Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coca-Cola and chipotle powder
find a delicious home in chocolate cake

Lauren Chattman’s cookbook, Cake Keeper Cakes, had me adding a couple of unusual ingredients to chocolate cakes lately: Coca-Cola, and then chipotle powder.
   I was surprised and excited to see the cake using Coca-Cola, as I’d never heard of it before.
   But Chattman called it a southern specialty, and when I looked online, I saw the cake has been around since the 1960s.
   After making it, I found out why it has been around for 50 years. It was absolutely outstanding -- scrumptious and moist. Dusted with confectioner’s sugar (powdered or icing sugar), it looked like it had been made in a fancy bakery, but I didn’t even need to pull out an electric mixer.
   It could be served at any type of gathering, from a dinner party to a family get-together.
   Unfortunately, I couldn’t find Chattman’s version of Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake online anywhere, or even one that was reasonably close. Chattman uses sour cream, while most other recipes I found use buttermilk. Most of the other cakes had mini-marshmallows in them, too, while Chattman’s does not.
   For Chattman’s version, flour, sugar, light brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, sour cream, oil, Coca-Cola and vanilla are whisked together, then baked in a nine-inch round springform pan.
   Chattman’s Chipotle-Chocolate Cake (click for the recipe) was also a snap to make and very delicious. I was able to find this recipe online in a preview of Cake Keeper Cakes.
   This one isn’t for young children, though, as the chipotle chili powder does add a bit of a kick. It’s not an unpleasant kick, mind you – just a mild one that gives the cake a unique appeal.
   To smooth out the kick a bit, I made a batch of Chattman’s suggested cool cheesecake-like topping of sour cream, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and spread it on top like icing, then stored the cut-up cake in the fridge.
   Making the cake itself is a simple matter of mixing together flour, cocoa powder, light brown sugar, baking soda, chipotle chili powder, cinnamon, salt, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla, then baking the cake in an eight-inch square baking pan.

Cake Keeper Cakes at

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