On Fathers Day we went over to my in-laws for family dinner. My food assignment was dessert and since we were combining a birthday and Fathers Day I made this cake. It was a Chocolate Black Out Cake (recipe follows). I found the idea online (can't remember where) for the decorations and thought it looked like a fun cake. It was a hit with everyone and we all enjoyed devouring it.
I know I have posted this cake recipe before, but this one is worth mentioning again. The cake layers are moist and slightly fudgy and the pudding used to fill and frost the cake is sheer heaven. To date this is my favorite chocolate cake recipe.
Chocolate Blackout Cake
America's Test Kitchen
Serves 8-10 -Easily!
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. FOR THE PUDDING: Whisk the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan and slowly whisk in half-and-half and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and cook, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla. Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate the pudding until cold, about 4 hours.
2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the over to 325 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans, then dust with cocoa powder and line the bottoms with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cocoa and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Off the heat, whisk in the coffee, buttermilk, and the sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then slowly whisk in the flour mixture until no streaks remain. (The batter will be very loose.)
4. Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, smooth the tops, and gently tap the pans on the work surface to settle the batter. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through backing.
5. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them out onto a wire rack. Peel of the parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up, and let cool completely before filling and frosting about 2 hours.
6. Line the edges of a cake platter with strips of parchment paper to keep the platter clean while you assemble the cake. Slice each cake into two even layers using a long serrated knife. Crumble one of the cake layers into medium-sized crumbs.
7. Place one of the cake layers on the platter. Spread 1 cup of pudding over the cake right to the edges. Top with a second layer of cake and spread with another 1 cup of pudding. Place the remaining cake layer on top and press lightly to adhere. Frost the cake with the remaining pudding. Sprinkle the cake crumbs evenly over the top and press them onto the sides of the cake. Remove the parchment strips from the platter before serving.
*** To decorate the cake, I frosted it with the pudding and then used just about 4 large packets of kit-kats for the border and 4 packages of M&M's to sprinkle on top.***