a divine chocolate cake at amy’s bread

the definitely devil’s food cake at amy’s bread is part of my weekend chelsea market routine. i’ll do my rounds, pick up a slice, and life is good. it was hubby’s birthday the other day, and i decided to make this cake to celebrate.  i did change up the decoration of the cake a bit to make it more festive– added the raspberries, shaved some chocolate and smoothed the icing. (it comes a bit more nostalgic, rustic and plain at amy’s bread).

because of the high percentage of chocolate in both the frosting and the cake, consuming room temperature is highly recommended! it makes all the difference in flavour and texture.

Definitely Devil’s Food Cake from Amy’s Bread
(makes one 2-layer nine inch cake; adaptation and notations are mine)

Unsweetened dark chocolate 5 oz  (I used couverture)
Sour cream ½ cup plus 1 tbsp
Unsweetened Cocoa powder 1/3 cup
Baking Soda 2 ½ tsp
Boiling water 1 ½ cups
Cake flour 2 cups
Salt ½ tsp
Eggs 4 large ones
Vanilla extract 2 ½ tsp
Unsalted butter ¾ cups at room temp
Brown sugar 1 ¾ cups
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Butter two nine-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate over water bath or in microwave (about 90 seconds, stirring half way thru). Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, stir together sour cream, cocoa powder and baking soda until it forms thick batter.  Then add boiling water until evenly combined.
  4. Combine flour and salt in a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
  5. In the bowl of your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  6. Then, add melted chocolate into the standmixer. Followed by eggs and vanilla.  Mix well after each addition.
  7. Turn the mixer down to the lowest speed.  Pour sour cream mixture and flour mixture into the standmixer in 2-3 parts. The batter is very thin.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
  8. Divide the batter into the 2 buttered pans.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  The cake will pull away from the edge of the pan when it is ready.
  9. Remove from pan after it has cooled outside of the oven for about 10 minutes.  Allow the cake to fully cool before frosting.

Chocolate Silk Frosting

Semi-sweet chocolate chips 3 cups
Confectioner’s sugar 1 ½ cups
Cocoa powder ¾ cups
Butter 2 cups, slightly softened
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
  1. Melt chocolate chips over water bath or in the microwave.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Cream butter at medium speed until light and creamy.
  3. Then, add sugar and cocoa powder. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  4. Pour in the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt.  Mix on medium speed until frosting forms.
  5. Try not to over-mix as the frosting will become too soft to spread.  If this happens, put the frosting back into the refrigerator until it firms up a bit and then use.

Notes on Assembling the Cake:

  1. Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of the cake layers to form fairly flat layers
  2. If cake will not be served immediately, apply a thin layer of simple syrup to the interior sides of the cakes before layering on the frosting.  The simple syrup serves to firm up the structure of the cake and prevents it from collapsing.  Not really needed if cake will be served immediately.
  3. Frost the first layer of the cake and then place the second layer on top of it.
  4. Spread frosting evenly all over the cake and smooth with a large metal spatula.
  5. Place raspberries on top of the cake, then cover with shaved chocolate.
  6. Consume at room temperature.
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