Coca Cola Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Tomorrow is the Second Annual No Football Sunday Dinner.  This year the theme is Caribbean, but I couldn’t resist throwing a little of the South in too.  Few things are more Southern than Coca-Cola and buttermilk.  This cake has both. And no, Pepsi will not do.  Not at all.

In most ways this is a pretty standard sheet cake.  Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl; cream the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in another.  Make sure your butter and eggs are both room temperature when you start.  What’s different about this cake is the mixture of Coke and buttermilk.  When you first start to add it to the batter it might freak you out a little.  The batter will look a little curdled, and frankly kind of gross.  Just keep going.  Alternate the Coke mixture with the dry ingredients, starting and ending with the dry.  It will turn out smooth in the end.  Follow the directions closely.  Amounts count in baking.

Two things about this recipe caused me some trouble.  First, it calls for a 9×13 baking dish.  Now, I have 7 clear glass Pyrex baking dishes.  That’s right – seven.  Not a single one of them is a 9×13.  I’m not convinced I’ve ever even seen one that is actually 9×13.  Annoying.  I decided that the 10×15 would make the cake too thin. I used the 8×12 instead.  Just remember if you do that to increase the baking time. The thicker cake will take a little longer.  The second thing is that, like most cake recipes, you have to grease and flour the dish.  I am constitutionally incapable of flouring a cake pan without getting flour all over the counter, floor and sink.  Can’t do it.  Ugh.  But it’s an important step if you plan to get the cake out of the pan without tearing it up.

Now for the ganache.  This is the easiest cake frosting ever.  Just cream and chocolate chips.  And it’s beautiful – shiny and smooth.  Here’s my tip for frosting a cake with ganache:  remove the cake from the pan and put it on parchment paper. Pour the ganache over it, smoothing it down the sides as you go.  If you do it on your cake plate you’ll have a mess for serving it.  I’m hopeful that transferring it to the cake plate will go smoothly.  Or, if you plan to serve the cake right out of the baking dish, take a straw and poke some holes in your cake.  That way the ganache will run down into the cake. 

I recommend serving it with a little fresh whipped cream on the side to balance out all the chocolate!

I’ll let you know tomorrow how it went over with my guests!

Coca Cola Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Combine Coca-Cola and buttermilk; set aside.
Beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar; beat until blended. Add egg and vanilla; beat at low speed until blended.
Combine flour, cocoa, and soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture; begin and end with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended.
Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

1 cup heavy whipping cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring the whipping cream to a simmer. Take off the heat and add the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Whisk the mixture until smooth and creamy. Pour over the cooled cake.

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