Featured Recipes

Devil’s Food Cake

If there's a lover of sweets in your life, nothing says "I Love You" better than chocolate. And I can't think of a more perfect Valentine's Day treat than this devil's food cake with a chocolate custard frosting.

(Serves 10 to 12)

3/4 cup strained unsweetened cocoa such as Hershey's (do not use Dutch-processed cocoa)
1/2 cup hot water
3/4 cup cold water
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon freeze-dried coffee
½ cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Position racks in the lower and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round layer pans. Butter the bottom and sides well. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment and butter well.

2. Put the cocoa in a small bowl. Slowly add the hot water, stirring until smooth, then blend in the cold water. Set aside.

3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, using a triple sifter. Set aside.

4. Place the butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to soften on low speed. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and cream butter until smooth and light in color, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

5. Add the white sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking 3 to 4 minutes to blend it in well. Then add the brown sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, over an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.

6. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, at 1-minute intervals, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla.

7. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture alternately with cocoa liquid, dividing the flour into 3 parts, the liquid into 2 parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until incorporated after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl. Mix 10 seconds longer.

8. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with the back of a tablespoon. Place the pans on the lower shelf of the oven. Bake in the preheated oven 28 to 30 minutes, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan and top is springy to the touch.

9. Remove pans from oven. Set onto cake racks for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Spray the racks with non-stick coating, invert the cakes and remove the pans. Carefully peel off paper. When the cake is completely cool prepare the frosting.


1. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the chocolates, coffee, and boiling water. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the coffee dissolved. In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt and add to the chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Slowly add the half-and-half, whisking gently until well combined.

2. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Cook gently about 1 minute longer, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat. Off the heat, blend in the butter and vanilla. To cool quickly, set saucepan in cold water. Stir gently, do not beat, until icing is thick enough to spread. This will only take a few minutes.


1. Place first layer-top side down on serving plate. Slide 4 strips of waxed paper between the plate and the bottom of the cake to keep the plate clean.

2. Spread a layer of frosting over the cake. Place the top layer, top-side up over the bottom layer. Cover the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish the edge and bottom of the cake with 1-inch of chocolate shavings. Carefully remove the wax paper moving the paper from left or right, NOT STRAIGHT as you pull it out.


Warm a 3 ½ or 4 ounce dark chocolate candy bar briefly in a microwave just to soften the chocolate. To do this, INVERT a small plate in the microwave and place the chocolate with a paper towel underneath on top of the plate. Using the defrost setting, warm the chocolate only for a few seconds. DO NOT LET THE CHOCOLATE GET TOO HOT OR IT WILL MELT.

Copyright © 2017 by Carole Walter, CCP
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