Monday, 14 March 2011

Devil's Food Cake

Recipe Number Nine: Page 96.

This was Mums birthday cake. We had the right size tins for this cake, so it helped swing Mum in her choice! The name of the cake, it has to be said, is a little off putting! Devil's Food cake does not actually contain the Devil, but is an American chocolate cake with a white sugar frosting!

After the horrible job of greasing and lining my sandwich tins (I loathe that part), I moved on to the more fun part of mixing the cocoa powder and water together. It took a while for the cocoa and water to combine; it was very lumpy and then suddenly it was a smooth paste. The butter had by now been out the fridge for ages and was lovely and soft (for a change), so it was easy to beat the sugar and eggs in. It was a little tricky alternately folding in the chocolate mixture and the flour. I didn’t seem to have enough hands. It made a glistening almost black treacly mixture. I had plenty to fill the two tins. The next destination was the oven and there they stayed for just over half an hour. They appeared to be well cooked after this time. But, after leaving them to cool in their tins for about ten minutes, one of the sponges had dipped in the middle, so I put it back in the oven for ten minutes more to make sure that it was cooked! 

Somewhat lacking in frosting!
After all this, they were left to cool on the wire racks. Once completely cold, I started on the frosting. Mary Berry says that American frosting is very sweet and crisp, it usually requires the use of a sugar thermometer. But, for this recipe, she had used a frosting that did not require one. The ingredients for the frosting seemed basic and mostly consisted of sugar. I had to whisk the ingredients with a balloon whisk for almost 15 minutes (Mum does not own an electric whisk). This had to be done over a pan of hot water. After what felt to me an eternity, the mixture started to thicken up and turn white. I was quite surprised; isn’t it clever what a few ingredients can do! Mary Berry says to put a little of the frosting to sandwich the two sponges together. The remainder should be used for the sides and top of the cake, swirling the icing into peaks. I should work quickly as it sets quickly. She isn’t kidding! It set like concrete within about two seconds!! I didn’t have anywhere near enough frosting to cover the sides. It looked awful, it truly did. I found that a lot of the frosting had set and gone rock hard around the edge of the bowl. Mum and I tried to reheat it with a little water, but it wouldn’t come off! I was so disappointed, after all the hard work and it looked shocking! Mum tried to salvage it by decorating it with edible ribbon and daises, bless her. It did make it look a lot better and once it was cut, you didn’t really notice. 
Looks a little better once sliced,
 
I think that the frosting in the middle is a waste, it would have been better to perhaps use a chocolate butter cream in the middle, which would also make it moister. The saved frosting could then been used for the sides! The cake itself was nice and rich and tasted a little bitter as it was suggested it would. I was just disappointed about the frosting! 

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