Devil’s Food Bombe

This is an original and amusing presentation for plain old devil’s food cake. It’s sliced vertically and layered in a bowl with whipped cream. You can even sprinkle on a little dark rum and/or a handful of raspberries along the way. After spreading the outside of the unmolded cake with whipped cream, you may press chocolate shavings against the cream or crumble any bits of leftover cake and use them instead.

Makes one 8- to 9-inch dome-shaped cake, depending on the size of the bowl used

2 layers Devil’s Food Cake, see below

Whipped cream made with 4 cups cream and 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup dark rum for sprinkling, optional

1/2 pint fresh raspberries, optional

Chocolate shavings or fine devil’s food cake crumbs for finishing

One 1 1/2- to 2-quart round-bottomed bowl, buttered and lined with plastic wrap

1.     Cut the devil’s food layers into 1/4-inch-thick vertical slices.

2.     Line the bowl with a single layer of the slices, patching them together if necessary. Sprinkle the slices with rum.

3.     Spread a large spoonful of whipped cream on the cake slices at the bottom of the bowl.

4.     Trim 2 or 3 cake slices to the diameter of the bottom of the bowl and arrange them on the cream. Sprinkle with rum and spread with more cream. If you’re using raspberries, sprinkle a few on each layer.

5.     Repeat, cutting enough cake slices to fit the changing diameter of the bowl as you build up higher and so that they cover the previous layer of cream, until the bowl is full. Finish with a layer of cake.

6.     Wrap and chill the bowl at least 4 hours or overnight. If chilling the cake over- night, only whip 3 cups of the cream and whip the rest for covering the cake soon before you’re going to serve it.

7.     Place a cardboard or platter on the bowl and invert, then lift off the bowl. If the cake is stuck, wring out a clean kitchen towel in hot water and place on the bowl. This will melt the layer of butter between the bowl and the plastic wrap, then you can lift off the bowl and carefully peel off the plastic.

8.     Spread the outside of the cake with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings or fine devil’s food cake crumbs.

Devil's Food Cake

Makes two 9-inch round layers, 2 inches tall

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 cup boiling water (boil, then measure)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower

1/2 cup sour cream

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Two 9 x 2-inch round cake pans, buttered and the bottoms lined with disks of buttered parchment or wax paper

1.     Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350˚F.

2.     Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl and pour the hot water over it. Shake the bowl to make sure all the chocolate is submerged, then let stand for a few minutes to melt the chocolate.

3.     In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

4.     Whisk the chocolate and water smooth, then whisk in the brown sugar, oil, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla one at a time, whisking smooth after each addition.

5.     Whisk in the flour mixture about one third at a time. The batter will be very liquid.

6.     Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until risen and firm, 30 to 35 minutes.

7.     Let the cakes stand in the pans for 5 minutes, then unmold to racks, turn right side up, and cool completely.