Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blackout Cake

I have decided to practice baking by making birthday cakes/pies/brownies, etc. for my family members.  My first cake was a Chocolate Blackout Cake using this recipe:  The cake part was pretty standard, I used an 8 inch round cake pan and an 8 inch spring form pan lined with foil because I only had one actual cake pan.  Thankfully, it did not leak.  The pudding was a little more difficult.  I used chocolate chips instead of block chocolate.  The food processor worked really well for chopping the chocolate up.  The only thing that was sort of weird was adding the eggs to the hot chocolate mix.  I tempered the eggs and followed the instructions exactly, but the egg still made it a little bit chunky.  I know the Barefoot Contessa always says about adding eggs to warm things and how not to scramble them.  Some of the other recipes I looked at suggested straining the pudding after cooking, but I just used it as is and it was fine.

After it cooled completely, I refrigerated the pudding over night.  I also let the cakes cool completely, covered them with dishtowels, and let them cool overnight.  I assembled the cakes the next day splitting the two cakes as directed and spreading 1/4 of the pudding between each layer.  The pudding was thick enough that it did not squish out between the layers and the cake stacked nicely.  I covered the top with mini chocolate chips because I didn't have wafer cookies and did not want to make the trip to the store.

I took the cake to my parent's house to celebrate my mom's birthday, which is Saturday, while my niece was with her dad, my brother.  The cake was fantastic and everyone seemed to like it.  The cake was very rich and moist. 

The Verdict:  Death by chocolate.  I enjoyed the pudding rather than icing, it added to the moistness.   I know it says serve at room temperature, but I enjoyed it slightly chilled.  The chocolate chips were also a nice touch decoratively and texturally.  All in all it was a very pretty and tasty cake. 

Note:  The baby was irritable the entire time I was baking so I am very surprised this actually turned out as good as it did :)

Chocolate Blackout Cake Recipe

Pudding Ingredients
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa (preferably Dutch processed)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Cake Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa (preferable Dutch processed)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 dozen chocolate wafer cookies
  1. To make the chocolate pudding: Combine 2 cups milk with 4 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan and bring to just under a boil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining sugar with salt, cocoa, and cornstarch. Whisk in remaining 1 cup unheated milk. Gradually whisk cocoa mixture into hot milk. Heat, over medium heat, stirring, until mixture thickens and starts to bubble.
  3. Whisk together eggs and egg yolks in a small bowl. Temper the eggs by adding a few tablespoons of the heated milk. Add the tempered eggs to the saucepan and stir for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk in chopped chocolate and butter. The pudding should be relatively thick and will firm up when cooled. Cool, cover with plastic wrap and reserve in refrigerator.
  4. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 (8-inch) cake pans and line with parchment. Butter the parchment and flour pans, shaking out the excess.
  5. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
  6. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in vegetable oil. Alternately add dry ingredients with buttermilk, scraping the bowl once or twice. Add the coffee and vanilla to form a thin batter. Divide between prepared cake pans.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks, peel off paper and cool completely.
  8. When cool, split each cake in half with a serrated slicing knife. Spread bottom layer with 1/4 of the reserved chocolate pudding. Repeat with remaining layers, ending with pudding on top.
  9. In a food processor, pulse the cookies into crumbs. Sprinkle on top of the cake.
Makes 12 servings


  1. I'm surprised you could use chocolate chips instead of block chocolate. What kind were they, semisweet? Also, I think I'd prefer the mini chocolate chips to the wafer cookies. Seems to fit better with the overall texture of the cake.

    Speaking of cake texture, moist is always better haha Penn State seems to have forgotten that somewhere along the way. I love cakes that have pudding in them because it seems to help keep it moister.

    Additionally, protip: if there's a button that looks like a paperclip or something in the post editing window, you can use that to turn a URL into an actual hyperlink.

  2. This cake gets better with age. I think the cake soaked up some of the moisture from the pudding and the texture is divine :)