Posts Tagged With: devils food cake

283/365: National Angel Food Cake Day

Today’s food of honor is a heavenly treat. October 10 is National Angel Food Cake Day!

Angel food cake is the culinary opposite of Devil’s food cake: a light and airy sponge cake made with no fat (butter, cream, or egg yolks). It was named for its angelic light color, and was described as a “food of the angels.” Personally, I think angels would be more into wings, but what do I know? It is made by whipping egg whites until they’re stiff, adding cream of tartar as a stabilizer, and then folding additional ingredients in. The Pennsylvania Dutch, who began mass-marketing bakeware in the early 1800s, are given credit for inventing angel food cake, which perfectly fit the specialized cake mold they developed at the time. The first angel food cakes were baked by African-American slaves in the American south, and soon became a popular post-funeral meal. Perhaps the name had something to do with that? An early recipe for a “snow-drift cake” appears in Mrs. Porter’s New Southern Cookery Book, and Companion for Frugal and Economical, published in 1871, and a recipe for a similar “silver cake” is printed in What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Soups, Pickles, Preserves, Etc. in 1881. Angel food cake was a favorite of Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of  Rutherford B. Hayes, our 19th President.

We picked up some mini angel food cakes to celebrate, rather than messing around with making (or buying) a whole cake. They were like angel food cupcakes (though sadly, without frosting) and were just freakin’ adorable. I wanted to hug mine. But I ate it instead, with a cup of coffee before work.

National Angel Food Cake Day

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

139/365: National Devil’s Food Cake Day

Today is one hell of a delicious food holiday. May 19 is National Devil’s Food Cake Day!

Devil’s food cake is a moist and rich chocolate layer cake that was created in the late 19th century. Its name was a sarcastic response to angel food cake, which was the complete opposite: light (both in color and texture) and airy. Interestingly, devil’s food cake was originally more like a red velvet cake. It was actually dyed with red food coloring and topped with white frosting. It didn’t become the sinful chocolate dessert we associate it with until the 1970s. In fact, in many turn of the century cookbooks, the names are used interchangeably. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel claims to have invented devil’s food cake, but has been unable to back up this claim with any proof other than “we did, too!” They still serve a red velvet cake similar to the original devil’s food cake recipe.

Nowadays, what distinguishes devil’s food cake is its decadent chocolateness. (My computer says “chocolateness” is not a word. I’m using it anyway). Typical recipes call for cocoa and, sometimes, coffee. It is usually frosted in chocolate, as well.

We had a long drive home and a busy afternoon, so there were no fancy made-from-scratch cakes today. But that’s why they invented Duncan Hines, right?

Devil's Food Cake

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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