THE ORIGINAL DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE RECIPE PUBLISHED IN SARAH TYSON RORERS NEW COOKBOOK IN 1906 IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM THE MODERN VERSION OF THE DEVILS’ FOOD CAKE THAT IS NOW SO POPULAR ALL OVER THE WORLD. IT IS HOWEVER DELICIOUS, ESPECIALLY WHEN PAIRED WITH A RICH FROSTING OR FILLING.
THE ORIGINAL DEVILS FOOD CAKE IS ESSENTIALLY A LIGHTLY FLAVOURED CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE. IF YOU LEAVE THE CHOCOLATE OUT OF THIS CAKE IT IS MORE LIKE AN EGGY GENOISE.
THIS CAKE IS MADE WITH CHOCOLATE AND NOT COCOA UNLIKE MODERN DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE RECIPES. THE QUANTITY OF CHOCOLATE USED IS MUCH LESS THAN IN THE MODERN VERSION OF THIS CAKE. IT ALSO EMPLOYS BUTTER AND CALLS FOR WHIPPING EGG WHITES. THIS CAKE IS MUCH DRIER THAN CAKES WE ARE USED TO SO I WOULD SUGGEST BRUSHING THE CAKE WITH SIMPLE SYRUP TO MOISTEN IT. IVE MADE ADAPTATIONS TO THE RECIPE BELOW BECAUSE I FOUND THE ORIGINAL RECIPE BATTER TOO THICK TO FOLD EGG WHITES INTO.
Makes 2 8 inch round cakes
3 cups of Maida or all purpose flour sifted together with a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons baking powder
450 grams unsweetened baking chocolate broken into pieces
1/2 cup commercial cream
1.5 cups water
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup castor or granulated sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature, separated carefully
5-6 cups dark chocolate butter cream
Beat together 1 cup regular cocoa, 1/4 tsp salt, 3 cups confectioners sugar and 500 grams unsalted butter until fluffy, 2 tablespoons or corn flour dissolved into 1/2 cup of warm milk.
1 cup simple syrup (optional)
Boil together 2 cups water and 1 cup sugar until reduced to 1 cup. Cool.
Grease cake pans and line with parchment. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare middle rack.
Heat the milk and water on a medium flame. When it reaches a bubble turn off the flame and stir in the chocolate pieces and keep stirring until completely dissolved.
Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or use a hand mixer. Beat on medium speed until soft, fluffy and creamy. Add vanilla extract and whisk again. Add one egg yolk at a time and beat until well incorporated. Add the chocolate mixture and beat again on high speed until completely incorporated. You will have a thick batter.
Beat the egg whites on medium speed for 2 minutes. Increase speed until egg whites reach stiff peaks.
Slowly using a spatula fold these egg whites into the batter.
Divide the batter into the two cake pans. Smoothen the tops gently.
Bake in bottom rung about 25 minutes. Then move to middle rung for another 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Your cake will have a light mocha or caramel colour. The top will be cracked like this-
Cool completely before unfolding.
Use a sharp knife to slice the uneven tops off.
Slice each cake into 2 equal halves. Glaze with sugar syrup if desired.
Frost each layer and then cover the entire cake with frosting.
Serve at room temperature.