• 225g butter (room temp)
  • 290g brown soft sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml cola (full fat!)
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g mini marshmallows
  • ICING:
  • 90ml cola
  • 110g butter
  • 3tbsp cocoa powder
  • 250g icing sugar
  • bag of cola bottles (optional but nice)

As I write, I’m in my sitting room. With my laptop and a cup of coffee on Dave (this is Dave by the way) He’s too small to put anything else on so I have my copy of Saved By Cake by Marian Keyes on the couch to my left and my iPhone perched on the arm of the couch to my right. The Olympics are on the telly. Life is good!

I must admit, I’m getting quite addicted to these Olympics. Anyone who knows or has met me will know I am not even remotely sporty so this is quite a strange thing for me to admit! The kids were caravanning with my mum and dad last weekend so we had the house to ourselves for three whole nights. Of course, himself had to work so there was no late night partying for us, on Friday night we stayed in and watched the Olympic Opening Ceremony right to the very end and enjoyed every blimmin minute of it!

Saturday morning I woke with what can only be described as an “Alcohol Free Hangover” since I hadn’t touched a single drop of alcohol but felt like I was dying all day so I took to the couch and proceeded to watch the Men’s Cycling not realising how long it would go on for. I managed to watch for a couple of hours, went back to bed and slept for AGES and still managed to get up and watch the end. Brilliant. I haven’t even got a bike.

Since then (it feels like it was ages ago, I do realise it was only a few days ago…) we’ve been glued to the BBC coverage and are loving the “red button” feature. We’re looking at their schedule everyday, picking and choosing which sport we’ll have a look at next. We’ve discovered we’re not that into Beach Volleyball or Dressage and Fencing keeps making me think that the child is raiding the fridge again (he’s a divil for leaving the door open!) but we’re loving the Rowing, Gymnastics and Canoeing!

Anyway, I’m worn out with all this sport so to counteract all this exercise *ahem* I baked this lovely Chocolate Cola Cake (aka Rita Anne’s Birthday Cola Cake) from Saved By Cake by Marian Keyes yesterday. I tried it earlier on in the year but it went horribly wrong, I used a skewer to test to see if it was cooked which kept coming out with what I thought was raw batter so I kept putting it back into the oven. I think it had been in for an hour and a half altoghether. Turns out the cake is supposed to be moist so I trusted the book this time and it was a success. Definitely worthy of a gold medal ;)

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease and line a big baking tray (Marian recommends 30cm x 23cm x 5cm deep).

Beat the butter with the sugar until creamy.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract.

Mix the buttermilk and cola together in a jug and in a seperate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda together.

Pour about a third of the liquid into the creamed butter and sugar, then sieve a third of the flour/sugar/soda mix and stir well.

Repeat until it is all combined well.

When it’s all blended in and smooth, stir in the marshmallows.

Pour into the baking tray and bake for 35 to 40 minutes (Marian says to check with a skewer to make sure it is cooked but remember that this is a moist cake and shouldn’t be completely dry*)

Also, the marshmallows will melt and cause little “craters” to appear in the cake, they will “regroup into little, dense, sticky spots of deliciousness” so don’t panic!

Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. This is important as it is quite a soft cake and will fall apart if you try and move it before then. Carefully remove from the tray and allow to cool completely before icing.

 

ICING METHOD:

Put the cola, butter and cocoa powder into a medium saucepan on a medium heat until the butter is melted.

Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

Take off the heat, sieve in the icing sugar (carefully!) and whisk like mad (her words, not mine!)

I cheated. I poured it into the kitchenaid and whisked the bejaysus out of it that way (what? That’s what we buy these expensive machines for ;) )

Either way, make sure you get rid of any lumps of icing sugar.

Let it cool and thicken a little.

TO DECORATE:

Slice the cake length ways.

Stack one piece on top of the other, sandwiched with icing in between. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides. Decorate with cola bottles.