Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blackout Cake

Another Birthday, another cake.  I'm not a fan of regular 'ol cake and buttercream frosting.  To much cake decorating I guess.  Other concoctions of cake however. . .
For mine and my husbands birthdays I get to be a bit more creative in baking and for my husbands birthday I chose a Blackout Cake.  hard to go wrong with triple chocolate, right?

The version I chose to make was from Food Network's Ask Aida.  Simply because I had seen the show at some point and I knew I could find the recipe easily.  I know there are many versions out there and I may try a different one sometime. 

The pudding in this recipe is extremely chocolate-y.  And the cake is a nice dense dark chocolate flavor.   I used Oreo's for the cookie crumbles.  Each of these three is great on it's own, but put them together....

For my version I left out the espresso powder and did not make the whipped cream.  As you can tell by the photo, I had trouble with the pudding, it was a bit soft and slumped down the side.  This might be because I had to use 1% milk, or not.  But that's what I'm blaming it on.

All in all it was very good and very chocolate-y.

For the cake

  • Butter, for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee

For the pudding:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  • 1 box chocolate wafers, crushed to crumbs (about 2 cups) (recommended: Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dark rum
For the Cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with butter and dust with cocoa powder.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and baking powder until well combined; set aside. Combine the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and salt in a separate large bowl, and whisk until combined and smooth. Combine the milk and coffee in a small bowl. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture into the sugar/egg mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and whisk until smooth. Continue with the remaining milk and flour mixture, alternating between each and whisking until all the ingredients are just incorporated and smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between prepared pans. Put the pans on a baking sheet. Bake, rotating the baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and let them rest, in the pans, on a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans, and cool completely before proceeding.
For the Pudding: Combine the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk to evenly combine. Whisk in the milk and vanilla until completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks until combined.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until completely thickened, about 1 minute more.
Remove from the heat and immediately add the chocolate and the butter, and stir until melted and evenly combined. Put plastic wrap directly on surface of the pudding and chill at least 1 1/2 hours.
To assemble: Arrange 1 of the cakes on a flat cake plate and top with 1/3 of the pudding, spreading evenly and almost to the edges. Top with second cake then use the remaining pudding to frost the top and sides of the cake.
Press the cookie crumbs into the sides and top of the cake. Pick up any fallen crumbs and apply them, pressing gently to cover the cake completely. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the Whipped Cream: In a medium bowl, add the cream and whisk until soft peaks form. Add the rum and continue to whisk until stiff and the cream sticks to the whisk. Serve the whipped cream on the side.

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