Saturday, April 26, 2008

Post #666: the Recipe of the Beast

I've hit a strange milestone on this blog - this is my 666th post. This number has a strange and scary history. And even though I'm a wee bit superstitious, I must face it head-on. It's not as if I can just skip over from #665 to #667.

Anyway, it's just a number. Like 4. Or 13. And nobody's afraid of them! Right?

To mark my hexakosioihexekontahexaphilic post, I decided to whip somethin' quick-n-evil. I originally had an entire dinner planned, but with the rising cost of food and all (watch for more stuff about shoppin' at the dollar store!), and with all the food still waiting to be eaten in my fridge, it didn't seem prudent.

I didn't have any of my own recipes, so I looked around for one. I did the Google thing for any "evil", "deviled", "demonic" or "unholy" foods. Some fascinating finds included:

  • shrimp fra diavolo, of course. Giada De Laurentiis's recipe from the Food Network sounds more simple than it looks.
  • any "deviled" food. Actually, "deviled" just means "highly spiced, usually referring to fried or boiled foods" (the source of that info can be found here). The most interesting of these dishes that I could find was "deviled green beans", including soy and Worchestershire sauces. This one also requires brown sugar.
  • anything that is not kosher got consideration - because it's just not kosher to not eat kosher! Same thing for anything that is haram (the Islamic version of "not kosher"). There is some overlap (no pork, for instance), and there are some glaring differences (Jews can drink certain kosher wines, while Muslims can't drink alcohol at all; cheeseburgers aren't kosher, but are fine if the animal was killed according to halal laws; cheese is always kosher but sometimes halal; shellfish ain't kosher, but it sure is halal; etc; etc). I got a headache and figured something I was eating along the way would break at least one of the kosher and halal dietary laws along the way (shrimp fra diavolo with a tasty glass of wine). Sadly, finding something that Christians or even Hindus would consider verboten - outside of Lent anyway - was a bit more difficult. Christians will eat just about anything. And though many Hindus are vegetarians, that only applies to some.
I almost made Rachel's fabulous wasabi deviled eggs, or her equally fabulous guacamole or smoked salmon varieties (here's her complete list of deviled egg recipes). Or I could've just gone for what my mother used to do - put deviled ham into the deviled egg mixture (it still is my favorite way to eat deviled eggs). But after all these ideas, I decided to go for something sweeter instead. Much sweeter.


Specifically, devil's food cake.

Apparently, devil's food cake isn't really devil's food cake unless it has the following things in it:
  • melted, as opposed to merely powdered, chocolate; and
  • butter, not oil, not shortening, definitely not margarine - butter.
Now because I was feeling lazy, I decided to use a boxed cake mix and zhuzh it up, instead of baking from scratch. I took your standard Duncan Heinz Hines devil's food boxed cake mix, and altered the ingredients as follows:
  • I added 1 1/3 cups of water, as the directions said, and three eggs, as they also said;
  • But instead of 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, I added the same amount in melted butter;
  • I also added an additional 4 oz of melted semisweet baking chocolate squares.
And then I just prepared it as normal. When it was done, I put two very new toys to work: a cake leveler, which I used to get rid of that ignominious dome on top of each perfectly-rounded layer (I got about an extra half-layer out of the pieces, I think), and a new silicone spatula, which I used for the next part of the recipe: the chocolate buttercream frosting. This was just your standard Domino's Sugar recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting. My mother usually uses powdered cocoa, but I went for more melted chocolate instead. In retrospect, I prefer the powdered cocoa. The spatula made icing the cake quite easy. I also ended up putting some Wilton's cake decorating tools to work, making a simple yet incredibly messy border around the top and bottom edges. Hey, it's not like I'm entering it into some damn bake-off or anything.

I told you it wasn't exactly pretty.

I will never be able to eat it all, so I am parceling out some to family and friends. Why should I be the only one to enjoy this evil, evil cake?


Rachel said...

Mmm, devilish cake! The idea of deviled ham (not that I think I've ever had that) in deviled eggs is oddly compelling.

John said...

Isn't it compelling and odd at the same time, though? Strange: once I at a normal deviled egg I was so surprised - I mean I just naturally assumed that people ALWAYS put deviled ham in them!

I have to make your wasabi ones. That sounds like a dangerously yummy deviled egg.

Meghan said...

shrimp fra diavolo is a great choice! I loooooove it.

Congrats on such a demonic milestone!

Pigtown-Design said...

cake leveler? what's that?

John said...

Meghan: Thanks!

P-Diddy: I didn't even know about it either, until I saw it at Michael's. It's an adjustable wire implement which you can run across a steaming hot cake in order to make both top and bottom level.