Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
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Monday, July 23, 2007

From Devil's Food to Trifle Heaven

Miss Eagle is mad at her oven. Now I know when you hear this, dear Reader, the old adage that a poor workwoman blames her tools will come to your mind. But this oven is not the best one. That prize went to a convection gas oven in the home in the shadow of the World Heritage Rainforest which I sold a couple of years ago when I moved to Melbourne. Herself says my dud chocolate cake was all my own fault because I did make a side trip to the computer while the baking process was on. Anyway, I set out to make the above - Devil's Food Cake - which I have been making for more than three decades with great success each and every time. I have a tiny collection of Carnation Milk recipes in three-fold brochure form in my recipe book. They were picked up for free from the supermarket. The Devil's Food Cake recipe is in this collection. When Gina heard about this, she said she possessed a Carnation Cookbook and she has lent it to me for research purposes. On Page 136, there is the recipe from my brochure. Unfortunately, they didn't take a picture so you will have to make do with mine.
This is the best chocolate cake ever in the whole history of the whole world. It is a moist cake. It is rich but not as rich and heavy as a mud cake.
Here is the recipe.
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Plain Flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/4 cups of castor sugar
  • 140 grams of butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


  1. Grease 2 deep 20cm cake pans and line the base with paper.
  2. Add vinegar to evaporated milk to sour it.
  3. Sift flour, salt, cocoa, soda and sugar together.
  4. Pour in melted butter or margarine and 1/2 cup of soured evaporated milk
  5. Beat well for 2 minutes
  6. Add remaining ingredients and beat a further 2 minutes
  7. Pour into prepared pans and bake in a moderate oven 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes
  8. Allow cakes to cool slightly before removing from pans.
  9. Spread frosting or whipped cream between, and frosting on top.
So here I was with a dud - but it became something luxurious and wonderful. Miss Eagle calles it Trifle Heaven. I chopped up the cakes into 2.5cm (1 inch) chunks. I mixed in chocolate custard. And then I chopped up the chocolate pictured below - Heaven: white raspberry creme. This is/was absolutely gorgeous. Herself and I have disgustingly tucked into this with a relish. I figure that if you want a quick luxury desert this assemblage is for you. You could buy any ordinary old chocolate cake - but the better the cake, the better the dessert and the best will be this moist Devil's Food Cake. The different chocolate flavours and the raspberry creme make this trifle every so heavenly.


Lee-ann said...

Now that is the art of a true "cook" to be able to take a negative and pop! it into a bowl and make a positive! ((smiles)) well done to you Miss Eagle.

I have many cook books from "days gone by" and that is something they tell you over and over again~ how to use bits of left overs or errors to make a gem!

Have yourself a lovely week. We are up here in the freezing zone! but looking forward.........


Val said...

Well, OUR oven is as old as the house, at least 40 years old, bits and pieces keep falling off, it is tricky to get to and maintain the desired temperature, but I have an affection for it.

Your devil's food cake recipe looks wonderful, but I'll have to sneak some evaporated milk into the house to make it - the Man Who Cooks has a thing about evaporated milk which he has never been able to justify to me.

Yes, side trips to the computer will bring a meal undone (or not at all!) every time.

Gina E. said...

I want my book back - NOW! Just kidding, I know it's in safe hands! Would you believe I never made that recipe? But I'm glad you reproduced it here, because I do have a nearly full can of evap.milk in the fridge, left over from the weekend when I needed a small amount for another recipe. I was wishing I had the book back so I could refer to it, but you've saved me a phone call - lol!

Gina E. said...

Here I am again Miss E. I made this cake on Saturday for dessert, as we had a friend come for tea at the last minute. I didn't have time to ice and fill it, so we just had icecream over pieces of cake. I didn't have enough cocoa, so I made up the amount with powdered drinking chocolate - turned out fine! Everything went well until I took the pans out of the oven to cool, and placed them on the stovetop because I had no room on the bench. After a few minutes I smelt something burning...oh dear - I'd forgotten I'd turned one of the burners on the hotplate on to cook some vegies! Well, it wasn't too bad. Only one side of one pan got a scorched bum, so I didn't use that section on Saturday night. We had it tonight. Ken said "This tastes burnt" and I said cheerfully "Oh yes it was, but I cut off the burnt bits". He screwed up his face and refused to eat any more!!

Miss Eagle said...

Oh, Gina, I don't think Melbourne's winter this year is good for Devil's Food Cakes. Wonder what might have happened if you'd made it into a trifle and added a dash of Kahlua or something of that ilk? Oh, well, remember the lesson Robert the Bruce learned from the spider: try, try, try again - because it will be worth it.

Blessings and bliss