When it comes to cake, I always choose chocolate. For me it's far and away the best flavor of cake. A lot of people make chocolate cake, but most of those cakes start with a box. Alton Brown showed in last night's new episode of Good Eats entitled "Devil Of A Cake" that you can make a moist, delicious, chocolate cake without any help from Duncan Hines or Pillsbury. In this episode he makes two kinds of chocolate cakes, each with their own frosting.
Devil's Food Cake | Click here for my full recipe review
Alton starts with a old recipe for a chocolate cake and changes it for a better result. In order to make a more chocolately, moist cake Alton uses some of these ingredients:
1. Dutch-process cocoa
This cocoa has a deeper chocolate flavor than natural cocoa. It also dissolves better in liquids. Alton soaks it first in boiling water. He does this because like coffee, chocolate is a bean and benefits from roasting. The boiling water in the cocoa is like roasting coffee.
2. Cake Flour
Cake flour contains less protein, so he uses a combination of all-purpose and cake flour to give the cake a better texture.
While butter has a nice flavor it doesn't make for a moist cake. Butter is solid at room temperature. But oil is not. So use oil as your fat instead of butter.
It is better to use water than milk. Milk will just downplay the flavor of the chocolate.
5. Sour Cream
Sour cream adds flavor, moisture, and acidity to the equation. Because of that you don't need to use baking powder, just baking soda for your leavening needs.
Chocolate Frosting | Click here for my full recipe review
Alton uses a chocolate frosting for the devil's food cake. This frosting is made of chocolate chips, powdered sugar, butter, and mayo. Mayo sounds little a weird ingredient but it is there to keep the frosting smooth and soft. You only use 1 ounce, so it shouldn't have much of an impact on the flavor.
Red Velvet Cake | Click here for the full recipe
Red Velvet Cake gets it's name from the fact that when you take cocoa and add acidic ingredients like vinegar and buttermilk, it turns the cocoa red. That red color is only slight, so to get a really deep red color, Alton adds red food coloring. The cake itself is made much similar to the devil's food cake except it uses butter, buttermilk and vinegar.
Cream Cheese Frosting | Click here for the full recipe
Finally to top off the Red Velvet Cake, Alton uses the traditional cream cheese frosting. It is made of room temperature cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, a pinch of kosher salt.
My last chocolate cake did not come out moist so I am looking forward to see if I have better results with this method. I have never made red velvet cake, so I want to give that a try as well.