Monday, 6 August 2012

Devil's Food Cake

The image that caught my eye!

About four or five months ago, I was talking to Dad on Skype, and he mentioned that he'd love to try baking a cake, and asked me for a good chocolate cake recipe. At the time, knowing my Dad, his likes and dislikes and his attention to detail, I wanted it to be the best recipe I had laid eyes on (i.e, tasted). It had to be simple, with easily resourced ingredients, accurate measurements and not too much jiggery-pokery of the hand. Most importantly, I wanted to send him a recipe which I had tried, tested and baked myself.
Truthfully, the Devil's Food Cake recipe has been the most awesome chocolate cake we've ever eaten at home. I found it in an old, discarded magazine at work, and flicking throught it on my dinner break, I noticed the mouth-watering recipes for all things chocolate (Actually it was a collection of recipes of 'chocolatey' treats, included for their 'pulling-power', guaranteed to make Valentine's Day sweet!)
I was thinking of it for a whole day and night, before adopting the very same recipe for my chocolate-Loving Husband!! To try it out, I baked it for his birthday last week, and my daughters decorated it in their own OTT style (with huge chocolate stars and fifteen cherries instead of four or five!). So when the resultant cake surpassed my expectations in terms of simplicity of the process, time in the oven, level of difficulty and TASTED HEAVENLY besides, I decided to send it to Daddy too. Even better, I thought I'd share it on the blog, making sure it reaches all chocolate lovers, everywhere!

Dearest Daddy,
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy the resultant sweet-surprise! I know, some of the ingredients (cream of tartar, margarine, bicarbonate of soda etc) are not typical store-cupboard fare, but trust me, a little hunt in the supermarket, and you should have no trouble finding them there. Do make it if you like, and you will  be in for a shockingly good cake!
Happy Baking!
Love you,

Devil's food cake
Makes 12 slices

For the sponge:
215 g (7 1/2 oz) plain flour
230 g (8 oz) caster sugar
1 1/4 level teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
40 g (1 1/2 oz) cocoa powder
140 g (5oz) soft margarine ( I used STORK vegetable fat for pastries/cakes etc with great results)
240 ml (8 1/2 fll.oz) milk
1 sp vanilla essence
2 medium eggs

For the chocolate icing:
115g (4oz) soft margarine
40 g(1 1/2 oz) cocoa powder
350 g (12 oz) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3-4 tablespoons milk
Shards of chocolate and raspberries for decoration
(Cadbury's Flake, split, cut or chopped will do nicely too!) See- Cadbury's Flake

To make the sponge:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
  • Grease and line (with baking parchment paper or simply use butter paper) two 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tins.
  • Sift together the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the margarne, milk and vanilla essence and then mix by hand until smooth.
  • Add the eggs and beat for one minute with an electric hand-held mixer. It is important not to over-beat the mixture.
  • Pour into the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • After the cake has risen well, (I always have to tweak the timing to suit my temperamental oven!) remove it from the oven and let it cool in the tins for 10-15 minutes. Thereafter, remove it from the tins and cool on a wire rack or the wire grille of the oven before icing it.
To make the chocolate icing:
  • Cream the margarine until light and fluffy in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the sifted cocoa powder and icing sugar to the creamed margarine and beat.
  • Blend in the vanilla essence and milk until the icing is smooth.
  • Use the icing to sandwich between the two sponge layers then smooth it all over the cake.
  • Decorate with the chocolate flakes and raspberries.  
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