I had an Oh My God moment in the kitchen yesterday. As mentioned in my earlier post, I had set out to bake a devil’s food cake for my Delhi friend’s birthday. I did not secure the spring form pan correctly. 10 minutes into the baking process, Mahesh and I walked into the kitchen and he pointed out that the batter was leaking. I immediately stopped the micro, took the pan out, transferred the batter, cleaned the pan and the turntable dish, placed butter paper in the pan, poured the batter back in, and shoved it in again. Phew! There went my hopes of having a beautifully layered cake. Had I been in the Masterchef kitchen, I would have dumped everything and started all over again. But, this was my kitchen and I did not have the heart to dump 125gms of butter, flour, eggs, and sugar.
The end product tasted fine but looked like a complete disaster. Mahesh offered to help with the icing and covering it up. He was fast asleep when I started icing the cake. It still looked like a disaster. That’s when I decided to make it into an ice-cream cake. I started by crumbling the cake and placing a layer at the bottom, then ice-cream, some more cake, more ice-cream, and then the remaining cake and icing. I shoved it into the fridge and not the freezer. It was not that bad after all. Hope the zebra cake does not go down the same path.
Here is Nigella’s recipe for Devil’s Food Cake that I followed:
For the cake:
- 50g best-quality cocoa powder, sifted
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 250ml boiling water
- 125g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
- 150g caster sugar
- 225g plain flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- for the frosting:
- 125ml water
- 30g dark muscovado sugar
- 175g unsalted butter cubed
- 300g best-quality dark chocolate finely chopped
- 2 x 20cm sandwich tins
Serves: 10 – 12
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
- Line the bottoms of both sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.
- Put the cocoa and 100g dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.
- Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy; I find this easiest with a freestanding mixer, but by hand wouldn’t kill you.
- While this is going on – or as soon as you stop if you’re mixing by hand – stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.
- Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing all the while – then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg.
- Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.
- Divide this fabulously chocolatey batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.[From this point on, disaster took over :(]
- Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.
- But as soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting: put the water, 30g muscovado sugar and 175g butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
11. When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
- Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again – when you’re passing the pan – by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.
- Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula.