Historical Food Fortnightly: Challenge #10: Let Them Eat Cake

I've been a Historical Food Fortnightly absentee for the past few weeks.  It has been quite a busy Autumnal season for me.  I did manage to make this decadent cake in time for the 10th challenge...but didn't have the chance to post about it until today.  

I made a Devil's Food Cake for a Gothic/Macabre/Melancholy themed tea party that I hosted at my house.  Details and pictures of my dining room set for the occasion are below.  Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of the participants.  We were a small group, after a series of unfortunate events caused several of us to have to back out.

Not much time left in the day, so I'll make this post short and sweet. (pun intended)

The Challenge: Let them eat cake: Devil's Food Cake

The Recipe: 
Devil's Food, The Suffrage Cook Book, by Mrs. L.O. Kleber
 Pennsylvania, 1915


Chocolate Butter Icing, Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Date?, Place?

How Did You Make It: 

Cake Ingredients
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup grated chocolate
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soda
  • Instructions
    Dissolve soda in boiling water and pour over chocolate and let cool. Beat butter and sugar to a cream, add the eggs and other things. Bake in layers. 
    (I baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes in two 9" round cake pans, per THIS modern recipe.)

    Icing Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1 ounce chocolate
  • vanilla

  • Icing Instructions
    Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually, moistening with the milk and egg to make the mixture thin enough to spread. Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over hot water and pour into the icing mixture. Add the vanilla. Beat thoroughly and if more sugar or liquid is needed to make the icing thicker or thinner, add until it is of the right consistency to spread.

    Time to Complete: About 45-50 minutes.

    How Successful Was It?: It was a very pretty chocolate cake, but extremely sweet and bit on the dry side.  Not inedible, but I wouldn't make it again.

    How Accurate Is It?: I followed the recipe exactly as instructed.  The only thing modern about it was the time and temperature that I got off of a modern recipe, since the original one didn't state that part.

    “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
    To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.”

    - John Keats, Ode to Autumn


    QNPoohBear said…
    The cake looks delicious and the decorations are very festive.
    ZipZip said…
    Dear Jenni,

    Siggh. It was so hard to have to back out. Am glad that you all went ahead anyhow...the preparations were clearly so pretty!

    Too bad about the cake. Wonder if the baking temperature had something to do with it, or if it was supposed to be dry. Some were. Bleh...



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