Aunt Elsa's Devil's Food Cake

April 10, 2011 6:01:37 PM PDT
Eva Longoria shares her recipe for her Aunt Elsa's Devil's Food Cake, which appears in her new cookbook ''Eva's Kitchen: Cooking with love for family and friends.''

Makes 8 to 10 servings
Frosting makes 4 1/2 to 5 cups

For the cake
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for the pans
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 cups (1 pound) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 large egg
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a stainless-steel mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans.

3. In a large bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda and salt; set aside.

4. In the work bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the with paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, place the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat on high speed until lightened in color, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally.

5. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the chocolate. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the buttermilk in 2 parts,starting and ending with the flour. Beat in the water until smooth.

6. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

7. Let the cake layers cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around the outside and turn out onto racks. Peel off the paper. Flip them over to completely cool right-side up on the racks. If not assembling right away, cover the layers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 1 day.

8. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: In the top of a double boiler or in a stainless-steel mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool.

9. In the work bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, place the cooled, melted chocolate, the sugar, and the cup of hot water. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg, butter and vanilla. Continue beating until the frosting is thick and fluffy and mounds beautifully on a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.

10. When ready to fill and frost the cake, hold a serrated knife horizontally and use a gentle sawing motion to shave the domed top off each layer if you have time.

11. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

From Aunt Elsa 's Kitchen
If the percentages you sometimes see on bars of chocolate seem baffling, just know this: They refer to the percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter in the chocolate.

This varies from brand to brand, but generally semisweet chocolate is about 50 percent cocoa, and bittersweet is 60 to 70 percent cocoa. Always use a good-quality chocolate in chocolate desserts -- it will usually determine how good your end result is!