The Bible says that, while fleeing Pharaoh’s army in the desert, God fed the Hebrews a substance called manna.
“The people of Israel called the bread manna.[d] It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.” — Exodus 16:31
It was delicious and plentiful, and was the sole source of food that they were given to eat for forty years. In that time, they cooked it, stewed it, made sandwiches and casseroles out of it, but after a year or two, this same old perfect food every day began to make them extremely grumpy.
In the book of Zebbulinezra, one of the many books of the bible that did not make the cut into the finished publication, chapter 9, verse 23 tells of an encounter that the Israelites had with the devil during this same period. Seeing a weakness in God’s people he saw an opportunity to tempt them.
“… and it came to pass, that whilst the Israelites bitterly went out for their morning harvest of manna, they found instead a strange, dark and sweet bread dispersed across the sand. Satan then appeared to them in the form of a cloud of locusts, speaking unto them, ‘This perfect food that lay before thine feet has been given unto thee by thy Lord that dwelleth within the Golden Calf that thou hast created in his name.'” –Zebbulinezra 9:23
Ok, ok that’s enough of that. It’s actually called “devil’s food cake” just because a lighter cake had already been named angel food cake, so this seemed like a no brainer. Plus, chocolate has always been associated with sinfulness. Personally, I feel much more wicked after downing a large ice cream chocolate malt. Lastly, the original devil’s food was tinted red, you know, like the devil. This would have been the case since cocoa and beets were the two predominant sweeteners of those original recipes.
Of course, these days when we think of “devil’s food cake” there’s nothing more prominent than a good old gas station quality Hostess Zinger! A Zinger lists over fifty ingredients on the package, none of which is “beets,” but they do have some cocoa in them, so they count. I found some devil’s food cake cookies as well, which were actually more my speed for tonight after eating a bowl of baked spaghetti. After all, a belly can only take so much abuse!
I am curious about the beets version of devil’s food cake, though. I might have to make some cupcakes from that just to see. I don’t like beets (does anyone?), but they must work in there similar to how carrots configure into carrot cake. Baking is a mad sort of science that I haven’t quite gotten a grasp of, but it’s coming.
See you Sunday for Quiche Lorraine Day.