We made a cake for my daughter's 3rd birthday. It was a chocolate cake and it didn't come out as well as I would have liked. A couple weeks later, Alton Brown came out with a new Good Eats episode entitled "Devil of a Cake". The show obviously featured a devil's food cake. I was excited to give this chocolate cake recipe a try, to see if it was better. It certainly was. I have been using it every time I have made a chocolate cake. The first one we decorated for St. Patrick's Day. For my daughter's 4th birthday, we made a Hello Kitty version (picture further down the page)
Below you will find my notes from this recipe. For the full recipe, visit Food Network's website. I will cover the cake first, then the frosting.
Devil's Food Cake
1. I had all the ingredients on hand, so I did the recipe exactly like Alton said.
2. Don't worry about getting every single lump out of the batter. It will work out when cooked. You only want to make the cake as much as it needs it. We are trying to create gluten here, like we would if we were baking bread.
3. In order to tell if the cake was done, I used a toothpick. When it came out clean, I knew it was done.
The cake came out very moist. A lot more so than the cake I made previously. The sour cream played a role in how moist the cake was, without tasting like sour cream. Also the cake has a rich chocolate flavor. This is what Devil's Food Cake is suppose to be. This will now be my go to recipe when I need to make a chocolate cake.
Recipe Grade: A
1. The first thing I thought when I saw this recipe was: it has mayo in it? I am not a fan of mayo at all, but I am glad to report that I could not taste it in the frost. It just provided a nice smooth frosting, that didn't become hard.
2. The cake uses cocoa flour, but the frosting uses chocolate chips, melted in the microwave. I mix the chips until they were almost completely melted and then stirred it to finish the job. I didn't want to overheat the chocolate.
3. My frosting came together a little quicker than Alton made it look. Just beat the frosting until it's the desire texture that you want. This means a lot of tasting. I always recommend tasting your frosting before you put it on the cake, because once it's on, you will never get 100% of it back off.
I liked the texture of the frosting. But it lacked a punch. It didn't seem chocolately enough for me. My wife made a chcoolate buttercream frosting for my daughter's birthday cake that was much better than this. So I think combining that frosting with Alton's cake, will make for the perfect chocolate cake experience.
Recipe Grade: C
Here is a Hello Kitty cake we made using a basic vanilla cream frosting: