Sinfully Chocolatey- Devil's Food Cake

For all my talk, I love frosted cakes. Creamy, buttery, iced cakes. I stare at them, count calories in my head, think how much I'd have to exercise to knock off those calories, and at the end of the cake slice, will it be worth it? (It is, most of the times). But I have not gone bakery hoppin' in a long time (What, I bake something every 4 days, the amount of butter consumed is unmentionable, and you exepect me to get a sinfully rich slice of cake from a bakery??) and I wanted to eat an 'iced' cake really badly. And then there was also an occasion to bake (I need an excuse). I picked Nigella's Devil's Food Cake for 3 reasons -
a. it was a chocolate cake,
b. It was Devil's Food Cake,
c. Me being me, I wanted a simple recipe (umm, sorry, I meant did not)

I have never made a Devil's Food Cake before. The only one that came close was a self declared, modified version of a Red Velvet Cake (which was good, but I wanted the real thing).

A Devil's Food Cake is an all 'American' Cake. Devil's Food Cake is the rich indulgent counterpart of the Angel Food Cake- a serene, light yellow cake (which I willl make, as soon as I find a good recipe, suggestions welcome!). Devil's Food Cake is all chocolate, and unlike most chocolate cakes, it's not dry. It is moist and tender and crumbly and rich. And quite big. The cake is different from an Angel Food Cake in its chemistry; pH balance, reactions with cocoa and soda (OK, I'll stop before you leave).

I have a funny way of making cakes. I have a very bad habit of skipping parts of the recipe, and adhering strictly to the other parts. Many recipes are forgiving, they don't take me seriously and go on to form the wonderful result they were supposed to. Some others, umm, lets say, have not been so forgiving. I have had to throw away entire cakes straight outta the oven, just because, they were just not right. Now this recipe, while rose perfectly, and the texture turned out to be great, turned into a form of a marble cake, which it was not. All because, I didn't do the mixing right. The batter and the cocoa mixture just did not come together (I am not admitting I was lazy). That said, the cake was still extremely good, and lasted about 2 days in the refrigerator.

Devil's Food Cake -
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Devil's Food Cake

You will need:

for the cake:
50g sifted cocoa powder,
100g dark brown sugar
250ml boiling water
125g soft unsalted butter,
110g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp soda bicarb
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or essence
2 eggs

for the icing:
1/2 litre Milk
3 heaped Tbsp Custard Powder
1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Cocoa powder

2 x 20cm sandwich tins*
[I used a large round tin and cut the cake later, as I did not have the space to bake 2 cakes together in my oven]

To make the cake-

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Line the baking tins with butter paper.
3. Sift the cocoa and the brown sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.
4. Stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.
5. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy.

6. Add the vanilla into the creamed butter and sugar and continue mixing.
7. Add 1 egg, followed by a scoopful of flour mixture then the second egg. Remember to do this.

8. Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients slowly to avoid.
9.Finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula - do this gently and slowly, to avoid lumps (which I didn't and the consequences were obvious much later).
8. Divide batter between the 2 prepared tins or your baking tray and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

9. Take the cake out leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.

For the Icing -

1. Boil the milk, and add the cocoa powder and sugar and stir
2. Dissolve the custard powder in milk.
3. Add this mixture to the milk and stir continuously until it is very thick.
4. Let cool for 1/2 an hour.

Assemble the Cake -

1. Take the bottom part of the cake and sit it on your serving dish.
2. With a palette knife, spread the icing on the cake.
3. Add the 2nd layer and spread the rest of the icing over it.


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