Yes, this cake is just as rich and delicious as the title suggests! Well, I did want to go out on a high note at the end of Chocolate Week.
This is actually an amalgamation of recipes from two different authors. The original Devil's Food Cake is a(nother!!) recipe from the Great British Bake Off cookery book. I don't think I've used a book this much for ages, and definitely recommend it (and not because I didn't have to pay for my copy, just because it's a great book!). The treacle chocolate fudge frosting is a Dan Lepard recipe. It was originally published in his How to Bake guide that was given away free with the Guardian about four years ago, but has also been included in his new book, Short and Sweet (which is like Ottolenghi's Plenty, i.e. a collection of the recipes published over the years in his Guardian column, How to Bake) in an amended format.
Just a side note about this book; Short and Sweet is a great book, I would thoroughly recommend buying it (partly because I love cookery books, partly because I think Dan Lepard's recipes are great) but the book is a compilation of recipes already available on the Guardian website, so don't buy it under the illusion that you will be getting hundreds of brand-new-never-seen recipes from the master baker. This is in no way to criticise or put down the book, and I will enjoy using it, as all of the recipes are now collected into handy sections - bread, cakes and so forth, rather than me trying to remember when the recipe I think I want was published by the Guardian online.
Anyway, back to the cake in hand (or in the tummy actually!).... I will give you the recipe now, and leave you to imagine just how good this is... and it really, really is....
Devil's Food Cake
4 tbsp cocoa powder
175ml boiling water
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
125g unsalted butter, softenend
350g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour, sifted
125ml sour cream, at room temp
Note to myself - I actually had room temp eggs and sour cream for once!
- Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C. Grease and line two loose based 8"/20cm round cake tins.
- Pour the boiling water over the cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl and mix until smooth. Add the bicarbonate of soda and leave to cool.
- Melt the chocolate in another bowl and then leave to cool.
- Beat the butter until well softened then beat in the caster sugar. The recipe states until light and fluffy, but with this much sugar, the ratio means that it won't go light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs with the vanilla and add gradually to the sugar/butter mixture, beating after each addition.
- Fold in the flour in three batches, alternating with the soured cream.
- Mix the cocoa and chocolate together and then fold into the cake mixture. Fold together thoroughly, until no streaks remain (I wasn't quite careful enough about this, and has a few tiny streaks).
- Divide the mixture between two tins and bake until risen and just firm. The recipe states 30 minutes. Mine were no-where near at 30 minutes and needed about 45-50. Much, much longer.
- Leave to cool a little in the tins (mine sank slightly) and then cool completely on a wire rack.
Treacle chocolate fudge frosting
As I said, this is based on this recipe, first published online, but modified in Short and Sweet.
The modifications are to remove the egg yolks and boiling water from the recipe, otherwise, the recipe is exactly as stated.
I halved the recipe, which gave ample to fill and top my cakes, but wouldn't have been enough to go round the edge of the cake too.
I have to take exception to the method given for the frosting though. I followed Dan's instructions and ended up with lumps of cornflour (and cocoa) that I couldn't satisfactorily get rid of. I decided to give up and start again rather than risk lumps of uncooked cornflour in my icing, very annoying. Thinking about it, I should have thought that this might happen. When I was being taught about cornflour, I was told to slake it in a little cold liquid before adding it to hot to prevent lumps forming, as you would when making (Bird's!) custard. So I repeated the icing, slaking the cornflour in 50ml of the milk, adding the cocoa and mixing that in too (difficult!) and then proceeding. This was far more successful!
The icing is really weird - it reminded me of making these chocolate custard muffins - you're making a cooked icing and the cornflour causes it to thicken to a very thick consistency - very odd!!! But rather delicious!
Use the icing while still warm, as it is much easier to use that way.
This was an absoutely amazing cake - rich and fudgy and oh so gloriously chocolatey!!! The frosting was actually a really good choice - it tasted quite treacly on its own, but combined with the soft, sweet chocolate cake it was the perfect soft, gooey partnership.
An amazing cake, perfect for a celebration, perfect to mark the end of chocolate week! I've really enjoyed baking and eating all these chocolate treats, and I hope you've all enjoyed reading about them!