Soda pop, that drink that makes your nose fizzle, harks back to a more innocent era: a time of drive-in movie theaters, diners, the Swing, the Swaddle, longer hem-lines, and in my mind for some reason, red and white barbershop poles (sometimes you just want a nice fade and a little off the top). Back then, dessert in America was a slice of your grandmother’s apple pie, a cookie from the cookie jar, a dripping hot-fudge sundae, or just a cold bottle of soda pop. That’s right; I said a “bottle.” After all, what’s better with a scoop of ice-cream than a bottle of root beer? Improve both by mixing them together for a float. Having a slice of cake? Rinse it down with some cola. Better yet, you guessed it; bake your cake with Coca-Cola (see recipe below). Now tell me, can you imagine a world without soda pop? Lucky for you, this dessert drink hasn’t been forgotten. The folks over at Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles (over one hundred years old) stock, by my count, over five hundred different kinds of soda pop. These include the classics (bottles of Coca-Cola and A&W Root Beer) as well as many rarities (Black Lemonade, Dr. Pepper Original 1891 Flavor, Tommyknockers Original Crème Soda, and the drink that The Babe drank, Red Rock Premium Cola). While hiking through the Peruvian Amazon’s rainforest, I learned to love the local favorite: Inca Cola (tastes like bubblegum). Galco’s Soda Pop Stop saves you the trip and will ship Inca Cola right to your stoop.
Galco’s Soda Pop Stop
5702 York Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90042
Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 18.5-ounce devil’s food cake mix (see note)
1 16-ounce bottle Coca-Cola®
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
Half 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips, about 1/2 cup
12 large fresh, ripe strawberries, preferably unhulled
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 16-ounce package confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons powdered chocolate drink mix such as Nestle’s Quik
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350°F; grease 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using 1 1/3 cups cola in place of water and stirring 1 tablespoon grated orange peel in batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert cake onto wire rack cool completely. Cake may be made and stored, tightly wrapped, up to two days before decorating.
Note: For firmer cake, use one 16-ounce package of pound cake mix, stirring in 1/3 cup powdered chocolate drink mix along with grated orange peel. Use cola for the liquid; bake as directed.
1. Stir chocolate chips in small heavy saucepan over very low heat until melted and smooth; remove from heat. Dip strawberries into chocolate to coat halfway, placing each berry as it is dipped on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate berries until ready to use.
2. Cut cooled cake horizontally into 2 equal layers with sharp serrated knife; place bottom layer on large cookie sheet.
3. Beat butter in large bowl with mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and chocolate drink mix until smooth. Beat in 1/3 cup of remaining cola, remaining 1 tablespoon grated orange peel and vanilla until thoroughly blended and smooth. Spread half of frosting over bottom cake layer; top with second layer. Swirl remaining frosting over top of cake. Cut cake into 12 portions; arrange on platter. Decorate with chocolate-dipped strawberries and birthday candles, if desired. Make 12 servings.
(Recipe by Coca-Cola)