Skip to main content

Chocolate Blackout Cake

Whenever I make this cake, it is always a hit. It looks very impressive but is pretty easy to make. I had a work do and decided I hadn't made it in a while and it needed to be made. (Sorry no pictures of the inside - you know I had to bring it work without it being sliced).

Chocolate Blackout Cake (Adapted from 365 Great Chocolate Desserts)

1T cocoa powder
1 1/2 stick butter
3 c sugar
3 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 c flour
3 eggs
1t vanilla
1t chocolate extract (optional)
4oz chocolate, bittersweet, melted
3/4 c buttermilk
1 c boiling water

18oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 c heavy cream
2 T butter
1 t vanilla

3/4 - 1 c sliced almonds

Grease two 10" round pans. Place parchment round in bottom of each pan. Dust with cocoa powder. Shake out excess; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together in mixer until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Add eggs one at a time to sugar mixture. Add slightly cooled melted chocolate; mix until combined. Add vanilla and chocolate extract. Add flour mixture in two batches alternating with buttermilk. Beat until blended. Slowing stream in boiling water. The batter will be thin. Pour into pans and bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10-15 minutes and then remove from pans.

While cakes are baking, prepare chocolate ganache. In a 2qt dish, combine chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave until chocolate is melted and smoothed when stirred. It is best to do this in 30 second bursts. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate 1 - 1 1/2 hours until ganache holds its shape and is thick enough to spread on cake.

After cake is completed cooled, place one layer on dish. Cover with about 1/3 of the ganache. Place second layer on top and frost top and sides with remaining ganache. Press almonds into side of cake. Refrigerate 3-4 hours until ganache is firm.

Be careful when adding the boiling water. The batter is very liquid and often sloshes out of the bowl (even with the mixer on low). The recipe originally used 9" rounds but I found it rose too high and overflowed out of my pans. I supposed if you had deep pans, it might work, but I found the 10" works nicely.

The cakes may have a slight indent in the middle, but don't worry a little ganache will fill it in nicely. The indent was a little more than usual this time. So I sprinkled a few finer pieces of almond on top (slick ain't I?)  I'm starting to wonder if something has changed with the ingredients. This is from an "old" cookbooks circa (1996). It uses the technique of boiling water to active the baking soda - similar to my sunken chocolate pound cake. That seems to be more sunken than I remember also. Hmmm - I'm noticing a pattern here. I'm determined to get these recipes to work because the cakes are so tasty. I will have to experiment and investigate further (what a sacrifice to have to make and eat chocolate cakes).

This cake is really rich thanks to the ganache, so cut thin slices (even for me). A nice glass of cold milk and you are all set.


Popular posts from this blog

Cinnamon Star Bread

I was very perplexed by this recipe. I could not figure out by the directions how it got into this shape. I understood the twisting part but then was at a loss. The website didn't have a video or pictures - was I just being dense? Well once I cut the dough into the 16 pieces and twisted - DUH - it was a little clearer. I decided to include pictures for those of you that need a visual.

Cinnamon Star Bread (Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

3/4 c warm milk (100-110 degrees)
2T sugar
2 t yeast
4T butter
2 c flour
1 t salt
1/3 c instant mashed potato flakes*
1 t vanilla

1 lg egg, beaten
1/3 c sugar
2T cinnamon

Combine milk, sugar, and yeast in a small measuring cup. Mix well and set aside. Place butter, flour, salt, instant mashed potatoes and vanilla in a large bowl. After yeast is bubbly add to dry ingredients. Mix with dough hook until dough is smooth and soft. (Or mix by hand and then knead by hand until smooth and soft). Place in a greased bowl and let sit for 1 hour or un…

Burnt Cinnamon Simple Syrup

The NY Times Magazine section did a piece on cocktails about two weeks ago and one was calling me-Rhum Agricole Daiquiri. What attracted me here (well besides the cocktail aspect) was the Burnt Cinnamon Simple Syrup. It was easy enough to make, as are most simple syrups, but it was the potential uses.  I started thinking not only daiquiris but why not with Applejack? Apples, burnt cinnamon sounds like a winner to me. Or how about a nice hot cider, with a little rum, and the simple syrup (Guess I'll have to wait until the fall for the cider). On the non-alcohol side-why not use it to moisten a sponge cake - wouldn't that give it an interesting flavor? Or what about a burnt cinnamon ice cream?

Now first for the burning of the cinnamon - it felt a little like I was doing a cleanse to ward off evil spirits. I think that is usually done with sage but if cinnamon works too - so be it. The recipe recommended using a small creme brulee torch to burn the cinnamon sticks - like you do. …

It's Better With Butter

Why would you want to make your own butter? Because it tastes better! And it's easy. All you need it heavy cream, salt, and a mixer-although you can get away without using the mixer. If you are using a mixer, you will need to cover it with plastic wrap, unless you're really into cleaning up splatter. Pour heavy cream into your mixer. It doesn't have to be fresh. It can be close to its expiration date. This time I used 3 cups because I had an open container and an unopened one.
You just whip it for about 10-15 minutes on high. It first looks like whipped cream, then starts to deflate a bit, then starts to get a yellowish hue, until finally you hear a clunk clunk noise and you know you have separated the butter from the buttermilk (boy was that a run on sentence or what?). By this time the plastic wrap is so covered in splatter you can't see into the bowl any longer.

From 3 cups of cream you end up with about 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. Strain the butt…