Thursday, 11 November 2010

Nigella's Devil's Food Cake

All hail Nigella, she's done it again. I recently bought her latest book Kitchen without having read any reviews, without flicking through it first, and without umm-ing and ahh-ing over it as I usually do with a hefty new cookbook. Should I have been a little more cautious before racing to the counter? A resounding no. It's a triumph and an absolute gem of a book to read, let alone use any of the recipes. There is a beautifully written introduction and a lengthy section on utensils worth having, and perhaps more importantly, gadgets absolutely not worth having. I hold my hands up to making some of the same purchasing errors as her, but it's so tempting at the time!!

Anyway, I couldn't wait to get started and have a go at some of her recipes, and yes I know this is utterly predictable, but I went straight to the desserts chapter and landed satisfyingly on her Devil's Food Cake. If you are on a diet, this is not for you. However if you enjoy a hefty dose of chocolate and cake, then do not hesitate to make this little (or rather large) beauty.

Devil's Food Cake
50g cocoa powder, sifted

100g dark muscovado sugar
250ml boiling water
125g soft unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

125ml water
30g dark muscovado sugar
175g unsalted butter, cubed
300g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 2 sandwich tins.
Put the cocoa and muscovado sugar into a bowl and add the boiling water, set aside.
Cream the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb in another bowl, set aside.
Add the vanilla extract to the butter mixture, still mixing, then the eggs one at a time.
Keep mixing then add the flour mixture, then fold in the cocoa mixture.
Divide between the two tins and bake for about 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

For the frosting put the water, muscovado sugar and butter in a pan and melt over a low heat.
When it begins to bubble take off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
Leave for about one hour, giving it a whisk every now and then.
When the cakes have cooled and the frosting is ready, put some frosting between the cakes, then cover with the rest.

Although Nigella suggests an hour is long enough to set the frosting, mine wasn't ready at this point and I needed to speed up the process so I put it in the freezer for 5 minutes. I did the trick, however I sacrificed the glossiness that the frosting should have had for speed. I would suggest making the icing before you make the cake and give it plenty of time to firm up at room temperature.

Utterly delicious and dangerously moreish, I highly recommend this cake. This was demolished within 48 hours, leaving only some rather snug waistbands and a smattering of crumbs on the plate!


  1. It sounds wonderful and I do enjoy a hefty dose of chocolate and cake. I like the whole chocolate look too - nothing to distract from it's lusciousness. Will of course have to try this - I've always found cakes using water to be particularly smooth and light.

  2. This looks amazing - My mouth is watering! :o)

  3. I just got that book today! I've made her everyday brownies which were very good and have her choc chip cookies in the oven now. Will definitely have to give this a try, yours looks so tempting I want to eat it off the screen!

  4. i love devil's food cake it the best moist cake in the world ummm mouth watering yummy!

  5. Yummy yummy yummy, Im gonna make this today for my sisters birthday as shes a chocoholic :) Im sure she'll love it!!!!

  6. Hi! I am soooo going to try this...looks yummy! Thanks for the info :)

  7. Hi, I came upon your site when searching for a review of this Devil's Cake. Your cake looks lovely and I'll bear in mind the time factor when making the frosting.


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