Home » London » More baking

Sunday was Ann’s birthday and so with a wonderful excuse to do some proper baking (which I hadn’t done in quite a while) I picked the most complex cake recipe I could find, raided the grocery store for enough chocolate to make everyone else in line raise an eyebrow (and look on quite jealously) and scoured the kitchen for anything that could make my job easier (I’m still using plastic pint glasses as measuring cups as they don’t have American style measuring cups here and we don’t have an ingredients scale).

Image of what the cake was supposed to look like - take from Martha Stewart's website.

The recipe I decided to use was from Martha Stewart’s website and is a Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache (picture from her website above) which is basically an excuse for chocolate covered chocolate covered chocolate cake with chocolate filling. I’ve reposted the ingredients below so you can get a sense of how rich this cake is:


Makes one 9-inch layer cake

* 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
* 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for pans
* 3/4 cup hot water
* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/4 cups sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* Chocolate Ganache

For the instructions, check out the cake on Martha’s site.

I had used this recipe once before – in an attempt to make the cake while at college at Colby. Unfortunately due to a series of scheduling conflicts, we didn’t end up in the kitchen we had planned on using and found ourselves continually sticking the cake and the ganache out in the Maine snow in an attempt to get the chocolate to cool. This time, with at the very least a refrigerator, I wanted to prove that Martha’s cake couldn’t master me.

I’m not sure I entirely did so. The cake turned out pretty well (and quite delicious) but there were a number of minor issues. First – I would advise you NOT to try this recipe if you don’t have an electric mixer. I did it by hand and beating the ganache for the middle layer took about 40 minutes of whisking. Also, I didn’t have two layer cake pans so used a single, larger 9-inch pan, planning to cut the cake in half to create two layers. This worked alright, although it doubled the baking time which meant that the outsides were just a tad overdone. Unfortunately, in my impatience to get going with the frosting (which I had just spent 90 minutes preparing, including 40 minutes of whisking), I tried to start spreading the ganache before the cakes had cooled which caused the chocolate to melt all over the counter – and the top layer to break in half!

In the end, the cake came out surprisingly well and looking a lot more like the picture than I had ever expected. Let me know what you think:

13 thoughts on “More baking

  1. rochelle says:

    Wowza!!! That looks like an amazing cake. I don’t think I could make as good a chocolate cake like yours. You’ll have to tell me how your friends liked it. I’m sure they all died and went to heaven after the first bite.

  2. Meaghan says:


    Well, if by “died” you mean “went into a diabetic coma” then that might have been closer to the truth – it was quite rich. But everyone loved it and because it’s so rich that means we can do small slices and have plenty left over!

  3. Milly says:

    Ooh! Ooh! I love it when you post pictures of baking. 🙂 I’m always afraid to use Martha recipes – do you have a method for choosing one? It seems like half the time they’re good and half the time they’re an absolute disaster. It looks lovely, though.

  4. Genny says:

    Meaghan! This cake looks ridiculously good… sucks that we don’t live a few blocks away anymore, because I would have helped you to eat that sucker. I was about to e-mail you, but then I remembered that you have a blog to update me on your life. You should feel honored that yours is the only blog I have visited in my entire life! Talk to you soon!

  5. Janie Stamford says:

    I can’t believe you did all that without an electric whisk – I remember the hours used and the aches in my arm from making cakes by hand. It kills!
    Looks delicious.

  6. Lolly says:

    Looks delicious!

    And thanks for the comments – you’re now in my RSS

  7. London Reese says:

    Yum yum! That cake definitely is FTW!!

  8. kang says:

    Well done! your cake looks better than martha’s 😀

    I like the little strawberries on the corners! Super yummy.

  9. Jonno says:

    ‘the corners’? looks like a perfectly round choccy cake to me.. 😉

  10. Hi. I am going to check it, since I saw a comment in another site regarding \”king | The Top Floor Flat\”. Someone related to recipes for chocolate cakes. Thanks anyway.

  11. Jenn says:

    I miss your cakes! Remember how the boys down the hall thought we wanted to keep a keg in their fridge? Good times.

  12. Hey!. This is all about taste. I completely agree with you regarding “king | The Top Floor Flat”, but I think you are in the thin line of thinling. Don’t you? Maybe you can try how to make chocolate cakes

  13. Hello. Not totally agree with you, but you just gave me an idea for a new eBook regarding \”king | The Top Floor Flat\”. It is related to ingredients for chocolate covered strawberries. Thanks.

Comments are closed.