

7:27 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Hmm, anonymous ... sounds like you'll need to keep a packet of emergency birthday candles in your coat pocket!! That sounds quite mean of your friend - depriving you of cake!

1:02 pm  

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