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The Ultimate Devils Food Cake
I dreamt about chocolate cake the other night.
Chocolate cake plagues me unlike any other baking project. There are so many versions, from buttermilk to cocoa to flourless. Until now I’ve been sticking withmy go-to recipe (from the back of the Hershey’s box), but can one person ever be satisfied with just a single back-pocket chocolate cake recipe?
If that person is me, the answer is no.
In my dream, I was sitting on a rooftop with a crowd of people. We were all eating huge slabs of a three-tiered cake with a rich chocolate flavor and a nearly black color that belied its light texture. A sugary drift of white frosting capped it off.
They say dreams can come true, and I’m here to testify to that effect. That cakeexists, and it is the devil’s food cake recipe from the back of a very old Swans Downcake flour box.
This cake straddles the line between moist and light. The crumb isn’t particularly dense (it makes for messy slicing unless you freeze the layers before frosting), but it’s softer and more luscious than a classic yellow layer cake would be.
I didn't feel the original recipe was quite chocolaty enough, so I added some black cocoa powder and a pinch of espresso powder. Do add the cocoa (the espresso powder is optional and serves only to amplify the flavor of the chocolate).
You can make this cake in two 9-inch layers or three 8-inch layers. I feel that a triple-layer cake lends a nice sense of occasion to an otherwise ordinary week, so I make mine accordingly.