Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas With the Devil

Last Christmas I shared my Perfect Chai, for the greater enlightenment of all sentient beings. But I left them hungry. So this year, I offer my Sourdough Devil's Food Cake. It's sourdough. It's cake. And it's devilishly unique. (Which is à propos, since as Spinal Tap have pointed out, Christmas is all about the Devil. What was it Christopher Guest said? "Merry Christmas – poke, poke!" Full video embedded after recipe.)

Anyway, without further, here 'tis:

Sourdough Devil's Food Cake

1 cup sourdough starter, well-hungry
1/2 cup flour
2 individual packages instant cocoa mix (preferably "dark"; quantity equals 1/3 cup. Or substitute 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon dehydrated milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise (or separate one egg yolk into a 1/4 cup measure and fill the rest with oil.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
flour to stiffen
1 teaspoon soda mixed into 1/4 cup flour

Liberally grease an 8-inch pan. (Cast iron serves sourdough best.)

Stir together all ingredients except soda mixture, and beat till smooth. Add flour (ending with the soda mixture) as necessary to make a stiff cake batter. Beat hard to release gluten. (Batter will take a dull sheen and become ropey.)

Scrape batter into the greased pan, cover, and allow to work at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean. Serve hot.

Sourdough devil's food cake can be served as is, or with whipped cream, ice cream, or hard sauce. Cold pieces taste better if microwaved for 30 seconds; reheated in the oven in a damp paper sack; or on a rack in a covered skillet, over a tablespoon of water, at medium heat.

And it goes great with chai.

(The video here-below was taken from the 1992 reunion disc Return of Spinal Tap. Prepare to bang your head on some metal, or whatever people do to this music.)

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