So I offered to bake a cake for a friend’s 50th birthday. I have a favorite double layer chocolate one that my friend Bridget gave to me. It uses Lindt chocolate as well as Nomu cacao. Both forms of chocolate are truly wonderful and can only help boost the flavours of this slightly unorthodox cake.
I say it is unorthodox because it uses one of my least favorite ingredients in the entire world. Ask my children how I rage about “COKE”! Yup…I am using up leftover coke from the back fridge that has gone flat! I also decided to hunt through the fridge to see what I could possibly add as a flavor for the cake’s center. I spied a box of slightly moldy strawberries that none of my family members would ever consider eating so I re-purposed those berries into a strawberry jam or in this case coulis!
As a final touch, to make this chocolate sensation even more exciting, I made it into a money cake. My friend Iqbal is a global business traveler so I decided that coins, wrapped in foil and hidden in the cake would be appropriate for his stature. I was right! The cake was gobbled up by children and adults with the children searching like pirates for the hidden treasures.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- 3 eggs – room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 2 ½ cups flour, sifted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups flat, room temperature Coke
- ½ cup dark chocolate, melted
- ½ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup flat coke
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup strawberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the Cake:
- Lightly grease two round (20cm) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Pre-heat oven to 180C (375F)
- Using hand held mixer or a paddle mixer, mix sugar and water together.
- Add eggs and vanilla and combine well.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until well combined. It will be very thick and dry.
- Pour over coke and mix on low speed for 3 minutes, until a smooth mixture is obtained.
- Divide batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and cook on the middle rack in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Tested must come out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool before removing from pans and frosting.
For the Frosting
- Melt chocolate and butter together over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Stir in cocoa and vanilla until well combined.
- Slowly incorporate the icing sugar while being sure to scrape down the sides.
- Then add coke.
- With the electric beaters, whip the mixture at high speed until the icing feels slightly light and fluffy. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the correct consistency is achieved.
- Remember it is easier to add an ingredient then remove one so add water slowly
- Place strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small pan and bring mixture to a boil until reduced and thickened
To Frost the Cake:
- Place the first cake on a platter, top side down so that you can remove the paper.
- If you are making a money cake, it is at this time that you add the coins that have been wrapped in foil.
- Push each coin into the cake making sure that they are properly spread out so that each slice has a coin surprise.
- Spread the strawberry coulis over the base of the cake and place the second cake on top of the first. This is a little trickier since the bottom of the cake needs to be on the strawberry coulis the parchment paper needs to be removed prior to placing the cake on the other one.
- Once the two cakes are on top of each other, start icing the cake with the sides, finishing with the tops.
- Decorate the cake with anything you want. I decided to use up the berries and chocolate sliver candies that I found in my cupboard.