Devil’s food cake is an American creation, a fairly recent one from the very early 1900’s. The first printed recipe occurred in 1905. And, then evolution set in. The cake is characterized by being more moist and more airy than traditional chocolate cakes. Instead of melted chocolate, cocoa is often used. And most recipes use a combination of buttermilk and baking soda to achieve that particular tang that pairs so well with cocoa.
In The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook, authors Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell have a little fun with the name and the ingredients. Calling their cake Diablo, they add some cinnamon, allspice and cayenne pepper to the mix. Just a word: be careful of the cinnamon. It seems that the other ingredients act as a catalyst so a simple ½ teaspoon of cinnamon packs enormous flavor punch.
The recipe below includes the custard sauce recommended by the authors. I found the cake so spicy, and the day was so hot, that a simple vanilla ice cream was used in an arranged marriage that actually worked.
If you have loved Devil’s Food Cake and could not imagine it getting better, then you do not have to go to hell, but you do have to make Diablo.
Diablo Food Cake with Custard Sauce
Yield: serves 10 to 12
For the cake:
- · Cooking spray
- · 2cups cake flour [spooned into a cup, leveled off, and sifted]
- · 1 teaspoon baking soda
- · ½ teaspoon salt
- · ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- · ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- · ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- · ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- · ½ cup water
- · 1 cup buttermilk
- · 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- · 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- · 1 cup granulated sugar
- · 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- · 2 large eggs
For the custard sauce:
- · 2 cups milk
- · ½ cup granulated sugar
- · ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- · 4 large egg yolks
- · ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350T. Coat a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne. In a separate bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and ½ cup water. Stir together the buttermilk and vanilla.
In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and the granulated and brown sugars together until light in texture. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the cocoa mixture. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Scrape the batter into the pan and tap the pan on a countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with some moist crumbs attached and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Invert (right side up) on to a cake plate, removing the paper.
To make the custard sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, and cinnamon and bring to a simmer over low heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk about a cup of the warm milk into the egg yolks, then whisk the warmed eggs back into the pan. Cook, whisking, for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the almond extract.
Cut the cake into serving pieces and serve with the custard sauce.
Source: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/10th second at ISO-3200