Of course the national soda pop of Switzerland is made with milk.
First produced in 1952, Rivella is one of Switzerland's most iconic drinks. According to their website, it is made from milk serum (also known as whey), herb and fruit tea extract, water, sugar and fizz.
The whey is what makes the drink particularly Swiss. For centuries, dairy farmers enjoyed drinking this byproduct of cheese production. This was later adopted as a health product by early Swiss nutritionists. Already in the 1800s, health tourists to Swiss sanitariums were taking whey baths.
The whey that is used in today's Rivella is more processed than the unfiltered product of the past. However, much like another famous Swiss drink, Ovomaltine, its connection with overall health, outdoor living, and its so-called nutritional advantages are still heavily advertised.
On average, the Swiss drink 10 litres of Rivella every year.
Does it count if it comes in cake form?
Overall, this cake doesn't have a strong Rivella taste. I served my initial attempt to a couple of Swiss friends, asking them to try and identify the flavour from their childhood. Their only guess was rahmtäfeli (caramels), which is probably down to the sweetness of the cake.
Rather than impart much flavour to the batter, the Rivella is adding lightness and fluffiness to the cake, and another pop could be substituted with little change in taste. The flavour comes out more in the glaze, which involves cooking down the Rivella until it is syrupy. Once you know what the flavour is, of course it is easier to taste it, but either way, this is a lovely, light pound cake. Serve with or without the glaze, which is quite sweet.
170 g butter, soft
250 g sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
200 g flour
pinch of salt
150 ml Rivella
Preheat oven to 170 C / 325 F / gas mark 3
Butter and flour a 2L Kugelhopf form or loaf pan.
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time.
Using a spatula, fold in flour and salt.
Fold in Rivella.
Scrape into form.
Bake for 60-80 minutes.
250 ml Rivella
approximately 100 g icing sugar
Boil this down until it is the consistency of syrup. Mix with enough icing sugar to create a thick icing.
- If your eggs are straight out o the fridge, pop them in a bowl of hot water before you crack them to bring them to room temperature.
- Baking time will really depend on your oven.
- The best ways to test if the cake is fully baked:
- if you can smell it,
- if it springs back to fill the dent of your finger when you press on it
- if you see it pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Let the cake cool before you glaze it so that the glaze doesn't melt on top.