Every family has secrets, and this recipe was one of ours. But after my newspaper column this week about what a good cook my grandmother was, readers have been asking—in some cases, begging, or pleading, or acting like it's the end of the world if they don't get it—for the recipe. It's so rare to be able to make so many people feel good by doing so little. So I typed up the recipe for you:
Vina Slatalla’s Devil’s Food Cake
For the cake:
1/2 cup coffee, perked
2 tbsp sugar
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour, sifted together with 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup walnuts
For the frosting:
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
Optional: Coconut flakes
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x12 pan.
- Place first three ingredients in a small pot, bring to a boil, let cool.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs, then milk and vanilla.
- Sift flour a second time as you add it to the batter, mixing gently.
- Fold in cooled chocolate mixture.
- Fold in walnuts.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
To make the frosting:
1. Melt chocolate and butter and salt in small pan.
2. In mixing bowl, combine chocolate mixture with vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and milk. Adjust sugar and milk as necessary for proper consistency.
3. Frost cake, and drizzle with coconut if you like.