Saturday, 2 October 2010

Devil's Food Cake/A Big Chocolate Birthday Cake!

I love birthdays and September was most definitely a month of birthdays! As soon as my Mum's birthday was over, it was onto Karl's. I decided months ago I was going to make Karl a proper birthday cake rather than cupcakes. I had it straight in my mind that I was going to make the chocolate cake recipe out of the Primrose Bakery book. However, a week before his birthday Karl bought me the new Nigella book Kitchen and on the first flick through the book I saw what looked like the yummiest, stickiest, chocolatiest cake and decided that this was the cake my boy would be getting for his birthday!

I've never made a chocolate cake before in the way that this recipe tells you to do. Most chocolate cake recipes I have made tell you to sieve the cocoa powder into the rest of the dry ingredients. However with this one, you make the cake mix as if its just going to be a plain cake and mix the cocoa and dark muscovado sugar with boiling water which is then added right at the end. I was concerned this wasn't going to work due to the large amount of folding in it required, however once the cake came out of the oven I was happy with the result.

The next job once the cake was made was to make the frosting. This was a mixture of water, muscovado sugar, butter and chocolate. Nigella said at the start of the recipe don't worry if it looks too watery, once it is cool the consistancy would be perfect for spreading on the cake. That wasn't what I was worried about though. The recipe said to heat butter, water and sugar together and then add the chocolate. I just couldnt understand in my head how on earth the butter and water would mix together. I gave it a good go...followed everything Nigella said in the recipe but there was no way this was going to work and as the mixture started to cool it just seperated..leaving a huge amount of chocolate gunk in the bottom of my pan with a layer of water on top..yuck!

Luckily, I had bought extra chocolate and I made a batch of chocolate butter cream from the Primrose Bakery book which I used to fill the cake and then put on the top of it. I then decorated the cake with huuuge amounts of white and milk chocolate curls and chocolate stars.

Despite the disaster with Nigella's icing the cake was one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have made. The cake was very chocolatey but not overpowering and very moist the middle. I served it with cream which made it taste even better!

Devil's Food Cake

50g cocoa powder
100g dark muscovado sugar
250ml boiling water
125g butter
150g caster sugar
225 plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the bottom of 2 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.

Put the cocoa and muscovado sugar in a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix and then set aside.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl.

Put the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar - mixing all the time- then drop one egg in followed by a spoonful of flour and then the second egg.

Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture.

Divide the batter between the two tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the tine for 10 mins or so before turning out.

Ice with chocolate butter cream (sorry I've not got time to type the recipe out but I'm sure you all know how to make chocolate butter cream!).


  1. What a great looking cake - I've asked Santa to bring me this book on his sleigh, fingers crossed I've been a good enough girl this year ;0)

  2. This looks lovely. If you fancy trying another chocolate cake I would recommend Nigella's Cholcolate Guinness Cake from her book "Feast". It's fabulous. You can get the recipe from her website or this is the link:

  3. Hehe fingers crossed for you chele :) and Jean that cake does look fantastic. It is definitely going down on my list of cakes to be made in the near future!

  4. Mmmmm gorgeous chocolate cake, love the stars!


  5. Yeah the view out my window is rather amazing! and if you turn the other way you can see the ocean - it's awesome :) This cake looks gorge, I love the primrose Bakery's choc's one of my absolute faves! glad it saved the day for you! I love the decorations on this cake!