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  • Recipe Room  »  Devil's food cake



    • 125g unsalted butter, softened
    • 1½ cups dark brown sugar
    • 2 eggs, separated
    • 2 cups self-raising flour
    • 50g dark cocoa powder
    • 1⅓ cups milk
    • 100g dark chocolate, melted and cool
    • ½ tsp white vinegar
    • sweetened whipped cream and berry compote, to serve

    Devil’s food cake

    Developed in the early 20th century as a counterpart to the more traditional Angel Food cake, Devil’s Food cake is rich, moist and has a slightly dense crumb. Where its angelic partner is airy and white the Devil’s option is deeply brown, verging on a reddish tinge. This red is achieved by the addition of a half-teaspoon of vinegar that reacts with the anthocyanin found in cocoa to reveal an almost regal magenta hue.

    But what differentiates Devil’s Food cake from regular chocolate cakes? Well, the inclusion of real chocolate is a good starting point. Most conventional chocolate cakes use only cocoa powder for their characteristic taste, but the inclusion of chocolate adds richness and creates a finer crumb. It is important to get the fat ratio correct, however, or the cake will be dry as a result.

    More over, like Angel Food cake, Devil’s Food cake relies on beaten egg whites for its principal aeration. While the self-raising flour does leaven the batter, the whipped meringue is the source of the fluffy texture and an even-rising top.

    This last point is perhaps the most important to pastry chefs and cake bakers. Cakes that rise evenly without an inconveniently-domed centre are easier to ice and to stack. As such, you will usually find Devil’s Food cake assembled as paired discs of cake sandwiched with icing or whipped cream and decorated with the same.

    But in the end, this cake’s sinfully good eating quality is the real reason for its intriguing name. And the moral offence involved? Well, normally I’d go with gluttony, but for a cake this good, perhaps lust?


    Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 5 minutes, until very light and creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat until smooth.

    Sift in the flour and cocoa and beat gently, adding the milk in a steady stream. Beat until smooth. Mix in the chocolate and vinegar. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold in gently, then spoon into two lined 20cm cake tins and bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer can be inserted and removed cleanly. Cool on a rack.

    Sandwich the cake with sweetened whipped cream and top with berry compote.

    Submitted by
    Fast Ed

    Tips and Tricks

    • Milk can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks, though may separate slightly upon thawing. Use frozen milk in cooking rather than plain drinking and thaw fully in the fridge.

    • We recommend purchasing free-range and organic eggs where possible to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare.

    • Store your eggs in their original cartons. Cartons prevent moisture loss in your eggs while protecting them from other flavours that may be absorbed from your fridge.

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