For this week's devil's food cake recipe, Barb went back a few years -- specifically to Lee Bailey's Country Desserts, which was originally published in 1988. "This is the summer fruit dessert bible for me, and just one of Mr. Bailey's many excellent cookbooks, most of which are out of print now," says Barb. "He was buddies with Ina Garten and Martha Stewart, and was the master at keeping things simple and making them great, even if the cake on the cover is a little lopsided." Barb recommends eating the cake with ice cream (duh), preferably on your front porch with like-minded chocoholics.
Devil's food cake with buttercream icing
1 2/3 cups sifted cake flour 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup Butter 1 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled 3/4 cup hot coffee (not instant)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans. 2. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 3. Cream butter and brown sugar until smooth and stir in vanilla. 4. Add eggs one at a time, beating 2 minutes after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate and gradually stir in hot coffee. 5. Add flour mixture one third at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Chocolate buttercream icing
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 large egg yolk 6 ounces semisweet chocolate melted and cooled 1 tablespoon powdered instant espresso 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
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1. Cream the butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 2. Beat in the egg yolk, add the melted chocolate and beat well. 3. Add espresso and vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. 4. Gradually add the confectioners sugar, beating until smooth and creamy. 5. Let the cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes, un-mold onto cake racks and let cool completely.