devil’s food cake


A client was telling me that whenever she typed my name into her phone the word devil would pop up.  That might just explain why I loved this sinful indulgence.  Just one tip – make the icing first.  It took a long time to set, and after an hour it was still very runny.  I rather liked the idea of serving it like that but for those that don’t, make the icing first and let it sit. This is a recipe by Annie Bell.  In the coming weeks I will make Nigella’s version just for comparison.



For the cake

  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 370g light muscovado sugar
  • 180ml groundnut oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 200g self-raising flour, sifted

For the Icing

  • 250g milk chocolate, broken into pieces 
  • 40 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 60g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 2 tbsp runny honey


Whisk the cocoa with 200ml boiling water, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 160 deg fan oven/180 deg electric oven.  Butter or oil two 20 cm non-stick cake tins with removable bases, at least 5cm deep, and line with baking paper.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in the flour, and then the cocoa solution. Pour two-thirds of the mixture into one tin and the a third into the other tin, making sure the mixture is evenly spread.  Give each tin a sharp tap on the work surface to bring up any air bubbles and bake for 40-50 minutes respectively, or until risen and firm and a skewer inserted into the centre  comes out clean.  Run a knife around the edge of  the cakes and leave to cool.

To make the icing, gently melt the chocolate and butter into a bow set over a pan with a  little simmering water in it, stirring until smooth.  At the same time, combine the cocoa, milk and honey in a small saucepan and heat almost to boiling point, whisking until smooth.  Pass the cocoa and milk through  sieve into the bowl with the melted chocolate and whisk to a thick, glossy icing.

Remove the deeper pan cake from the base, peel off the paper and slit into two equal layers using a bread knife.  Place the lower half on a cake stand or plate and spread with a quarter of the icing.  Remove the paper from the smaller cake, lay this on top of the base and spread with another quarter of the icing.  Lay the top layer in place and smooth the remaining icing over the top of the cake, taking it up to the sides and leaving it to drip down.  Set aside for a couple of hours for the icing to set.  


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