Sunday 16 October 2011

Devil's Food Cake with Treacle Chocolate Fudge Frosting

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!


Alicia Foodycat said...

I've never made devil's food cake - this looks so delicious!

Suelle said...

You're certainly ending on a high note - this looks amazing and sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious! I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing over whether or not to buy the GBBO book, I think your recommendation about how much you've used it may have been the final thing I needed to make up my mind!

Choclette said...

C- I've obviously missed some Chocolate Week treats here - will be off to investigate shortly. Your cake looks splendiferous.

I made Dan's treacle choc fudge frosting yesterday for a friend's cake. I thought it was wonderful and will be using it again and again I suspect. I did, luckily, whisk my cornflour in some of the milk whilst it was cold, so I didn't get your problem - old habits die hard. Actually, I didn't have any cornflour so used custard powder instead ;-)

Great use of two good books. Was going to tell you about the giveaway on my blog (Dan's books) but looks like you've already got it.

MissCakeBaker said...

Wow that is some cake! I love the sound of the icing.

The Caked Crusader said...

oh my! The sponge looks as rich as the kinda cake!

Chele said...

Wowee - I'd like to order of bowl of that frosting straight up please!

tea with hazel said...

i really like the look of this cake and i'm definitely archiving it for future use..

Anna's kitchen table said...

Gosh, that looks heavenly - just adore the sound of that frosting!

Katie said...

Wow that looks delicious. I've never seen a chocolate icing done ike this before. Looks wonderfully rich and chocoalty. I bet the treacle adds a really unique flavour

Anonymous said...

Looks wonderfully delicious C. Now I just have to hide this from Mr Chocolate... oh my!

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

You have done a splendid job of putting together these two recipes.
I bought the Dan Lepard too and, have to say, I much prefer having the book to flick through than just looking on the internet. I think the internet id too distracting!
And I have the GBBO book too. I will be baking like crazy for some time!

Johanna GGG said...

This sounds amazing - I want to make the treacle frosting which I think would go down a treat - even better without the eggs - and I know what you mean about cornflour - nothing worse than beating at the lumps in a sauce or icing - I have done both too many times

Caroline said...

Foodycat - it was indeed so delicious!

Suelle - going out on a high is always the plan!

Hungryhinny - thanks for commenting, I really hope you enjoy the book as much as me if you get it!

Choclette - wish I'd listened to my instincts about the cornflour! I'll definitely be using the frosting again.

Miss CB - Thanks!

CC - I think you'd love this cake!

Chele - I wish I could send you some :-)

Hazel - glad to hear you like the sound of it!

Anna - it tasted heavenly too. The frosting complemented the cake really well.

Katie - neither had I, and it was really weird watching it thicken up. The treacle is definitely noticeable, and the icing wasn't as good on its own as with the cake.

Brydie - Mr Chocolate would love this!

Lou - have fun baking! I agree, even though all the S&S recipes are available on the internet it's so nice to have the book to flick through!

Johanna - lumps are so irritating aren't they, especially when you know they could have been avoided!


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