There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
Set in the south, The Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, contains so many saliva inducing food references; Fried chicken, Grits, Biscuits and Buttermilk Pie *stomach rumbles*. It certainly wouldn’t be a hardship to dedicate a whole series of Novel Nibbles posts to the culinary offerings of Amma, the Wate family’s no-nonsense, housekeeper.
Of all of the recipes featured in the Beautiful Creatures books, the one that inspired me the most is Coca Cola Cake. I know, I KNOW, more baking! In my defence, I am pretty sure I warned you that these posts would be an excuse to indulge my sweet tooth!
A quick search online uncovered author Kami Garcia’s recipe for Coca Cola Cake. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, have literally been baking Amma’s cake!
The original recipe can be found here at Beautiful Creatures fan site, Caster Girls &Boys
As before this American recipe has been “translated” for our european readers. The Ingredients
240g of Plain Flour
400g of Caster/Granulated Sugar (yep you read that right!)
1 sp Bicarbonate of Soda
250mls Coca Cola
230g of Unsalted Butter
3 TBS Coco Powder
125mls of Butter Milk ( or 125mls of milk soured with 2TBS of lemon juice or white wine vinegar)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract ( use to good stuff people)
75g ( two large handfuls) of Mini Marshmallows The Icing
120g Unsalted Butter
3 TBS of Coco Powder
6 TBS of Coca cola
1tsp Vanilla Extract
450g Icing Sugar
A Large handful of chopped Pecans (excluded in our recipe due to Pruedence’s allergy) Pre heat the oven to a rather cool 160C.
The original recipe suggests you cook the cake for 30 mins however in practice we found that the cake actually needed 50mins!
I would usually provide you with a step by step photo storyboard of the cooking process. However there is no way that I could demonstrate this recipe better than Kami Garcia herself.
Here is mine and, my able assistant, Prudence’s attempt!
The final tray bake was very large, rich and sweet and only a small serving was required to sate my sweet tooth.
The texture was heavier than a sponge cake, somewhere between a devils food cake and a pudding.
I think that it would make a great dessert, served warm out of the oven with ice-cream. Due to it’s size and the novelty of using coca cola, it would also make an interesting addition to a bake sale. Post by Caroline