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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Devil's Food Cake and my heart's desire...

I remember a day when my heart was safely tucked away inside my body.  Open, yet still protected.  Sure, it was squeezed and shared and twisted and filled and occasionally even broken, but it was always with me.

I remember the moment that day in January, when I looked down...and there I was...holding my heart in my hands.  As if I was dreaming.  I could feel it, see it, touch it, smell it there in my arms...yet at the same insides were swelling, as if making room to hold it inside.  Perhaps this was the same as phantom limb syndrome?

As years went by, I gradually accepted the fact that my heart was out there spreading joy.  It was making the world a better place...warming other hearts...encouraging hope.   There have been moments...hours...filled with prayer and anticipation until we were reunited.

My heart, you fill me with pride and wonder and amazement and fear and love.  The past thirteen years have been the most amazing and heart-wrenching years of my life.

And if Devil's Food cake is what my heart desires after walking around outside of my body for thirteen years, then Devil's Food cake is what my heart shall receive.
Devil's Food Cake
serves 10-12

for the cake:
½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted 
½ c. packed dark brown sugar
1 c. boiling water
9 Tbs. soft, unsalted butter
¾ c. superfine sugar
1½ c. ap flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 xl eggs

for the frosting:
½ c. water
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
¾ c. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cubed
11 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or chips)

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line bottoms of two 8" cake pans w/ parchment paper and butter the sides.

cake:  Put cocoa and brown sugar into a bowl with space to spare, and pour in the boiling water.  Whisk to mix, set aside.  Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda together in separate bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and superfine sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla.  Drop in one egg, then half of the flour mixture.  Repeat.  Fold in reserved cocoa mixture.  Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for ~25-30 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then turn cakes out of pans and continue cooling the rest of the way on the rack.  
frosting (takes ~1 hour before ready, so you can do this either while the cake is baking, or an hour or so before you're ready to use it):  Put water, sugar and butter in a pan over low heat to melt.  When it begins to bubble, remove it from the heat and add the chocolate.  Swirl the pan around a bit to let the chocolate get covered and begin to melt.Whisk until smooth and glossy.  Let sit for at least an hour to thicken up a bit.  Frost the cake!!  Use about a third to cover bottom layer...a third to cover top...and a third to finish the sides.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”   ~Elizabeth Stone

Sharing this post with:
*Sundays at One Food Club 
*Tailgating Time
*Decidedly Healthy or Horribly Decadent

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is awesome because yesterday I finally watched my DVRed Nigella shows and in one of the episodes she made this. It looks so good. This cake looks like anyone's best friend when you need that comforting feel chocolate can provide. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Happy Happy to your heart. Great looking cake and as GK pointed out not long ago, great looking heart. Looooooookinh goooooooooood. The Olde Bagg

  3. There is nothing like just plain old cake...Love it...
    I have been looking for a chocolate frosting that was cooked, and then beaten, for longer then I care to mention..It was called Glossy Chocolate Frosting...I can't wait to try this and see if it is the one I have been looking for!

  4. A great big appreciation for your heart. =) And for the joy it gives, like through this cake!

  5. Beautiful Cake Heather. Hugs to you and that big heart.

  6. Holy moly! I can't believe how delicious this looks!

  7. Beautiful post - and the cake looks wonderful!
    I guess a happy birthday to your "heart" is in order here too :-)
    Thanks for linking up to Tailgating Time!

  8. Beautiful- both the cake and the post. Having children is definitely a heart warming yet heart wrenching at times experience. :)

  9. What a gorgeous cake and a beautiful post Heather. My husband is a chocolate cake fanatic and would love some of this cake right now (okay, me too....).

  10. This looks absolutely amazing!!!

  11. Esta receta me la llevo, que pasada.


  12. Chocolate is the theme! I made chocolate pie today but it doesn't hold a candle to this masterpiece you have!! Did you submit that to Foodista? You oughta!!

  13. Oh, yes, would love a piece RIGHT NOW! Man, that icing is beyond perfection.

  14. How did you know I've been craving cake and some beautiful writing? What a great post. I love devil's food cake, and I thought that your words were so eloquent. Your heart is a wonderful thing, my dear! I hope you have an outstanding week.

  15. Hi Heather,
    Happy Birthday to your heart...your post touched my heart and I love that quote. The wonderful Devils Food Cake brings back memories for me. I would love it if you could bring it to Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage on Thursday. Have a special weekend!

  16. Such a beautifully frosted cake, looks absolutely amazingly delicious! I'm drooling over these pictures...

  17. oh my goodness, i never expect to get emotional while reading food blogs, yet here i am.

    if there's anything to celebrate motherhood, this is certainly it, it looks divine!

  18. So touching. And speaking of touching, I'd like to be touching that cake!

  19. What a delicious-looking cake! It's my heart's desire too!

  20. What a sweet post...and a beautiful cake. 13 now that is an age :) Wonderful...

  21. MMMM .... I heart devil's food and I heart 13. Which I why at my advancing age I continue to work with 13 year olds!

  22. Absolutely beautiful, the cake too. ♥

  23. Very sweet post alongside a sweet and delicious looking cake!

  24. What a sweet post ~ And this cake is so worth waiting for ~ Love it!

  25. such a beautiful post. wish you just happiness
    the cake looks amazing, love the frosting.
    thanks for sharing.
    hope you'll have a wonderful week,

  26. What a beautiful post and what a gorgeous looking chocolate cake as well. That frosting is luscious.

  27. Oh Heather, this post made me cry! So sweet. Happy birthday to your now-13-year-old.

    And this Devil's food cake. This is love in and of itself. I'm sure of it.

  28. Frosting that takes an hour MUST be good! Yum!

  29. If I make this, will I look like Nigella????????????? Probably not, but I think I will make it anyway. At least I'll be smiling:)

  30. am looking greedily at the picture and trying hard not to drool on the keyboard now....seriously no kiddin' this is as they say- fingerlicking good :)

    US Masala

  31. Beautiful post and your cake is amazing! I too have written about this phenomena here:

  32. OOHHHHHHHHH Heather! Big tears! My heart jumped out of my body 17 years ago, so I know how you feel! Here's to you lovely Momma! hugs! Alex

  33. A perfect looking Devil's food cake, so decadent!

  34. Motherhood what a journey! Sending love your way. Can you send a slice of chocolate heaven my way?

    Cheers to you Heather!


  35. The cake looks wonderful... and Nigella's recipes never disappoint!

  36. I am loving Nigella's KItchen. Your cake is proof why.

  37. Wonderful post and such a gorgeous and decadent cake. With cake I am usually more of a white cake person but this one makes me drool. ;-)