A few nights ago I had two friends coming over and an unfortunately empty fridge. They were coming over to hang out at about 9 or 10 at night, so I knew I wasn't exactly obliged to have a feast prepared. Nevertheless, I always like to have something for guests to munch on, but my fridge was failing me. I wracked my pantry to trying to figure out which ingredients I had on hand to whip something up with. Suddenly, I was inspired by the new box of cocoa powder I recently bought to make a chocolate cake. Now, because it was so late, I didn't want to opt for a tall, heavy cake with tons of layers and frosting or a rich, dense one either. After sifting through David Lebovitz's recipes (he's the best, isn't he?), I found this cake. Like he says, its the perfect compromise for different type of cake lovers. Instead of making two layers and a ganache, like David suggests, I halved the recipe and served the one layer with a dusting of powdered sugar. It was so good that the three of us (with a little help from one of my roommates) devoured the entire thing. I definitely recommend it if you want a lighter chocolate cake that isn't too dense but is still plenty moist and delicious.
Devil's Food Cake
adapted from David Lebovitz
4.5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups raw sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup 1% milk
powdered sugar (for dusting)
Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9" x 2" cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
Sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs. Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.
Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.