Saturday, August 31, 2013

Devil's Food Cake

Devil's food cake is the opposite of angel food cake - the former is rich and chocolaty, whereas the latter is light and airy. Certainly, it's easier to make devil's food cake vegan, since recipes typically call for one or two eggs. (Angel food, but contrast, generally calls for 10 or 12 eggs, although that doesn't stop me from trying!). Another characteristic of devil's food cake is that it uses cocoa powder, rather than the chocolate that goes into a standard chocolate cake. The cocoa gives the cake a slightly reddish tint after cooking, which is another possible origin of the cake's name. But I like to think it's called "devil's food" because it's so devilishly delicious.

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 cup packed vegan brown sugar
  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules*
  • 1 tablespoon vegan powdered sugar
1. Coat an 8-inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray, and dust with 2 teaspoons flour; set aside.

2. Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until melted.  Add the cocoa, stirring well with a whisk.

3. Add the brown sugar, stirring to combine, then add the Ener-G eggs and whisk until smooth (whisk gently, to avoid sloshing).  Stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt.

4. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.  Add the flour to the cocoa mixture, stirring just until blended.  In a measuring cup, combine the hot water and espresso granules, then add to the flour mixture and stir until blended.

Note: The batter is quite watery at this point, so much so that I worried it wouldn't set properly during baking. These fears were unfounded, so don't fret if you are also concerned about how wet the batter is.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes - a wooden pick inserted in the center should come out clean.  Cool the cake for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then dust with the powdered sugar.

Cut the cake into 9 squares, and serve warm from the pan or at room temperature.

*If you don't have instant espresso, use 2 teaspoons instant coffee instead.

Nutrition Info:
9 servings (1 square), Calories 221

Tasting Notes:
I don't think I've ever had a cake simultaneously so rich in flavor but airy and light in texture - a fantastic combination. The cake is almost fluffy, and yet bursting with chocolate. If you want to take this up a notch, try your favorite vegan frosting on top. The powdered sugar was nice, but I know this cake would be even better frosted.


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