In The Dark Chocolate Cake

One week ago Irene hit up here in Maine. Branches were down, power was out and a tree fell across from the house, though fortunately it didn’t fall across the house. It wasn’t too bad up here, and thankfully we have a generator. This meant we could turn it on to keep the fridge cool every few hours. We lost no food because of this; we actually lost no food because I haven’t been grocery shopping in forever. Plenty of pantry staples and a generator meant we were all set.

We were able to get the lights on so we could finish repairing the drywall and priming in our common room, people could shower, chocolate cakes could be baked.

Only the essentials.

Specifically a Devil’s Food Cake with a Hot Fudge Ganache(esque) and Sea Salt.

I would like to take this moment to note that I officially baked a cake without a.) any part of the cake breaking and b.) that was unbelievably tasty. This is huge.

Devils Food Cake (From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, directions paraphrased from book)

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  1. Let eggs and butter get to room temp, about 30 minutes. Grease two 9 1/2 inch round cake pans (I like to grease it all, put parchment on the bottom, and then grease on top of the parchment again. Then lightly flour the sides in some of the dry cake mix. The cake slips right out). Set aside pans.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350*.  In another bowl (preferably a kitchen-aid-esque deal) beat butter for about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup sugar at a time until fully incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl, beat 2 more minutes. Add eggs one at a time (it’s easier to break these into a bowl first so you don’t get shells in your batter). Beat in vanilla. Add flour and milk alternately. Keep scraping sides down so all is incorporated.  Beat on high for 20 seconds. Spread into prepared pans.
  4. Bake 30-35 until tester comes out clean.
  5. Cool layers for about 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Despite what this recipe says to do – do not cool thoroughly. You want the cakes to be warm so they can soak in the ganache.

Hot Fudge Ganache-Esque (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, No-Cook Fudge Frosting)

  • 1 pound powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • A little reserved boiling water
  1. Place sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and combine well. Add butter, boiling water and vanilla to mixer. Slowly add dry mix, on low speed, until fully combined. The frosting should fully coat a spoon, but still fall off in almost sheets.


How the cake looks when you start adding the hot topping.

If you are layering your cakes, put the first layer on your plating dish.  (I used a plate and only did a single layer, but if you want to get fancy use a cake stand). I recommend putting the bottom layer rounded side down, if you don’t trim the entire cake flat. The top layer should be placed flat side down so it all sits flush and even. If you are layering them, I recommend cutting the round off the bottom layer so it’s entirely flat – but you’re call. Lord knows I wouldn’t do that. I would love every ounce of that tippy delicious cake.

  1. Perforate the top of your cake a bunch with a fork to help soak in the fudge ganache-esque topping
  2. Place a few large spoons of the hot topping on the warm cake and spread gently with the back of the spoon, working in circles to the edges of your cake. Continue until the cake has slowed on soaking in (when you cut it, you’ll see it’s soaked about 1/2 to 3/4 of the cake through). The frosting will be cooling during this time, as will the cake and it will start to sit on top of the surface, this is what you want.
  3. Continue until you reach your desired amount. Sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt.
  4. If you are laying, place your second layer and follow the steps above. If you want a prettier top, feel free to leave out the fork marks (this will just reduce how much is soaked in). Finish with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.

This was so incredibly tasty. Immediately after finishing the topping Mr. A walked out to the garage and turned off the lights. I however, enjoyed a tasty, delicious, dense with soaked in topping, moist piece of cake by candlelight. Or, specifically – oil lamp.

So next time a storm is brewing your way, remember the essentials:

  • Water
  • Batteries
  • Charged Cellphone
  • Ingredients for Chocolate Cake

I hope you all were safe and well in the storm down south, and in NH/VT where it really was severe in a lot of places, whether from wind or rain. I send you guys all lots of love and prayers.

Take Care,


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