Devil's food cake

  • Preparation Time135 mins
  • Cooking Time105 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyMedium

For the icing

425g milk chocolate, finely chopped
350ml double cream

For the cake

300g plain unbleached flour
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
0.75 tsp baking powder
0.75 tsp salt
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the tins
220g plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
75g nonalkalized cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
295ml water
60ml milk
To make the icing:
1) Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, move the bowl gently to let the cream settle. Set the mixture aside until softened, about 4 minutes.

2) Whisk the mixture until smooth. Cover the surface of the icing with cling film. Set aside and let set up at room temperature, about 2 hours.

To make the cake:
1) Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Lightly butter two 23-cm round cake tins and line the bottoms with a circle of parchment or greaseproof paper.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar. Continue beating until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

3) Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1 minute more. (Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if needed.) With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4) Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat. With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture, about 40g at a time. Carefully pour the hot water/milk into the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, finish combining the batter until smooth.

5) Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lightly drop each pan onto the counter to settle the batter. Set the pans on the middle rack in the oven. Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and the centre springs back when touched lightly, about 30 to 35 minutes.

6) Cool the cakes, in the pans, on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake layers out of the pans and cool on the rack. (If not assembling the cake right away, wrap the layers in cling film and store at room temperature for up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 2 months.)

To assemble the Devil's food cake.:
1) Place one cake layer upside-down on a cake stand or flat plate and scoop about 1/3 of the icing onto the centre. Using a large, offset spatula, spread the icing evenly over the cake layer to the edges. Place the other cake layer, rounded-side up, on top. Evenly spread half of the remaining icing over the top, spreading any excess icing down the sides.

2) Spread the remaining icing around the sides of the cake. Use the tip of the offset spatula to make a swirling pattern in the icing. Store under a cake dome or loosely wrapped with cling film, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, GP. All rights reserved

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