Friday, April 6, 2012

southern devil's food cake

I am officially in love with David Guas... and this cake. I have tried a few of his recipes and LOVED every single one of them. There really isn't much to say about this cake. So rich and moist and chocolatey. One of the best cakes I have ever made. I really think his book is worth buying. I cannot wait to try more recipes from his book.

The original recipe makes a 4-layer cake. I'm not the best at cutting a cake in half so instead I baked them individually and made a 5-layer cake. I still had a whole lot of batter left and decided to bake cupcakes out of them, I got about 48 mini cupcakes. Yes, a whole lot of batter.

I would definitely halve the recipe the next time I make this cake... which will probably be very soon. This is my go to chocolate cake recipe now. I hope you will make this cake too because I know everyone will love you just a little more for it... ok maybe a whole lot.

All I can say is, it is delicious, so very delicious.

Southern Devil's Food Cake
from DamGoodSweets by David Guas (via Fine Cooking)

For the ganache:
455g semisweet chocolate (58% cocoa or more), finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened

For the cake:
1 1/2 stick (6oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1/4 cup mayonnaise

To make the ganache, put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream directly over the chocolate and let it sit without stirring for 5 minutes. Using a whisk, stir until fully combined. Add the butter and stir until it is fully incorporated. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ganache and set aside at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.

To make the cake, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200C/350F. Butter two 8x2-inch round cake pans (I used five 7" cake pans instead) and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment.

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder onto a piece of parchment (I skipped this step and sifted into a large bowl instead). Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting.

Using the parchment as a chute, add one-quarter of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add about 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until incorporated. Continue to alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk, mixing until incorporated after each addition and stopping to scrape the bowl and beater as necessary. Using a whisk, fold the mayonnaise into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (I measured and poured in half cup of batter in each pan) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean and the sides of the cake have begun to pull away from the pan slightly, 40 to 45 minutes (Mine took about 20 to 25 minutes). Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans and parchment. Cool the cakes completely.

To assemble the cake, with a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally (Obviously, I skipped this step since I baked each layer individually). Put one of the base layers on a cake plate and tuck strips of waxed paper under the cake to keep the plate clean while icing the cake.

Top the cake with about 1/3 cup of the ganache, spreading it evenly over the top. Add another cake layer, top with ganache, and repeat until the last layer is in place.

Spread a thin layer of ganache over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes to seal in any crumbs. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides. Remove the waxed paper.


  1. OMG!!! this looks so good and thumbs up for the great baking skills. I wonder if I can make the same with similar outcome.

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  3. Do you have to use Kosher salt or will regular salt work as well? Also, what do you mean by dutch-processed cocoa powder? Sorry for the bother, but I'm planning on making this for my friend's birthday, so please answer as soon as you can!