Ok let me just say that I was deliriously excited when i saw that Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater picked the cake featured on the cover of Baking From My Home to Yours for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe! And now allow me to say that I was sadly disappointed at the outcome of my cake. It was NOT a bad cake- let me just say that- but I can't honestly say that I thought it was a good cake either.
The cake itself was pretty flat and a little dense for my taste- not exactly what I envision when I think of Devil's Food. Even though the recipe tells you to split both cakes in half so that there are four layers (one is crumbled for the decoration on the exterior of the cake)- I got too nervous about splitting them because they were so flat to begin with. I ended up making it a two layer cake and simply used the crumbs from the domes of the two cakes. The one very delicious aspect of the cake was the bits of chopped chocolate that become solid once the cake cools- a wonderful little treat in the dense crumb. The flavor of the cake was actually pretty good too. It was deeply chocolaty.
Now, the icing. I don't really know what to say about this icing because I think I had such a different idea about how it would turn out that I convinced myself that I did it wrong. Dorie describes it as a fluffy, marshmallow like consistency- and I feel like mine tasted a little too much like whipped egg whites with sugar. It just seemed wrong- and perhaps I am totally niave about this meringue-style icing but I really didn't like it. I actually made it twice because I worried that I hadn't let my sugar syrup get all the way to 242 F- but the second batch turned out nearly identical to the first.
I will say this: the cake looked beautiful once assembled (unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the inside of the cake- so I'll leave you with some pictures of Helen Mae dressed for our summery New Orleans style winter weather). I would consider making a version of this cake again but I will not make the icing again- it ended up being so frothy and I really am more of a sugary, dense, buttercream type of a girl- it would actually be pretty delicious with a thick whipped cream too!