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Devil’s Food Cake

Prep Time:50 minutes
Cooking Time:30 minutes

With its origins in eighteenth-century America, this cake was sometimes thought to be made of beetroot and cocoa.

Here I’ve made it with paprika to give it that authentic reddish colour and a little bit of extra zing.


For the ganache:

600ml double cream

300g dark chocolate, roughly chopped. Suggestion, Madagascan Sambirano 71

100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped. Suggestion, Milk of the Gods, Rio Caribe 44

1½ tbsp clear honey

For the cake:

150g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g cocoa powder

1 tbsp paprika

180g slightly salted butter

250g raw cane sugar

3 large eggs

125ml plain yoghurt

Approximately 250ml warm water


2 x 16-cm sandwich tins



First make the ganache. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a low heat until just beginning to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in both chocolates and the honey until completely melted and well blended.

Cover and set aside to cool at room temperature while you make the cake. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Lightly grease the sandwich tins and line with baking paper. Prepare the cake mixture.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a large bowl. Set aside.

Sift the cocoa powder into a separate bowl, then stir in the paprika and set aside In another bowl, beat the butter until soft.

Add the sugar and beat again until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the cocoa powder mixture, a tablespoon at a time, until evenly mixed through.
Finally, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture in two or three batches, blending in well between each addition.
Mix in the yoghurt, then gradually add the warm water to bring the mixture to a soft dropping consistency.
Divide evenly between the two prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for about 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the baking paper and leave to cool completely.
When the cake layers are completely cold, place one, upside down, on a serving plate or cake board and spread about a third of the ganache over the top. Place the other layer of cake on top, then spread the remaining ganache evenly over the sides and top.
Cover the cake and keep in a cool place until ready to serve. Do not place in the fridge or it will become too hard. It will keep well for up to 2 days.

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