Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chocolate Blackout Cake

My nephew, Brady, recently celebrated his 3rd birthday so I of course volunteered to bake the cake.  Since he loves chocolate pudding and chocolate cake, the chocolate blackout cake seemed like it would be right up his alley.  This cake uses a rich homemade choclate pudding as both a filling and icing between layers of dark chocolate cake.  One of the layers of cake is broken up into small pieces and sprinkled over the pudding to create the cake's signature look.  It was definitely very rich and very chocolatey!

Here is the birthday boy getting ready to blow out his candle!

A cake slice on a Cars plate.

From America's Best Lost Recipes

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  For the pudding - Whisk the granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, half-and-haf, and milk in a large saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat. Add the chocolate and whisk constantly until the chocolate melts and the mixture begins to bubble, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and transfer the pudding to a large bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.

2. For the cake - Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

3.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cocoa powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Off the heat, whisk in the coffee, buttermilk, and sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then slowly whisk in the flour mixture.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour.

5.  To assemble the cake - Cut each cake in half horizontally. Crumble one cake layer into medium crumbs and set aside. Crumble one cake layer into medium crumbs and set aside. Place one cake layer on a serving platter or cardboard round. Spread 1 cup pudding over the cake layer and top with another layer. Repeat with 1 cup pudding and the last cake layer. Following the photos, spread the remaining pudding evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the cake crumbs evenly over the top and sides of the cake, pressing lightly to adhere the crumbs. Serve. The cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.