Wednesday 20 May 2009

The Cake Slice May 09: Mile High Devils Food Cake

Another month has passed and its time for another delicious serving of a triple layer cake. This month the Cake Slice Bakers voted for a Devils Food Cake with a fluffy brown sugar frosting, a decision that was joyfully received in my household. I had been planning on making half the recipe but when I told them what the cake was they begged me to bake the full one and who am I to refuse?

A devils food cake is a deep, dark and slightly dense cocoa rich chocolate cake with either a light or dark icing. It’s quite unusual in that it uses a lot of water in the mix which helps make it moist and a little dense in texture. I had never made a full devils food cake before so was eager to try it. The only alteration I made was to reduce the sugar in the cake batter as it seemed to call for far too much compared to the rest of the ingredients. I’m glad I did as it turned out perfectly sweet enough, especially when topped with mounds of sweet fluffy frosting.

We had a choice of two frostings this time. A brown sugar 7 minute frosting or a brown sugar buttercream. I decided to go with the 7 minute frosting as it sounded lighter as it’s made using mostly egg whites which are whipped into a fluffy meringue using a hot brown sugar syrup. It reminded me distinctly of marshmallows with a slight caramel hint – delicious. The recipe made an enormous amount of frosting and I had lots leftover which we ate with some apple pie to get success.

When icing, the cake looked a bit bland on its own so I peaked the frosting into little peaks and then dusted it lightly with cocoa powder. I loved how the peaks around the sides caught a light dusting. It also hints at what might be lurking beneath that pale creamy mountain of frosting is a dark rich chocolate cake. The contrast in colour and texture when you cut a slice is fantastic. The cake is quite dense and wonderfully fudgy with a soft fine crumb that was slightly truffle like.

Its height and deep cocoa flavour meant small slices were sufficient, but the fluffy frosting prevented it from being too intense. However, if you wanted to go for a chocolate overload I bet it would make a wickedly rich and decadent dessert if you replaced the frosting with a chocolate ganache. Click here to see other Cake Slice Bakers cakes.

Mile High Devils Food Cake
(Recipe by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes)
100g cocoa powder
280ml hot water
600g light soft brown sugar (I only used 400g)
240g plain flour
80g cornflour
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp salt
225g soft butter
3 eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
165ml cold water

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line three 8inch/20cm sandwich tins.
Measure out the hot water in a jug and whisk in the cocoa powder. Set aside to cool.
Gently mix together the sugar, flour, cornflour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Add the butter and cocoa mixture and beat well with an electric mixer for around 2 minutes until smooth and well combined.
In another jug, measure out the cold water and then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
While mixing the cake batter, beat in the egg mixture in three stages, making sure everything is well incorporated.
Divide the batter between the three cake tins (I found a ladle helped divide it up equally).
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the cakes are starting to come away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely before filling and covering with your choice of frosting.

Brown Sugar 7 Minute Frosting
6 egg whites
300g light soft brown sugar
80g liquid glucose or corn syrup
2 tbsp water
½ tsp cream of tartar

Place the egg whites in a very large bowl and set to one side.
In a small saucepan combine the sugar, glucose syrup and water. Bring the mixture to the boil over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and allow to boil until it reaches 116C (softball stage) on a sugar thermometer. Then remove from the heat.
Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until its starting to foam but not yet form peaks.
While still whisking the egg whites, carefully drizzle in the hot syrup in a thin yet steady stream. Do not pour over the beaters or else you will create spun sugar!
Continue to beat until all the syrup is incorporated and shiny stiff peaks have formed. Beat for a further minute and then use immediately to sandwich the cakes together and cover the outside.
It makes a LOT of frosting so you can be very generous with it. Best eaten within 1-2 days.
Makes one triple layer 8inch/20cm cake.


Monica H said...

I love your spikey frosting. My cake was very light and fluffy, just like the frosting (I chose buttercream). This cake was so delicious!

Great job!

The Caked Crusader said...

I love the contrasting colours when you cut a slice of the cake - I am drooling!

Jo said...

Absolutely beautiful cake. I love the swirls of frosting as it makes the cake look dreamy. Great job!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that is a stunner! love the peaks on the fluffy meringue frosting!

Mermaid Sews said...

I love how pretty your cake looks. Amazing. I can't wait to make mine tonight (a little on the late side!).

Rachel said...

I just love how fluffy your frosting is..

Snooky doodle said...

oh this cake looks awesome !

Debbie said...

Love the texture you added to the frosting! Gave the cake some "personality". This cake got rave reviews from my "taste-testers".

symphonious sweets said...

SOooo Pretty! I love the spikes and sprinkle of cocoa!

Caroline said...

Love the little peaks all over your cake. Beautiful job, Katie!

Chocolaty Lifestyle said...

The frosting is looking just WOW! What a cake! :))

Engineer Baker said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I must admit, I'm a sucker for cakes with peaked frosting. That particular frosting recipe sounds fabulous.

Amanda said...

Wow that is absolutely gorgeous!

Simones Kitchen said...

That looks absolutely gorgeous with all the spikes on it..!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Oooh I love the spikey look! :D

Elyse said...

Your cake turned out gorgeously! I love that you make little peaks out of your 7 minute frosting. Man oh man, does this cake look amazing, or what?! I'm sure everyone absolutely adored it. I can't wait to try this recipe out for myself.

Michelle said...

lovely cake! love the dusting of cocoa on top.

Irene said...

This looks like a gorgeous cake! I love the peaks on the meringue frosting, the little bits of cocoa caught in the peaks were the first thing I noticed about the cake.

Madam Chow said...

Your description of the cake is great - "truffle like" is hard to resist! And I like the spikey frosting with the dusting of cocoa. Beautiful job.

Lulu the Baker said...

Beautiful results! Great job!

The Food Librarian said...

Holy smokes! This is beautiful!!!!

Anonymous said...

Absolute perfection, the cake looks dark and moist, and the frosting looks like whipped clouds of yumminess.

manila homes said...

The cake is looks really great.. specially the chocolate color inside.. very delicious.. :)

♥Rosie♥ said...

Absolutely gorgeous! You've done a great job here Katie!

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

The pale frosting looks positively angelic against the dark Devil's Food Cake. One of my favourite cakes :D

Great looking cake, Katie!

Shalum said...

i want this cake!