Recipe Review: Devil’s Food Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan

Yes, it’s from that cookbook again.

But can you blame me? I’ve yet to find a miss in this cookbook, and this one is one that I am particularly proud of. I told my mom I’d make her a chocolate cake for her birthday, and then I made two additional “test cakes” before making that final one. And let me tell you, this is going to become my go-to chocolate cake recipe, because it’s incredible.

I mean, just look at how beautiful that cake is. And yes, this is my photo. I’m that proud of it. I just wish I’d remembered to take a picture of the inside with all the layers showing. There’s four layers to this cake!

I even bought a special chocolate shaver in order to make this cake, and it works beautifully (as long as you use the proper chocolate – you can’t use chocolate chips for this, get actual baking chocolate, and let it cool down a bit before you pour it into the molds. Everyone in the reviews saying it doesn’t work isn’t doing it right). The shavings are so delicate and they melt in your hand, so you have to shave them over the cake itself.

I also used these cake pans (they are not dishwasher safe, which is fine with me, but might not be with you), and I bought these parchment paper rounds, to make life a little easier.

What I Changed: I didn’t use the Valrhona cocoa powder that she called for, because I couldn’t justify spending that much money on cocoa powder. Instead I used the Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder, and while it didn’t come out quite as dark as the pictures in the book, I think it looked beautiful anyway. I may have to bite the bullet and buy some Valrhona to see what difference it makes.

I also decided to put some chocolate syrup on it to try and distract from my terrible icing job. It may not look the prettiest, but it tastes incredible, and that’s all that matters, right?

What I Would Change: Again, this is another recipe where I’m going to say not a single thing. This cake is perfect in every way, shape, and form. I would like to figure out how to make my layers rise a little more, because they’re not super tall like they’re shown in the book, but I’m doing everything correct. It doesn’t affect the taste at all, though.

Does It Keep?: YES! You have to keep it in the fridge, though, because of how much butter is in the icing, but it keeps perfectly for several days. I think we’ve had it in the fridge for up to seven days before, and it still tasted just as good. I wouldn’t recommend keeping it for that long, though.

Final Thoughts: This may be the absolute best chocolate cake I’ve ever baked, and it’s better than several cakes I’ve had from actual bakeries, too. It does take a while to assemble – I timed it the last time I made it, and it took exactly three hours from start to finish (that’s including baking and cooling time). It’s completely worth it, though, so don’t let that scare you away. A lot of it is hands-off, like the baking (about 25 minutes in my oven) and the cooling (about an hour or so).

This cake gets 10/10 stars for deliciousness. I know I usually do a five-point scale, but so far I’ve made nothing that gets even close to this chocolate cake, and therefore it’s the pinnacle of my baking career. I’m sure one day I’ll surpass it, but right now it’s my best work. And if I could convince you to buy this cookbook, I’ll have done my job.

What’s your favorite chocolate cake recipe? Are you going to buy this cookbook? Let me know in the comments!

And as always, keep reading.

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