I love food, but let’s be honest, there are things that I don’t like to eat (or drink for that matter) that much. One of these is tea…I just can’t take tea. I don’t like the smell and I don’t like to prepare it. I do sometimes for J if that counts for something. I know that you will forgive me for this one small thing anyway! Another pet-hate of mine is raisins. Yes I know…I know…how can I not like raisins?! Believe me I would change this if I would! I bake with them often though, because they are a must-have in a lot of cakes and so on, and they’re so Christmassy too! So I do have a little taste every now and again.
Now I must tell you that this year I’ve decided to approach Christmas food in a different way. I did not make a Christmas cake because it takes us until July to eat it all, and frankly, Summer is no season for a cake that rich! Secondly we’re only two people at home so I don’t want to end up with loads of leftovers in the fridge. But we might have some friends over for the holidays so I don’t want to skimp either. After one of the joys of Christmas is being able to feed people and prepare a feast, even on a budget. I’ve already tried all my recipes so I feel prepared and I am so looking forward to this year’s festivities.
Recently I’ve come across a recipe from Nigella’s HTBADG for a Coca Cola Cake. Please don’t be frightened and don’t panic because there’s absolutely no reason to! You don’t need much and it’s there for a reason: it makes your chocolate cake so moist and wonderful that you won’t want to look back and do it any other way. I promise! It’s quick and easy to prepare as always and it’s a great bake for this period of the year, when it’s likely to have people visiting at short notice. (I love having people over; if I were still in Malta I think I would set up camp in my kitchen!) Storing this cake in foil in a cool place will keep it beautifully moist and fresh for around three to five days. But you can forget about that because it’ll be gone by two! Enjoy and tell me what you think if you do try it.
Things you will need for the cake:
- 23cm Springform round cake tin, lined with kitchen foil, then greased.
- 200g plain flour
- 250g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 large egg
- 30g yoghurt mixed w/ 100ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 175ml Coca Cola (Please – not diet!)
Ingredients for the icing (optional but hey it is Christmas!):
- 225g icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 x 15ml tablespoons Coca Cola
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4, and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf. In the meantime prepare the cake tin by lining it with kitchen foil and grease it will a some butter so nothing sticks. You can use this foil to store the cake in, away from anyone who might want to eat it all!
- Take a large bowl. Put in the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and mix. In a measuring jug beat in the egg, yoghurt, milk and vanilla extract. Grab a saucepan, put it on gentle heat, and melt the softened butter, cocoa powder and Coca Cola. Pour this cola mixture in the dry ingredients, mix well with a wooden spoon or a whisk. Then pour in the ingredients from the measuring jug. Combine everything well and pour the batter into the cake tin.
- Place the tin on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for approximately 40 mins till a skewer or a knife comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for around 20 minutes in its tin, and in the meantime prepare the icing.
- In a small saucepan place the butter, Cola, and stir on a gentle heat till the butter has completely melted. In a small bowl, sieve the icing sugar. When the butter has melted, switch the heat off and remove the pan onto your kitchen surface and add the vanilla. Gradually spoon the icing sugar into the saucepan beating well as you go along. You should end up with a spreadable icing which will still be a bit runny. So don’t worry.
Pour this icing while the cake is still warm. It will melt slightly but it adds to the gooey yummy-ness of this cake.
If you want to turn it up a notch, bake two cakes, spread some of that yummy hazelnut spread in between the two, sandwich them together and ice as usual!