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Devil's Food Cake

Devil's Food Cake
Baked in the shape of a heart, this rich chocolate cake is just the thing for a Valentine's Day celebration. Be sure to let the water-cocoa powder mixture cool to lukewarm before adding it to the butter mixture; otherwise, the butter will melt.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
      powder, plus more for dusting pan
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce for
      serving

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a decorative heart cake pan and dust with cocoa powder.

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Pour into a small heatproof bowl and whisk in the 3/4 cup cocoa powder. Let cool to lukewarm.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high, slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixture occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Tap the pan gently on a work surface to break up any air pockets. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce. Serves 10 to 12.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.