Nigella’s Devil’s Food Cake

I must say I got an immense sense of joy when I looked at the finished product and all the more satisfied when the scraps and frosting entered the mouth. Heavenly!

This cake was baked at the request of GT who shared a most wonderful piece of news to me on Monday evening. While I didn’t have the privilege of leading our dear friend to say the sinner’s prayer, all of us did have a share in introducing Him to her and I’m only glad to bake her a cake to celebrate this wonderful occasion.

Initially I had wanted to bake the yellow cake but this recipe somehow came to
my mind. The ingredients needed were not complicated but most importantly, good dark chocolate had to be used.

The cake was easy to bake and the result was a decadent, moist cake and the frosting really delish. I like it that the recipe doesn’t use powdered sugar but more of butter and dark chocolate. The texture was smooth and it was not too rich like most American buttercream.

I certainly hope the intended recipient will like it. =)

Source: Nigella’s Devil’s Food Cake

Serves 10 – 12
for the cake:
1/2 cup best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown/muscovado sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 stick plus 1 tbsp (9tbsp/ 126g) soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

for the frosting:
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (171g) unsalted butter, cubed
311g best-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or 2 cups chips)

2 x 8-inch round cake pans

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/ 350F. Line the bottoms of both cake pans with baking parchment and butter the sides.
  2. Put the cocoa and 1/2 cup dark muscovado/brown sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy.
  4. While this is going on, stir the flour, baking powder and baking soda 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 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 its bowl well with a spatula.
  7. Divide this fabulously chocolatey batter between the 2 prepared pans and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.
  9. But as soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting: put the water, 2 tbsp dark brown/ muscovado sugar and 1 1/2 sticks butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
  10. When this 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.
  11. Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again – when you’re passing the pan – by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.
  12. Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula.

Reminder to self: Frosting will take time to reach a state that is desirable to frost, about 2 -3 hours in Spore context. Do make before baking, perhaps.

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