chocolate and cherry devils food cake
PREP TIME 30 mins, COOK TIME 30–35 mins, plus cooling
7 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 1⁄3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
12⁄3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄4 cup kirsch
3⁄4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
11 tbsps unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1⁄3 cup cocoa powder
1 1⁄3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1⁄4 cup whole milk
1 small can cherries, drained
and roughly chopped
scant 1oz (25g) dark chocolate, to garnish
1 Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease two 8in (20cm) round cake pans and line the bases with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, use an electric whisk to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2 Beat in the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In another bowl, mix together the kirsch, milk, and vanilla extract.
3 Beat alternate spoonfuls of the dry and liquid ingredients into the cake batter. Once the mixture is well blended, divide it evenly between the two pans.
4 Bake for 30–35 minutes until the cakes are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper.
5 For the icing, melt the butter in a frying pan over low heat. Add the cocoa powder and continue to cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently. Allow to cool completely.
6 Sift in the confectioners’ sugar, beating thoroughly to combine. Blend in the milk, 1 tbsp at a time, until smooth and glossy. Allow to cool (it will thicken) and then mix half the icing with the cherries and use to sandwich the cakes together. Decorate the top and sides of the cake with the remaining half of the icing. Finally, use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate shavings and scatter them evenly over the top of the cake.
This cake will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.