Introduction: Chocolate Blackout Cake

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

New York style chocolate blackout cake is one of the darkest, richest, and densest chocolate cakes you may ever have the luxury of eating. Consisting of layers of spongy cake seperated and covered by a thick custard-like frosting, this is a cake to be reckoned with.

This recipe comes to me from my mother who has fairly high standard when it comes to chocolate blackout cake. For some time she has been trying to recreate the cake she used to get from the now-defunct Pakula's Bakery in Spring Valley, NY. While some versions have been close, this apparently is the stand-out amongst the bunch. From my viewpoint, this cake would be at home in a traditional Brooklyn bakery or sitting in a display case at a Jersey diner. In short, this cake is quite good.

Step 1: Chocolate Blackout Cake Ingredients

For the cake batter:

1 stick of butter (unsalted)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup milk

Step 2: Chocolate Blackout Frosting Ingredients

For the frosting:

3 cups water
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups Dutch process cocoa powder
1 Tbsp corn syrup
5 Tbsp corn starch
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Step 3: Parchment Paper Lining

Before you start baking the cake, cut parchment paper into circles and line the bottom of two cake 9" pans.

Step 4: Cream the Fat and Sugar

With a stand mixer and a whisk attachment (or hand mixer), cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar until it starts to get seemingly light and fluffy.

Step 5: Blackout Cake Batter

Put the mixer onto low speed and add the eggs, mixing them in one at a time.

Next add the vanilla, baking power, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

Finally, add the milk and flour in small increments, switching between the two.

When it is done, it should look chocolaty and creamy.

Step 6: Pour the Batter

Spread the batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Step 7: Bake

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes on the middle cooking rack.

Step 8: Chop Butter

Chop the butter for the frosting into small pieces.

Step 9: Start the Frosting

In a large sauce pan, mix together 2-1/2 cups of water, the sugar, and the cocoa powder.

Whisk this mixture over a medium-high flame until brought to a boil.

If it becomes a rolling boil, turn the heat down a bit.

Step 10:

Dissolve the corn starch in a 1/2 cup of water and then pour it into the sauce pan.

Whisk vigorously for a few minutes while bringing it back up to a slight boil.

The mixture should start to get very thick and dark.

Step 11: Finish the Frosting

Remove the frosting from the flame and add butter and vanilla.

Stir until they are both combined.

Step 12: Pour the Frosting

Pour all of the frosting into a large bowl.

Step 13: Cover

Cover the frosting with plastic wrap and then refrigerate for about an hour.

It helps if the wrap is gently placed directly onto the chocolate frosting itself to keep a skin from forming on top.

Step 14: Waiting

If everything was timed correctly, there should still be a few minutes before the cake is ready.

Now would be a good time to eat whatever excess frosting you can find... or clean. I suppose you can always start to clean up.

Step 15: When to Take the Cake Out of the Oven

Stick a toothpick or skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is ready to take out of then to let cool.

This cake should sit for about 10-15 minutes once removed from the oven.

Step 16: Cooling Racks

Flip the cake out onto the cooling racks.

Let them get to be about room temperature.

Step 17: Cut the Cake in Half

Cut each of the cakes into two equal halves with a sharp serated knife.

Step 18: Crumbs (optional)

Take the ugliest of the four cake sections, and crumble it up into crumbs for coating the edge of the cake.

Place the large crumbles into a food processor and blend them down to much finer crumbs.

Step 19: Frost a Layer Cake

Before starting, figure out which section is the flattest, and set this aside for the top.

Place one layer on your cake stand and frost the top.

Stack the next layer on top, and frost the top again.

Finally, put the remaining layer with the flat side up.

Frost the sides of the cake and then the top layer.

Step 20: Coat With Crumbs

Coat the outer edge of the cake with the fine crumbs.

Alternately, if you decided to not make crumbs and make a four-layer cake, then coat the outside with dark chocolate chips.

Step 21: Refrigerate

Let the whole the chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Step 22: Serve

Slice the cake and serve.

It is extremley rich and goes good with milk.

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