Thursday, September 22, 2011

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

   What a name! Though I don't really fancy it, the person who posted the recipe (the Kitchen Guardian, whose blog is lovely) asked that we name the cake as it is, so Devil's Food Chocolate Cake it is. I've made this cake two times. The first one looked a total mess that I named it Chocolate Mess Cake, but it tasted lovely. I followed the proper measurements for the cake, but as I only had 100g cream cheese (the recipe calls for 250g) I made some adjustments. The same goes for the chocolate ganache, which I halved but later wish I hadn't. Hehe.

   This cake turned out to be even more popular than the red velvet cake. I made it at 12 a.m. and chilled it overnight in the refrigerator. The next day I managed to eat one slice before going for my driving class. When I came back, only a very thin slice remained! I decided that the next time I made it, I'd make two cakes so that the result would be taller- which means that you can cut thinner slices so that everyone can have several goes at eating it instead of just once or twice.

   This is the first cake. Just two layers since I only made one cake. I only put 5 tablespoons sugar to the 100g cream cheese so it was a little sour, but I still liked it. I divided the batter into two and baked each layer separately because I didn't want the bother of having to cut the cake in two later. By some fortunate or unfortunate incident, I accidentally baked the first layer at 110C instead of 160C, so it took longer to bake but somehow yielded a lovely, moist texture. (The photo below's not that good, but I think you can see that the top layer is slightly moister).

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake version 1
You don't want to see the whole cake. You really don't.
      Then, Littlest Brother requested that I made the cake for his birthday. So we went to Tesco and got some more cream cheese. Since it was already a few weeks after Raya, they'd restocked most of the supplies and I found quite a number of different brands for cream cheese. As usual, of course, I wanted to find one with an establised and recognised Halal logo, and found two- the KRAFT Philadelphia cream cheese which is what we usually get, and another brand named Tatura, which comes from Australia. The Tature one was much cheaper, 250g for about RM 7.99 while the Philadelphia cheese was priced at nearly RM 12.00. So I bought two of the Tatura cheese. They look like this:

    When we got home, I started making the cake. I knew it was about to become one of my nocturnal baking adventures since I planned to make two cakes, wait for them to cool and frost them, etc. This time I followed the recipe exactly, because I planned to use one batch of chocolate ganache and cream cheese frosting for two cakes. 

   I actualy planned to make four layers out of the two cakes, but I made a mistake when I divided the batter... long story... so instead I ended up with three layers. Which was good anyway since there would not have been enough frosting and ganache! Frosting the cake was messy, I didn't have a proper cake stand, but I had an idea that if I spread the cream cheese and chilled it in the fridge for a while first so that it'd firm up a bit, I wouldn't have so much trouble spreading the ganache on top (like I did with the first cake). It worked, but I think next time I'll make the cake earlier during the day, and do the frosting and layering at night so that I'll have more time for chilling the cake. 

   Anyway, here is the recipe. I first found it in Kak Rima's blog, who had Kak Edi from Adorable Cupcakes recommend it to her, who in turn took it from the Kitchen Guardian, who took it from a book called Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski. Phewwh! That was long. KG requested that we give the proper credits, which I hope I've done correctly. Shelly Kaldunski, is, by the way a food consultant for Martha Stewart Living. No wonder it's such a good recipe!

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake
links to original recipe: here, here and here

(I made 2 cakes)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder 
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons (about 65 gram) butter 
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
1/4 cup buttermilk (or fresh milk with a few drops of lemon juice/distilled vinegar)
1/2 cup warm water (I used 1/4 warm water and 1/4 milk)

Grease and line cake tin with baking paper. (I used a 7-inch cake tin)
Sieve flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda, salt in one bowl.
Beat butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined.
Add dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder etc) alternately with liquid ingredients (buttermilk + warm water) in three portions.
Add vanilla extract/essence. Mix until well combined.
Bake for about 30 minutes at 160C or until just cooked. 

Cream Cheese Frosting
250 g cream cheese, room temp (I used Tatura cream cheese)
125 g butter, room temp
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted (I reduce the amount from 1 cup so that we could taste the cheese)
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
a few drops of lemon juice, optional

Beat cream cheese and butter, just until creamy. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and mix until well combined.

Chocolate Ganache
3/4 cup non-dairy whipping cream (original: 200 ml double cream with at least 30% fat content)
200 g dark chocolate, chopped (original 250g)
a pinch of salt (which I didn't put)

Heat cream until just at boiling point. Add chocolate (and salt) and stir. Remove from heat when chocolate has melted and continue stirring until well mixed. Leave to cool.

Cool cake completely, spread the cream cheese frosting and pour cooled ganache on top. Make sure the ganache is cool but still pourable, if you leave it for too long it'll get really thick and becomes a little difficult to spread.

Chill cake overnight in the refrigerator. This is what I did because we prefer cakes that come out of the fridge nice and cold. I think it also allows some time for the ganache and cheese to be absorbed into the cake for a bit, which helps to make it even moister. Yum!

   This is what it looks like from the outside. You can see that I've a lot to improve in my cake frosting skills. The bits of paper that you see underneath was an attempt to utilise this tip I learned which says that you can slip long strips of paper under the cake (about three strips) which you can later remove after you've finished frosting. This will help to reduce the mess, but it didn't work because the paper stuck fast under the cake!

   This is what it looks like from the inside. (Oooppss I forgot to remove the baking paper). Three layers! I think this is the best cake I've made yet.

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake version 2
Oh my God, what is that on top of the cake???
Oh. An extra large cake crumb. Thank goodness.
   I can't wait to make it again! Maybe when Big Sister comes home for the weekend?


  1. Its such a decadent cake, I can see why you need a good reason to make it again. I think it looks marvellous.

  2. Shaheen: Hehe... not as marvellous as your pear cake, but it's alright, I guess. The taste is definitely marvellous, though.

  3. I think if a cake magically "disappears" that quickly it's a sign you've made a very good cake indeed!
    Love your even layers - the sponge looks so rich and moist

  4. wow! looks much grander than the one I made last time (but i think because I didn't make 2 layers.. and didn't have cream cheese frosting)! no wonder most of the cake was gone =p

  5. Oh did you make this? I'll waltz over and have a see. Well yes, making the cake into layers adds some fun and elegance, I suppose, and the cream cheese frosting is really good, you should really, really try it! :)

  6. CC: It was quite a lovely cake! Probably one of the best I've made so far, though I still need to work on the presentation. I love layered cakes... :)

  7. hehe memang sedap benda ni.. i baked it for an order today.. 4 times the recipe.. this year alone i dont know how many times i dah bake this cake cos its super easy and guarantee sedap :o)

  8. Tula. The 3rd time I made it for my sister- 4 layers from 2 cakes. It's definitely super sedap... and easy too I guess, though I managed to buat silap a few times! Thanks for dropping by ;)

  9. That looks like the most wonderful cake. I am drooling just looking at it :)

  10. Thanks Jac! I assure you it tastes even better than it looks! ;)

  11. Beautiful blog!
    I love your recipes and presentation of dishes.
    I have added to your followers.
    If you want, come and visit me, you're welcome

  12. Hello, LaMagicaZucca! Thanks for your lovely comment, I think my blog is rather plain looking, but I'll try harder to improve. I'll definitely return the visit ;)

  13. then perhaps this is what they call chocolate cake from hell, eh? since it's devil food and all?


  14. Kak Teha: They say it's called so because it's sinfully delicious. I'd rather just call it super delicious chocolate cake, really, hehe. I don't think anything from hell would be edible let alone taste good, do you? :)


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