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Devil’s Cake (No.1)

July 6, 2012

One of the cookbooks we like to use is The Way To a….Man’s Heart, “The Settlement” Cook Book. The version we have was originally published in 1903 in Milwaukee, WI, in support of “The Settlement.” There is some interesting information on this cookbook and the original founder of The Settlement House, Lizzie Black Kander here.

We’ve made several of the recipes, some with more success than others, but we tried one last week that turned out quite nice.

This chocolate cake (not sure why it is called Devil’s Food) is pretty decadent when baked in layers. We made a chocolate frosting to go on top. In the heat of the Iowa summer, the frosting melted a bit, but it was still tasty. Enjoy the recipe below!


2 squares chocolate (2oz.),

3 Tablespoons water,

1 and 1/4 cups sugar,

1/2 cup butter (scant),

1 cup sour or butter milk,

1 teaspoon soda,

Yolk of 1 egg,

2 scant cups flour.

Heat and melt the chocolate, water, and sugar; when dissolved, add the butter. Set aside to cool. Mix buttermilk, soda and the beaten yolk, add the melted chocolate mixture, and then the flour, and bake in two layers in a moderate oven, reserving the white of egg for the frosting.

page 126


2 oz chocolate,

1/2 cup cream,

2 whites of eggs,


Powdered sugar.

Boil chocolate and cream and when cool add vanilla. Beat the whites to a stiff froth, add powdered sugar until stiff enough to cut. Combine the two mixtures, beat and spread.

-page 142

Note that chocolate still comes in squares the way they would have purchased it in 1900. Look for Baker’s Chocolate at your local grocer. Also, when the recipe says “scant” I have found that the measurement they give is the correct amount, as long as it isn’t packed into the measuring container. Good luck!

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1900 Farm   In the Kitchen   Recipes


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