Sunday, 26 February 2012

Blackout Cake

Since it's my birthday today, I decided to make a 5-layered cake from my favourite baking book. Baked In America is worth every penny, each of their recipes providing gigantic quantities of deliciousness. The Blackout Cake is a moist layered cake with lots and lots of chocolate frosting. For "true chocoholics", a birthday is the perfect excuse to make this masterpiece. It takes a lot of ingredients, but it's a lot of fun to make, and even more enjoyable to eat. We had to cut thin slices, then halve them to create pieces small enough for one sitting! Being left alone with this cake could be another story, however - you've been warned. 

Blackout Cake
(Baked In America

for the filling & frosting: 
(to be chilled overnight for best results)

960ml/4 cups milk or equal parts milk/single cream
340g/1 ½ cups granulated sugar
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tbsp cornstarch
175g/1 cup unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
60g/ ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Combine all the filling ingredients but the vanilla in a large saucepan and whisk over a low heat to melt everything together - keep going until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5-10 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a glass bowl and put clingfilm directly on the surface of the filling. Cool to room temp then put in the fridge for at least 4 hours. 

for the layers:

1 ½ instant espresso powder
175g/ ¾ cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
425g/2 ¾ cups all-purpose or plain flour
260g/1 ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp kosher salt
760g/3 3/8 cups granulated sugar
540ml/ 2 ¼ cups buttermilk, cold
4 ½ tsps vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temp

Preheat oven to 180C. Butter three 9in cake tins - I only had one 8in tin, so I did each layer separately. Dissolve the espresso powder in 240ml boiling water. Set aside to cool. Sift together all dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl/jug combine the buttermilk, brewed espresso, melted butter and vanilla. With an electric mixer in another bowl, beat the eggs well and add the jug of liquid you just mixed. Beat well. Add the flour mixture in thirds, beating on a low speed. Divide into your three prepared pans, or if you only have one weigh the mixture and have your calculator handy. Bake for 35 to 40 mins until knife inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pans for 20 mins then cool completely on wire racks. 
Slice off the domed tops for the crumb topping or, if your layers were flat, just use one of the layers.  Cut each layer in half with a serrated knife then spread chocolate frosting between each layer, carefully stacking them together. Coat the cake completely in frosting then press in the crumbs all around the cake. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. 

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