19 July 2012

Devil's Food Cake

My sweet tooth continues to rage and having watched Nigella make this on tele the other night I decided to give it a go. It is delicious although I would advise cooking for 25 mins max (rather than the 30 she advises) so it's as gooey as possible. The top on mine was a bit hard and detracted someone from the vast amounts of icing on the rest of the cake! The recipe is in Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home (although I'm sure I was watching it on an older programme of hers). A little of this goes a long way as it's really rich - I think it would be extra nice with some double cream but for some that may be a step too far.

I've reorganised the way she does this so the icing comes first - I ended up having to put mine in the fridge as it was still too runny to spread on the cake after an hour and a half. 

Devil's Food Cake

For the cake:
50g best-quality cocoa powder, sifted
100g dark muscovado sugar
250ml boiling water
125g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
150g caster sugar
225g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

For the frosting:
125ml water
30g dark muscovado sugar
175g unsalted butter, cubed
300g best-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line the bottom of two 20cm sandwich tins (not springform or loose bottomed - this batter is very liquid) with baking parchment and butter the sides.

1.  Make the icing by putting 30g muscovdo sugar and 175g butter in a pan over a low heat to melt. When the mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.

2. Leave for at least an hour, whisking now and again when you are passing by the pan.

3. For the cake - put the cocoa and 100g dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to space, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.

4. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy. Nigella uses her freestanding kitchen aid mixer, I used my magimix, you can use either... or your arms!

4. While this is going on - or as soon as you stop if you are mixing by hand - stir the flour , baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl and set aside for a moment.

5. Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar - mixing all the while - then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of the flour mixture, then the second egg.

6. Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture scraping the bowl well with a spatula.

7. Divide the batter between the two prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 mins (I think 25 max) or until a skewer comes out clean when put through the middle of the cake.

8. Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5-10 mins, before turning the cakes out to cool.

9. Once the cakes are cool enough and the icing ready to spread, set one for the cooled cakes, with it's top side down, on a cake stand or plate (I use the lid of my cake tin so the tin itself can go over the top), spread with about a third of the icing, then top with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. The cake should keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container in a cool place.

To make ahead: The cake layers can be baked 1 day ahead and assembled before serving: wrap tightly with clingfilm and store in an airtight container.

Freezing: Un-iced cake layers can be frozen on the day of baking, each wrapped in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil for up to 3 months. Defrost for 3-4 hours on a wire rack at room temperature.

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