A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Finish your salad. A thousand islands died to make that dressing” (12/12)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/12)
“I’ve never understood the point in fire blankets” (joke) (12/12)
“It’s okay password, I’m insecure too” (12/12)
“How many frat boys does it take to change a light bulb?"/"None, they prefer natural light.” (12/12)
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Entry from February 15, 2009
Devil’s Food Cake

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Devil’s food cake
Devil’s food cake is a rich, chocolate layer cake. Devil’s food cake is aptly considered a counterpart to angel cake, that is the two cake types are very different: aside from being chocolate-flavored, devil’s food cake incorporates butter (or a substitute) and far less egg. Both cakes were introduced in the United States in the 20th century. The recipe for this cake was first printed in 1905. Devil’s-food cake is a type of butter cake. Unlike chocolate cakes which include both cocoa and melted chocolate, Devil’s food cake uses only cocoa. The lack of melted chocolate is typically what distinguishes a ‘devil’s food cake’ from a chocolate cake. The use of hot, or boiling water as the cake’s main liquid, rather than milk, is also a common difference. The cake is usually paired with a rich chocolate frosting.

A similar cake, the red velvet cake is closely linked to a devil’s food cake, and in some turn of the century cookbooks the two names may have been interchangable. When used in cakes, baking soda causes reddening of cocoa powder when baked, and before more alkaline “Dutch Processed” cocoa was widely available, the red color would have been more pronounced. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name “Red Velvet” as well as “Devil’s Food” and a long list of similar names for chocolate cakes.

Epicurios.com - Food Dictionary
devil’s food
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.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: devil’s food cake
Function: noun
Date: 1905
: a rich chocolate cake

9 June 1893, Warren (PA) Democrat, pg. 1, col. 1:
...Fig Cake, Silver Cake, Devil’s Food,...

20 January 1894, Frederick (MD) News, pg. 6, col. 4:
There was “angel food” beautiful as the moon shining on the bay of Venice. Next time there will (be?—ed.) “devil’s food.” These two cakes differ from each other; like their namesakes one is white as snow, and the other black as only his satanic majesty can be. They are made over recipes known only to the bakers, which recipes can be purchased on the receipt of ten cents.

Google Books
Ladies Home Cook Book
Compiled by Julia MacNair Wright, et al.
1896
Pg. 112:
DEVIL’S FOOD.
Part 1. Mix together one cup of brown sugar, one cup of shaved chocolate, one cup of sweet milk. Put over the fire and let come to a boil, stirring all the while. WHen thick, take from stove and set to cool.
part 2. Rub to a cream on cup of brown sugar and one-half cup of butter. Add yolks of three eggs and beat all very light; then one-half cup of sweet milk, two cups of flour, flavor with vanilla, and,two teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Best whites light and add also a pinch of salt. Mix with Part 1 and bake in jelly tins. Put white icing between layers.—Lucie R. B.

Google Books
Breakfast, Dinner and Supper
Or, What to Eat and How to Prepare It

By Maud C. Cooke
Philadelphia, PA: J. H. Moore Company
1897
Pg. 380:
Devil’s Food.—Two cupfuls brown sugar, creamed with half cupful of butter; 3 eggs, 1 cupful water, 2 1/3 cupfuls flour before sifting, 2 teaspoonfuls baking powder, 1 teaspoonful each of cloves, allspice, cinnamon; half teaspoon black pepper; half a nutmeg, grated; use a dark chocolate frosting. Boil 2 teacupfuls of raisins soft, seed and chop fine. Put between the layers on the frosting.

The Capitol Cook Book:
A Selection of Tested Recipes

By The Ladies of Albert Sidney Johnson Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy
ompiled by Mrs. E. G. Myers
Austin, TX: Von Boeckmann, Schutze & Company, Printers
1899
Pg. 123:
DEVIL’S FOOD.
One-half cup of butter.
Two cups of light brown sugar.
One-half cup of sour cream.
Two eggs.
Three cups of sifted flour.
One ounce of chocolate dissolved in one-quarter of boiling water; mix in batter.
One level teaspoonful of soda, mixed in sour cream.
Bake in three layers.
Filling: Two cups of brown sugar, 3/4 cup of sweet milk, butter the size of an egg.  Put on stove and stir till it comes to a boil, take off, whip till cool, and flavor with vanilla.
MRS. GEORGE WALLING.

DEVIL’S FOOD.
One half-cup of butter.
One cup of sugar.
One cup of milk.
Two and one-half cups of flour.
Two teaspoonfuls of baking powder.
One whole egg and one yolk.
One teaspoonful of vanilla.
One-half a cake bitter chocolate.
One cup of sugar.
One=half cup of milk.
Yolk of 1 egg.
Put this in a pan and set on the back of the stove; heat until chcolate is melted.  DO not boil.  Add to batter.  Bake in layers, and put together with white frosting.
MISS ELLA BEDELL

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, February 15, 2009 • Permalink