Devil’s Food Cake with Ganache Glaze : Lessons learnt

My family is divided equally when it comes to cake preferences. My elder daughter and sister in law love chocolate whereas my husband and younger daughter love vanilla. Everyone gets the flavour of their choice on their birthdays. This time it was my sister in law’s turn to get a decadent chocolate cake on her birthday.

The term Devil’s Food Cake has always seemed a bit amusing to me. I asked Chef Google about the difference between Devil’s Food Cake and other chocolate cakes and this was the answer that I got:

Devil’s food cake is generally more moist and airy than other chocolate cakes, and often uses cocoa as opposed to chocolate for the flavor as well as coffee.The lack of melted chocolate and the addition of coffee is typically what distinguishes a Devil’s food cake from a chocolate cake, though some recipes call for all, resulting in an even richer chocolate flavor. The use of hot, or boiling water as the cake’s main liquid, rather than milk, is also a common difference. Devil’s food cake is sometimes distinguished from other chocolate cakes by the use of additional baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) which raises the pH level and makes the cake a deeper and darker mahogany colour.” Source : Wikipedia

I used David Lebovitz’s Devil’s Food Cake recipe and Martha Stewart’s Ganache recipe. I used gum paste roses to decorate the cake. Apart from the rich chocolate flavor of this cake , I loved the fact that it’s not overly sweet. It was the second time that I worked with ganache  and there are some important lessons that I learnt .


  Devil’s Food Cake with Ganache Glaze

For the Cake: Makes one 9 inch cake


  •  Unsweetened cocoa powder – 9 tablespoons
    Cake flour – 1 1/2 cups
    Salt – ½ teaspoon
    Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
    Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
    Unsalted butter, at room temperature – 1/2 cup
    Granulated sugar – 1½ cups
    Eggs, at room temperature – 2
    Strong coffee / Water- ½ cup( I used water )
    Milk – ½ cup

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper.
3)Sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.
4) Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
5) Mix together the coffee/water and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.
6). Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
7) Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and remove the cake layers from the pans.Cool completely before frosting.

For the Ganache: 
Semi-sweet chocolate , chopped- 450 grams
Heavy/Whipping Cream – 2 cups
Salt – A pinch (optional)

1) Bring cream just to a boil over medium heat.
2) Pour over the chopped chocolate and add salt. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Do not stir.
3) Stir gently until the ganache is smooth and shiny.

Assembling the cake:
1) Place one cake layer on a wire rack.
2) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place it beneath the rack to collect the ganache that drips down. This recipe makes quite a generous amount of ganache. You can save the leftover ganache to make truffles or for piping.
3) Pour the warm ganache over the cake and let it drip down the sides. Wait for 10 minutes (something which I didn’t do and immediately regretted).
4) Place the second cake layer on top of it and pour the ganache over the centre. When the top is covered pour it down the sides.
5) Let the ganache set at room temperature for about 3 hours or in the refrigerator for an hour if you are in a hurry. However, refrigerating the ganache will make it lose some of it’s shine. Also, like most butter cakes, the cake will also become hard.
6) I whipped up some of the leftover ganache for a few minutes until it was a bit fluffy and light in colour to pipe a border around the base of the cake.
7) Finally, I decorated the cake with some gum paste roses.

Some important lessons that I learnt:
1) Take some time to chop the chocolate finely so that you don’t have to stir the ganache much. I was in a hurry and chopped the chocolate in big chunks as a result of which I had to stir a lot and incorporated air bubbles into the ganache as a result of which the glaze was not as smooth as it should have been.
2) I used a large whisk to stir the ganache which could be another factor for the air bubbles. I think next time a spoon might be a better idea.
3) As I mentioned previously , wait for about 10 minutes after pouring ganache on the first layer. I did the mistake of putting the second layer immediately and pouring ganache over it as a result of which the second layer kept slipping.
4) I thought I could manage the cake, ganache as well as the gum paste roses all in one day but I had completely forgotten the fact that gum paste flowers need to dry overnight, if not longer. In fact for flowers such as roses the base needs to dry first and then the petals. So if you plan to decorate a cake even with a few gum paste flowers, start making them at least a couple of days in advance. However, I somehow managed to use them the same day by drying them in front of a fan.

I’m linking this to Cutchi Kitchen’s 100th Post Giveaway


15 comments on “Devil’s Food Cake with Ganache Glaze : Lessons learnt

  1. I have been reading a lot about Devil’s food cake, got to try it soon. Chocolate ganache is my favourite cake topping. I find it easy to make and work it and it’s so delicious that mostly I have people licking their fingers 🙂

    This cake looks perfect for a birthday. Was your sis-in-law happy with it? Wish her a belated birthday from my side 🙂

  2. Oooh i made something very similar a few months ago, and it was delicious! Loved seeing how you had a different take on it. I’m definitely making this! thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi,
    I need some guidance.I made this cake yesterday. Though the flavor was yummy and crumb was moist and soft but I dont know why my cake had vertical lines as in when I sliced it, it had vertical lines all across the crumb like cylindrical holes.. so it wasn’t looking presentable though guests liked the taste. Can you suggest what went wrong??

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