It's a question that's been plaguing me since I got my August issue. As a chocoholic, I've obviously HAD Devils Food Cake before (and enjoyed it). But maybe my tastebuds aren't the most refined.... I don't think I could describe the difference between that and chocolate cake to someone.
I noticed the recipe has espresso in it... is that the only difference?
This is a very interesting question, which sent me on a search for the answer. Here's what I've found so far:
FOOD & DRINK
by Ronnie Fein
A humorist once wrote, "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." Was this man making fun of his wife's or mother-in-law's cooking? Was he sneering at some arrogant, pretentious chef?
Perhaps it wasn't a slur at all. Maybe he was referring to all the delcious foods that had tempted him.
Whatever his meaning, in the world of gastronomy, the Devil has been given his due. Dozens of recipes, with such inspired names as Devil's Food Cake, Deviled Eggs and Deviled Ham, are named for the master of the underworld. What all these dishes have in common is their ability to tantalize. But most of these devilish delights share other features too.
Most deviled dishes are fiery, highly seasoned foods. Any number of incendiary ingredients may be mixed in with almost devil-may-care abandon, to give mouth and palate a pleasantly hot sensation. The heat could come from spices that set your mouth on fire: ground cayenne or other hot, dried chili peppers, Sichuan or black peppercorns or red pepper flakes. Some recipes call for sinus-clearing condiments, including robust mustards or tangy vinegars, worcestershire sauce, Chinese-style chili oil, freshly grated horseradish or bottled hot pepper sauce. Or they might ask for conflagration-causing tidbits of jalapeno, Habanero or Serrano peppers, fresh garlic or ginger, scallions or other items in the onion family.
The most well known devilish dish is Deviled Eggs, or spicy-stuffed hard cooked eggs. These hors d'oeuvre were once as popular at parties as chips and salsa, but lost ground when people shunned the egg for its high cholesterol content. Deviled eggs are appealingly tangy and also have ease of preparation to recommend them, and now that eggs have gained a little favor in the public eye, they might prove useful again as party fare. To make Deviled Eggs more fat/cholesterol-free though, you can substitute mashed hard-cooked egg whites for some of the yellows and moisten the filling with some chicken stock in place of some of the mayonnaise.
Lobster Fra Diavolo is another dish that's hot as Hades. This rich and lively deviled seafood dish combines chunks of freshly cooked lobster in a spicy, red-pepper flecked tomato sauce. (You may use a traditional marinara sauce and season it with the red pepper flakes and you also may serve the sauce on pasta, pork chops, shrimp or chicken instead of lobster.)
Chicken a la Diable looks rather mild with its tender cover of crispy baked fresh breadcrumbs, but take one bite of this dish, made with mustard, worcestershire sauce, garlic, cayenne pepper and Chinese chili oil, and smoke may come out of your ears.
One devilish dish that seems to defy the description of hot and spicy is Devil's Food Cake. Its name may derive from its chocolatey fragrance, which causes even the most devout of dieters to fall from grace and devour a hunk of it. More likely though, the name comes from the cake's devil-reddish brown color, created by the combination of chocolate, baking soda and buttermilk. At any rate, most people think Devil's Food Cake is divine.
In the food and wine dictionary, it just says:
A dark, dense baked chocolate item (such as a cake or cookie). On the opposite end of the spectrum is the airy, white ANGEL FOOD CAKE.
And here's another:
Devil's food cake - A light-textured chocolate layer-type cake with a deep reddish brown color. The cake generally has more baking soda, a stronger flavor, and a darker color than regular chocolate cake.
Last edited by JulieM; 07-26-2001 at 12:03 PM.
Thanks for your responses.... I guess it's lighter in texture and darker in color? I would never have figured it out on my own.... but weeks of side by side taste testings do sound like a nice option
Don't think of Devil's Food as a different flavor than chocolate; it is merely one variation on the chocolate theme. Same thing as French vanilla, country vanilla, Mexican vanilla and plain old vanilla. Or potabellos, oyster, shitakes and basic mushrooms. Or for us Penzeys' fans, Cassia cinnamon, China cinnamon, Vietnamese cinnamon, etc.
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