Blackout Cake

taken from Baked in America by Outsider Tart

Yesterday, September 30th, my husband turned 30, it was his golden birthday and needed to be marked with style. He's a chocolate lover and so when I saw this cake I had to make it for him. I had a couple of recipes for this same cake and choose the one from Baked in America because so far it's given me great results!

for the filing and frosting: (which is best when chilled over night or as many nights as you need before hand, must be chilled for at least 4 hours so do ahead of time)

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, except for the vanilla, in a large saucepan. Over a med-low heat whisk constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla off the heat. In a glass bowl place the cling film directly on the surface of the filling. Let cool before refrigerating for at least 4 hours.

The David’s from Outsider Tart understand that sometimes the filling will be lumpy no matter what you do and for that they suggest you pour it into a food processor until smooth about 30seconds or try and use a hand whisk.

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

Pre-heat your oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4
Butter 3 9in/23cm round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment. Dust the sides with flour, tap out the excess.
Dissolve the espresso powder in 8floz/240ml/1 cup of boiling water. Set aside to cool. (Add more water if some evaporates)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then turn off the heat.
Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. Combine the buttermilk (in a large, glass measuring jug) with the brewed espresso, melted butter and vanilla. The varying temperatures of the liquids will make the mixture room temp.

With an electric mixture on medium, beat the eggs well. Add the remaining liquids and mix until evenly combined. On low, add the flour mixture in 3rds, mixing only until just combined. Scrape the bowl when needed. Depending on the temp of the liquid the batter can be thin, divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or a toothpick comes out clean. It’s best to rotate the pans in the oven, front to back/top to bottom etc… Don’t worry about cracks cook in pan for 20 minutes, turn out onto racks and cool completely.

to finish up the cake:
Slice off the domed tops and set aside. Using a serrated knife, slice each layer in half horizontally. If your layers were flat keep one layer and set aside. Use the domed tops or extra layer and crumble until you have a bowl of crumbs, a little bigger then bread crumbs.

Cut thin strips of baking parchment and place 4 on the serving platter this will be to keep things looking nice! ;0) Place a layer of cake on the serving platter, using a small offset spatula, spread a thin layer of filling on top of the layer. Repeat with all the layers. Cover the top and sides, when done, with the rest of the filling. Take the crumbs and press into the frosting all around the cake. Have a sheet of parchment to catch stray crumbs and reuse! Remove parchment strips and refrigerate the finished cake for at least 4 hours before serving so it can set.

I am looking forward to making my husband birthday cakes for many more years to come!! I have at least 2 more birthdays to make cakes for before the end of the year, I'm not sure I'll be able to top this one!!

Not much left if anyone who lives by me wants some please come over and eat some otherwise I'll be forced to have more then is necessary!! Especially as I'm trying to eat healthy in an attempt to loose some weight!! Hope everyone has a great weekend!! If your in England you better be out enjoying this gorgeous weather!!! I had already put all the girls summer clothes away, but it's okay I'd rather dig out the summer stuff then go back to rainy, cold, grey days!!

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