Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chocolate Cake

Today we celebrated Christmas with my mom's family at Grannie's house. We (read: not Grannie) decided to have different kinds of soup and salad instead of having a huge, traditional Christmas dinner. This idea appealed to us because by today some of us had been eating for four solid days and it would save Grannie a lot of work. So we had chicken chowder, white chicken chili, taco soup, and broccoli soup. I made Baby Blue Salad, and everyone brought dessert. However, Grannie didn't like the idea of soup (even though she made the broccoli one), so she decided to make a ham and Cornbread Dressing as well. As often happens with our family, the menu ended up being over the top!

For dessert, I decided to make a chocolate cake that combined two recipes. The cake itself is Coca-Cola Cake, which is very moist and fluffy. The icing is for Texas Sheet Cake, which I love because it has a grainy quality that reminds me of Grannie's homemade Fudge Icing. Once I had the cake iced, I decided that some melted caramel would make a nice addition. Both of these recipes are super easy, and the whole cake is ready in less than 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cake
1 cup Coke
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1 tsp. baking soda
Chocolate Icing

1. Combine Coke and buttermilk; set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour and next 2 ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with Coke mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add in chocolate chips, if desired. Pour batter into a lightly greased 13-x 9-inch pan.
3. Bake at 350°‚ for 30 to 35 minutes or until a pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Spread icing over warm cake.

Chocolate Icing:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup milk or cream
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Combine butter and next 2 ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or until butter melts. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat chocolate mixture with an electric mixer until mixture is smooth and sugar dissolves.

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