Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Devil's Food Cake.

Baking this cake was an opportunity to hit two birds with one stone so to speak. It meant that I could join in with a new virtual baking group the Weekly Bake Off and I could subtly gage the musicians reactions to the sponge before I adapt it for her 21st birthday. She has requested a light chocolate sponge layered with raspberry jam. So am thinking I will use this sponge as a cupcake base and ice it with raspberry marshmallow icing for which there is a recipe in the primrose bakery book. Anyhow back to the bake off the weekly bake off's host chooses one recipe every week from Mary Berry's 100 cakes and bakes which everyone uses and then we all post photos of our differing results. It never ceases to amaze me how you can have such varying results with everyone following the same recipe.

I will admit that mine was not the most proficient thing that I have ever made. One of the difficulties of baking in a student flat is that I rarely have the required ingredients or equipment. I managed to borrow the pair of sandwich tins off a friend. They were the seemingly clever ones with the twisty thing to cut the cake of the bottom of the tin. This was disaster two, despite greasing the tins they were resolutely stuck to the bottom. Disaster one involved the mixture overflowing all over the bottom of the over, which lets face it I haven't subsequently cleaned so every time we now use the oven the flat is filled with a pungent smell of burnt cake mixture. My third difficulty was a lack of either cream of tartar or a thermometer in order to make the icing. In the end the sponge was delicious, one I will definitely be using as a base for other cakes. The icing also worked well and looked very smart but it was far too sweet a combination with this sponge. I would suggest not to make the icing too far in advance as it was nicer when it was softer and more marshmallowy rather than the dry meringue texture which it took on the next day. It was also irritating that one egg whites worth of icing
was not quite enough but two was far to much. Found that if you gave the icing in the middle a couple of minutes to firm up before putting the top sponge on it gripped better.

For the cake:
55g cocoa powder
280g caster sugar
115g butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
175g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the American frosting:
450g sugar
2 large egg whites

Preheat the oven to 180C.Grease and line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
Whisk the cocoa powder into 225ml water and set aside. Whisk the sugar and butter in a separate bowl until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs until well combined. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.Alternately fold in the flour and the cocoa mixture to the butter mixture. Divide the batter evenly between the tins.Bake for 30 - 45 minutes until well risen and firm to touch.

To make the frosting, heat the sugar with 135ml water gently until the sugar has dissolved. Next, bring it to a boil and boil until it reaches 115C/240F on a sugar thermometer. The mixture will bubble and thicken. Whilst you are heating the sugar, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Once the sugar syrup is ready, allow the bubble to settle then pour slowly into the egg whites, whisking constantly. Continue whisking until the mixture stands in peaks.

Alternatively simply whisk the egg whites, sugar and a couple of tbsp of water together in a double boiler until you have the required consistancy.


  1. Looks fantastic and I could murder a slice...lovely recipe. x

  2. Oh wow, I would really, really love a slice right now.

  3. It looks very striking with the dark chocolate cake and super white icing - bet it tasted fabulous too.

  4. Oh my goodness, this looks delicious! I’m definitely making this! thanks for sharing!

    Ihjaz Ahmad