Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hot n' Hot Devil's Food Cake

My favorite restaurant, Hot and Hot Fish Club, has published a cookbook. I don't actually like restaurant cookbooks, which I find to be heavy on artsy pictures of food and filled with finicky recipes involving tiny quantities of too many ingredients. This one is no exception, but it is lovely, and has already given me my new favorite chocolate cake. I understand the difference between devil's food and regular chocolate cake to be the use of cocoa, rather than baking chocolate, in the former. It makes a satisfyingly black cake with a light texture; I often find baking-chocolate cakes to be heavy and bland. The Hot 'n Hot version calls for things like homemade creme fraiche, so I admit to some free substituting, but I followed the basics of their recipe and it is delicious. It has two secret ingredients: a quarter teaspoon cardamom, which perfumes the whole thing, and shredded raw beets. You'd never guess the latter—they melt undetectably into the texture—but they make it moist and rich. A winner.

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