Cola, you say? …How much Cola? 0_o

COOKING ADVENTURE # 53: Chocolate Cola Cake with Chocolate Cola Glaze

Chocolate Cola Cake

It’s the new year and one of my resolutions was to get back on a weekly exercising program to help boost my energy as well as to eat healthier… particularly more “green vegetables”. Old habits die hard. I tossed the resolution over my shoulder when I found this delicious recipe for a traditional Southern dessert, Chocolate Cola Cake. I’d heard of it before but it had always seemed like it would be lots of work which is why I never gave it a try… until now. I got pumped to make this. I was very excited. And yet, when I started telling people about it, I was met with reservation at almost every turn. Chocolate wasn’t the problem; it was the Coca Cola. A co-worker looked at me, his eyes slightly more rounded and asked “how much cola is in it?” as if too much would burn a hole through their stomach. I began to worry that the combination of chocolate and cola wouldn’t mesh well together. I began to doubt…

It seems as though in the last few months, I’ve been making a lot of cakes. Why? Because there is always something to celebrate? Perhaps. I just think that cake makes people happy and brings people together in good ways. But I also like experimenting with it. This particular recipe uses 2 cups of sugar in addition to the cola that’s added. Granted there’s enough sugar in cola  to make a diabetic person’s heart seize up, but in addition, I wondered what how the carbonated beverage would do being added to the other ingredients. There was only one way to find out. I found the original recipe on Pinterest. You can find the original site by clicking here.

The first step was to pull out the giant glass mixing bowl and dump the dry ingredients into it. 2 cups of flour, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon were combined. As with every recipe that includes flour, I managed to get flour all over the place. Don’t ask me how this happens… I’m just not careful enough, I suppose. Then I have to get into cleaning it up and possibly making contact with it which doesn’t always work well for me. Once everything was mixed up, I turned to look at the other directions.

Because I’m so skilled at attempting these recipes when I have little or no time to do so, I realized that I wasn’t going to have time to finish it that particular night as I had to be elsewhere in an hour. I placed the dried mix in the fridge with the promise of returning to it later that night… which didn’t happen. The next night, I removed it from the fridge and commenced with the wet portion of the mix. In a saucepan on the stove, I put 1 cup of butter to melt. For those of you who don’t want to delude yourselves into believing that this is a small amount, it’s really 2 sticks of butter. Yeah, let me guess: you feel gross after reading that, don’t you? Well, did I not warn you by mentioning that this is a traditional Southern recipe? Told you so.

In addition to the 2 STICKS OF BUTTER, I also added 1/4 cup unsweetened Hershey’s cocoa powder and 1 cup of Coca Cola. The cola fizzed and I immediately prepared myself for the possibility of a volcano happening right there on my stove. Thankfully, the cola boiled down quite a bit, turning the mixture a rusty brown color as I continued to stir everything together. The last item to add was buttermilk. Oh, sure. I’m going to have buttermilk on hand. I don’t even know where you GET buttermilk around here. I found a substitute recipe saying to mix milk with lemon juice and did this. Of course, the lemon spit some seeds into the pot which I then had to fish out with a spoon. Then, I stirred as I let everything come to a boil. The moment I turned up the heat, the pot started to boil. I took it off the heat and let it cool for a moment before adding it to the dried ingredients.

As I whisked everything together, I got the terrible feeling that I was going to end up with more liquid than dry mix and that it wouldn’t actually set when baked. I was over-worrying but if you had been there when I did my pineapple upside-down cake last year and it splattered from not being cooked enough, you’d have the same fears, too. From here, I added the required two eggs and tsp. of vanilla and finished stirring everything together with my trusty whisk. Now, it was time for the moment of truth. I grabbed my giant 13 x 9 stoneware baking pan and set it on the stove top with a CLANG! Into it, I poured the cake mix. And at a balmy 350 temperature, I slid the pan into the oven to cook for 30 minutes.

When the cake eventually came out of the oven, I cautiously checked it with a toothpick, making sure to press it all the way through several different points of the cake. I found that the middle hadn’t quite cooked and slid the pan back in for another ten minutes. One of the reasons that my pineapple upside-down cake didn’t make it last year is because I hadn’t pushed the toothpick all the way into it to check the center. I was glad I’d done so here, lest I end up with another messy disaster. When the cake came out again, it was fully cooked and ready for glorious consumption!

I’d already had it in my head that I’d be bringing in a small square of the cake to work to show those employees who had freaked out about the cola that it wasn’t that bad at all. I’d tried a piece the night before. There wasn’t anything in the cake that remotely even tasted of cola. There was definitely a different flavor to it… but it didn’t taste like soda to me. The cake had also come out extremely moist. And of course, it’s chocolate. I couldn’t resist trying my own creation within minutes of it leaving the oven. Mmm-mmm good!

There was an additional step to this recipe which I decided against better judgment to do in the morning before going to work: making the chocolate cola sauce. The recipe is almost the same as it was for the liquid part of the cake batter. In a stovetop pot, I mixed yet ANOTHER STICK OF BUTTER (that’s 3 now…), 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup cola. This took much less time to boil and when it was done, the kitchen smelled like sweet cola. I dribbled a little over the cake that I was taking into work before going on my merry way. I left the casserole dish with the cake on the table with a little note telling my co-workers to “indulge.” When I returned to the break room that evening around 4:30 or so, the dish was empty, only streaks of chocolate sauce as evidence that there had once been something there. The sauce is nice because it’s actually not sickly sweet as I’d expected it to be. It has a more bitter flavor to it which contrasts the sweetness in the cake nicely. I added a couple of blueberries to mine just for some added flavor. All in all, I have a feeling this would be a good cake to keep in mind for parties in the future…

Next week on Cooking Adventures, we’ll be making a sweet and sour Spanish Lemon Sorbet and Fresh Cream Choux Pastries! Stay tuned!



4 thoughts on “Cola, you say? …How much Cola? 0_o

  1. Pingback: Nellie Woodens Dump Cake | familyrecipebooks

  2. do you have the cola cake recipe on your site anywhere where it is just the recipe and not your wonderful story along with it. i would love to try your recipe. thank you patricia

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