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Food
Cola stirs up a rich, fudgey cake

Thursday, June 27, 2002

By Arlene Burnett, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Earlier this week, we baked a rich, fudge-like chocolate cake with a creamy fudge frosting. The cake calls for "regular" cake ingredients such as marshmallows, cocoa and buttermilk. But there was one ingredient that stood out -- Coca-Cola. Yes, it was another one of those "food fad" cakes. Do you remember Chocolate Beet Cake, Sauerkraut Cake, 7-Up Cake and Better Than Sex Cake?

It's not only our job to test these recipes, but it's also our job to taste the recipes (we liked this cake so much we tasted it again and again), and this time around we hit the jackpot. And we owe it all to Barbara Studnicki of Belle Vernon (who requested the recipe) and Mary Mannella of Penn Hills (who answered the request). Thanks to these readers, we know what we're bringing to the annual Fourth of July picnic.

Coca-Cola Cake

Cake:
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 square semisweet baking chocolate
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Frosting:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup Coca-Cola
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Hershey's Syrup
3 cups powdered sugar

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter, Coke and semisweet baking square in a saucepan. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. Add marshmallows and stir until blended and the marshmallows have disappeared. Set aside to cool.

In another mixing bowl, blend the shortening, oil, vanilla and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and buttermilk and cocoa and beat until smooth. Mix flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to egg mixture and beat well. Scrape bowl from time to time to clean the sides off so ingredients are blended. well. Add cooled Coca-Cola mixture and beat. Add remainder of flour and beat until completely smooth for about 3 to 4 minutes. Batter will be thick.

Pour batter into a 9-by-13-inch greased and floured baking pan. Place on the top shelf of the oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until it tests done.

For the frosting: Cream butter; add cocoa and vanilla, Hershey's syrup and Coca-Cola and beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, beating constantly. Scrape sides of bowl often. If frosting seems to be a little dry or stiff, you can add more Coca-Cola, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.

Letter

Here's another response regarding garlic peppercorn ketchup from Cheryl R. Towers of The Local History Company, publishers of History and Heritage. Cheryl writes: "Here's a source for the garlic peppercorn ketchup that a reader is looking for. I agree -- it's very good! www.maui-info.com/list.html.

Requests

Sylvia Getty of Brookline is trying to find a good dill sauce to be served with salmon.

Shirley Linner of Sheraden lost her recipe for chicken or turkey loaf made with whole cranberry sauce. It was a Mr. Food recipe. Shirley said, "My family and I will be eternally grateful if someone out there can supply the recipe."

Sandy Casciola of Scott has been looking for an old recipe from a Pillsbury Bake-Off -- probably from the late '60s or early '70s. Sandy thinks it was called Butter Crusted Pound Cake. "Besides butter, it called for cream cheese, eggs and flour. It was baked in a bread pan. Butter, brown sugar and chopped nuts were mixed together and pressed in the bottom of the pan. I used to serve this cake with fresh strawberries."


If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com Please include a name, neighborhood/city/borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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