Week 10: Devil’s food cake

So, this is my first 2-tier cake, and what better recipe to try than this one from David Lebovitz. I was actually just recovering from a bad bout of flu when I baked this, so, I did not get to try any of the batter or ganache. So, I was pleasantly surprised when one of my dessert connoisseur friend said it was really good. Oh well, it is from David Lebovitz, so, it can’t really go wrong, I supposed. Except, i made a few changes, unintentionally, and intentionally:

I screwed up the baking powder and baking soda using 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, instead of the other way round. Also, I had some leftover chocolate espresso ganache from the tiramisu cupcakes, so, I just added them to the “new” ganache I made for these. I had leftover mascarpone frosting, also from the tiramisu cupcakes, so I used it to pipe the little rosettes, which, balanced the rich chocolate flavor very well indeed. Anyway, the actual recipe as follows:

Makes 1 8” cake


For the cake layers

66 grams unsweetened cocoa powder

127 grams cake flour (not self-rising)

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

150 grams granulated sugar

165 grams brown sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

½ cup strong coffee (or water)

½ cup whole or low-fat milk

1 teaspoon pure chocolate extract

For the ganache frosting

283 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

½ cup heavy cream

170 grams unsalted butter


1) Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 175C.

2) Butter two 8″ x 2″ cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.

3) To make the cake layers, sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.

4) In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. (If using a standing electric mixer, stop the mixer as necessary to scrape down the sides to be sure everything is getting mixed in.)

5) Mix together the chocolate extract, coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.

6) Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

7) To make the frosting, melt the chopped chocolate with the water (or cream) in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

8) Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk them into the chocolate until completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Cool until spreadable, which may take about 1 hour at room temperature.

9) To frost the cake, run a knife around the inside of each of the cakes which will help release them from the pans. Tilt one cake out of the pan, remove the parchment paper from the bottom and invert it back onto a cake plate. Spread a good-sized layer of icing over the top. Top with the second cake layer and spread the top and sides with the remaining icing as decoratively as you want.

I was really pleased with how these turned out. So pleased in fact that, other than the 2 slices I gave my dessert connoisseur friend, I have decided to freeze the rest of the cake and savor it slowly.

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