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Mother's Own Chocolate Blackout Cake

 


Cake Ingredients

For the cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup non-alkalized cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed coffee

 

Chocolate Pudding Filling
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Making the Chocolate Blackout Cake

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the granulated sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. While mixing the dry ingredients at low speed, add the egg mixture in a steady steam. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium speed for 1 minute, until well blended. Add the hot coffee at low speed, mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir the batter from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly. Smooth the batter in each pan and bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans set on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

4. Invert the cakes onto the rack and cool completely.

Making the Chocolate Pudding Filling

5. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt at medium speed until pale, about 1 minute.

6. In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the water and cream, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk about 1/2 of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Whisk this mixture into the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, whisking, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it is completely melted. Pass the filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled.

Making the Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

7. Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove the pan from the heat and separate the top of the double boiler from the bottom. Set aside to cool slightly.

8. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed for 1 minute, until creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat for another minute, until well-blended and creamy.

Assembling the Cake

9. Using a long, serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally to make four layers. Set one cake layer aside. Place one cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Remove the chilled pudding from the refrigerator and whisk it until it is smooth. Using a small, offset metal spatula, spread half of the filling over the layer. Top with another cake layer and spread this with the remaining filling. Top with a third cake layer.

10. Break half of the remaining cake layer into large pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor (save the remainder of the cake layer for snacking). Process the cake pieces to fine crumbs and set aside.

11. Using a small, metal spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with the Fudgy Chocolate Frosting. Pat the cake crumbs on the side of the cake, pressing them lightly into the frosting. Sprinkle more cake crumbs over the top of the cake. Serve the cake immediately or refrigerate. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

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