Coca-Cola Cupcakes

I know it sounds weird but they are amazing. From my favourite book, Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess, these cupcakes can be made into a whole cake instead and either way it is an incredible chocolate cake unlike anything you have ever tasted before!

1 1/3 cups plain flour

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1/3 cup coca-cola or coke zero

Icing

1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons coca-cola

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 180’C and put a baking sheet into the oven. Place 12 cupcake lines into a 12 hole cupcake tin. Have some spare in case you need more. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring jug. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and coca-cola, heating gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well, then add the liquid ingredients, beating until everything is well blended. Pour into the cupcake liner to about 2/3 full. I got 18 from this mix. Place tray on top of the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven, they are cooked when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Immediately make the icing to pour over the cupcakes. Sift the icing sugar  and set aside. In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine butter, cocoa and coca-cola and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Spoon in the icing sugar beating as you do so, until you’ve got a good spreadable but running icing. Pour over each cupcake while they are still warm. Before the icing sets hard stud the top of each cupcake with a walnut or coke bottle lolly.

I have been afraid of this recipe since I received this book for Christmas last year. Something about adding soft drink to a cake didn’t sit quite right with me. As I am not a straight coke drinker I substituted coke zero for the regular coke and it worked out perfectly. I rack my brains every time a special friend’s birthday comes around trying to come up with the perfect cake for that person. This year for Daniel’s best friend Jono I was really struggling. I had planned on baking apple pie spring rolls but they required immediate eating so were a no go. After half a day of magazine flicking, flagging, digging and corner folding I resorted to Nigella giving me the cake I was after. This cake, although listed in the children’s section is very much a decadent adult worthy cupcake.

The faint hint of coke and the soft dense crumb of this chocolate cake make it impossible to stop at one. This recipe made 18. One was eaten before it was even iced, to test that they were cooked of course! I took 11 to Jono for his birthday, enough for dessert and one each for him and his girlfriend for morning tea the next day and the remaining 6 were ours to eat and share. They were even better the next day and I gave 2 to people at work to try.

There was nothing difficult about this recipe, I had them baked and iced in the time that it took Daniel to go to the car wash and back. Easy enough to take to a morning tea or afternoon tea and make the same day. They are scrumptious enough for dessert or just as a midday treat. I used silver wrappers but brown or red would work equally as well. The coke bottle lollies can be hard to get a hold of in supermarkets but most if not all lolly stores have them and I managed to pick up a packet of about 50 for $2. Big W also have them but in a much larger packet. I wouldn’t recommend trying this recipe with diet coke but if anyone is game enough to try let me know!

I would make these again any day, maybe the whole cake next time!

 

Love Sonia

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Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Another Nigella masterpiece that makes me look like a domestic goddess. Chocolaty, sweet and delicious, what more could you want from a birthday cake?

 

200g plain flour

200g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarb soda

40g cocoa powder ( I use Dutch processed)

175g unsalted butter

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

150ml sour cream

 

Preheat oven to 180’C, butter and line two 20cm cake tins. Combine flour, baking powder, bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream in a food processor or electric mixer and mix until you have a thick smooth batter. Divide batter between the 2 tins and bake until a skewer inserted comes out clean, this should take between 25 and 35 minutes. Remove the cakes, cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn out onto wire racks.

 

75g unsalted butter

175g chocolate ( I used half milk, half dark)

300g icing sugar

1 tablespoon glucose syrup

125ml sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler, cool a little and add the glucose syrup, followed by the sour cream and vanilla, when this is all combine sift in the icing sugar and whisk together. The icing would be thick, creamy and glossy. Using your serving plate, make a square out of 4 strips of baking paper and place one of the cakes on top. Spoon a third of the icing on top of the cake and spread over the surface of the cake. Sit the other cake on top and press down lightly to sandwich together. Spoon another third of the icing on top of the cake, and swirl. Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing  and leave for a minute until slightly set. Carefully remove paper strips to reveal the clean plate. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

I made this cake for Daniel’s middle brother Justin. I had promised him a cake and chocolate was the request. I looked through my piles of magazines, nothing struck me as worthy, but flicking through my Nigella book, I found it, the cake that would be perfect! 2 chocolate cake layers sandwiched with incredible chocolate icing then covered with more icing, Amazing! I am not normally a fan of chocolate cake, I love chocolate and anything made with chocolate but I am not a fan of things with a chocolate flavour, there has to be real chocolate. This icing does the trick, it combines a relatively basic chocolate cake with a light creamy real chocolate flavour and makes this an impressive cake.

I made this cake in Sydney and took all the things I needed with me, as Daniel hauled it in to the car he was asking if I needed it all, but if I was to create magic away from my own kitchen then I still needed my own things! The cake worked beautifully, it was easy enough to make, I needed Daniel’s help at one point to help combine the chocolate to the rest of the mix because I was making a mess but otherwise it was trouble free. The combination of chocolate and sour cream is a match made in heaven, I have known for a while it works beautifully with white chocolate but had never considered putting it with milk and dark chocolate but I think it will become one of my new favourite combinations!

There was nothing really tricky about this cake, anyone could make it if they had the patience. It does help to have 2 20cm pans but if you had to you could bake one cake and then the other, I just don’t know what would happen to the batter in that time. Nigella describes this cake as having an almost packet cake appeal, perfect to look at, perfect flavour, the recipe is called sour cream chocolate cake and also old fashioned chocolate cake and claims it is the only chocolate cake her daughter will eat. If it’s good enough for Nigella’s family then it is good enough for mine!

Enjoy this cake, guilt free, cut a slab, pull it apart, eat each layer or all mixed together but enjoy it what ever you do because the next chocolate cake you eat will disappoint after this one!

 

Love Sonia