This cake is highly reminiscent of a Devil Dog. Remember those from your lunchbox days? Or maybe you eat them now and no memory is needed. They weren’t my favorite. I was all about Funny Bones. Chocolate cakes with a peanut butter filling enrobed in a shell-like milk chocolate frosting. Those were my idea of heaven. The Devil Dog was my Mom’s favorite. A few weeks ago she bought a box during a fit of nostalgia. Purely for old times sake. I curiously ate one. They were awfully dry like trying to eat cement mix. It was hard to chew no less swallow the lump of cake. More cream was clearly needed. There wasn’t even enough to squish out the sides and lick off like an ice cream sandwich! I hope my memory isn’t marred now…
Mom baked this with no intention or idea that it would resemble the flavors of a devil dog. It was such a coincidence that we had them just a few weeks before – the first time in a decade or more. I tasted devil dog in the very first bite. It was the devil dog glory that lives on, if only in my mind. Rich, dense, with the distinct chocolate taste and sticky, sweet frosting of my memories. But this was far better than the real Devil Dog I had tasted just a few weeks ago. Far better than the devil dogs in my memory…
(Adapted from The Cake Bible)
1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa, Dutch-processed
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
1 and 1/2 cups Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare pans, two 9-inch or one 13x9x2 inch. greased and floured.
In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In another medium bowl whisk the eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture, and vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and whisk together. Add the butter and the rest of the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed using an electric hand mixer until flour is moistened. Then mix on medium for 1 and 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.
Divide batter evenly between the two pans, or to one large pan.
Bake layers for 25-35 minutes, large pan 35-40, check done-ness by inserting a fork or toothpick, when it comes out clean, remove.
Cool cakes in pans for ten minutes on wire racks. Remove from pans onto greased wire racks and cool to room temperature before frosting.
Devil Dogs have a cream filling – the texture of the marshmallow frosting is not the same – but the flavor is; only better, fresher, and cleaner tasting. A whipped cream frosting would go really well with this too.
Seven-Minute Marshmallow Frosting
(adapted from McCall’s Book of Cakes and Pies)
2 Egg Whites (1/4 cup)
1 and 1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
In the top of a double boiler* combine egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water.
With an electric hand mixer beat 1 minute to combine ingredients.
Cook over rapidly boiling water, beating constantly for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
Remove from boiling water, add vanilla, beat until frosting is thick enough to spread about two more minutes.
*You can use a stainless steel mixing bowl fitted on top of a saucepan or a smaller pan fitted on top of a larger one. Just make sure the boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan.
The Little Devil!