Halloween is the perfect time to try out recipes that you’ve always considered a bit beyond your comfort level, because if you botch them, everyone will assume that your bake’s semi-destroyed aesthetic is totally intentional, and oh-so-seasonal.
The bake itself is moderately tricky, but the hairy bit is mostly in the icing, so if you want an easy ride, swap it out for ready-made frosting from the supermarket. That said, the gorgeous combination of the sinfully dense and delicious devil’s food cake with the fluffy, sweet angel frosting is completely worth it if you’re willing to put in the time.
- 50g cocoa powder (hot chocolate powder will do!)
- 100g dark muscovado sugar 250ml boiling water
- 125g butter or margarine 150g caster sugar
- 230g self raising flour 2tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 500g white caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp liquid glucose (easily available in most supermarkets)
- 2 egg whites
- 25g icing sugar
Devil’s Food Cake
- First, the cake itself. Step one is to preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius grease a deep cake tin.
- Once that’s done, you’ll want to separate your ingredients into three bowls: one with the cocoa powder and dark muscovado sugar plus the boiling water, the butter with the caster sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in the next, and the flour on its own in the last.
- Make sure each element is well combined and mushed together, and then mix all three together, gently folding them until you have a smooth, relatively loose batter.
- Pour the whole thing into your cake tin and bake it in the oven for 40 minutes, or alternatively until you can poke a knife into the middle of the cake and bring it back out clean.
- Once the actual baking portion of the bake is complete, leave your creation to cool for ten minutes, then pop it out of the tin and onto a dinner plate.
- Here goes the tricky bit. In a saucepan – choose one with a good non-stick coating – combine the caster sugar, vanilla extract and liquid glucose with 125ml cold water.
- Stir it all, and then place the combo over a medium heat, leaving it to come gently to a boil. Do not be tempted to stir it or your icing will all go wrong. Once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear, it’s time to remove it from the heat.
- While you’re waiting for the sugar mix to boil, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed on the whisk when you pull it out of the bowl.
- Now, (most likely with the help of a flatmate), you’ll want to very slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, beating the mix as you do so. The mix will be extremely hot, so be careful not to burn yourself!
- Keep beating the mixture until it’s smooth, cooled, and almost thick enough to spread.
- Then you just fold in the icing sugar… and assemble!
- This is best done by cutting the cake in half and sandwiching a good dollop of the icing between the two layers, then covering the outside with icing and sprinkling some hot chocolate powder around the edges to dress it.
- You could then draw on cobwebs with icing pens from the supermarket if you’re feeling super spooky, or cover the whole thing with Smarties and other candies if you wanted to add an extra trick to this treat, but it looks quite effective as it is.
- Beware, however, that if you do choose the path of the extra topping, then you’re best off going for crunchy sweets: squishy additions such as marshmallows don’t work very well with the texture of the rest of the cake.
TIP: The key to a well combined cake batter (and icing!) is to sieve all of your dry ingredients. Sieved ingredients means no lumps, and no lumps means a smooth, beautiful cake.