King Arthur Blackout Cake

READY IN: 1hr 20mins
SERVES: 12
YIELD: 1 cake
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
  • 1
    cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 18
    teaspoon salt
  • 2
    tablespoons sugar
  • 12
    teaspoon espresso powder, for enhanced chocolate flavor (optional)
  • 1
    large egg, at room temperature
  • 2
    cups sugar
  • 2
  • 2
    tablespoons cake enhancer instant Clear Jel or 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 34
    cup double dutch dark cocoa or 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2
    teaspoons baking powder
  • 12
    teaspoon baking soda
  • 1
    teaspoon salt
  • 1
    teaspoon espresso powder, for enhanced chocolate flavor (optional)
  • 4
    large eggs
  • 34
    cup vegetable oil
  • 2
    teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 14
    cups water
  • 1 12
    cups chocolate chips or 1 1/2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 34
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DIRECTIONS

  • To make the filling: Place the chocolate chips, salt, sugar, and espresso powder in a blender or food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  • Add the egg and pulse just until the mixture is smooth.
  • Heat the cream to just below a boil, with small bubbles forming around the edge of the saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl).
  • Turn on the blender or processor, and slowly add the cream. Scrape down the sides of the container if necessary. Add the flavoring of your choice and pulse to blend.
  • Pour the pudding into a shallow bowl, and refrigerate it until chilled and thickened, 2 hours to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly grease two 8" x 2" round cake pans. Line them with 8" parchment circles, if desired, and grease the parchment; this step will ensure your cake's crumble-free turnout from the pan.
  • To make the cake: Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Stir in the water; the batter will be thin.
  • Pour the batter into the two prepared pans.
  • Bake the cakes for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven. Cool them for 15 minutes, then turn them out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.
  • To make the icing: Combine the cream and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan. Heat until the cream is steaming and showing small bubbles around the edge.
  • Remove the chocolate/cream from the microwave or burner, and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture becomes completely smooth, with no lighter areas remaining visible.
  • Refrigerate the icing for 30 minutes. Beat the chilled icing briefly, until it thickens a bit and becomes spreadable.
  • To assemble the cake: Cut the domed tops off both cake layers; these will become your crumb coating.
  • Place one layer on a serving plate. For best presentation, lay strips of parchment around the edge of the plate before laying the cake on top; these will catch the inevitable icing drips, and can be removed once you're done icing the cake.
  • Top the cake with the filling, spreading it evenly to the edges.
  • Center the second layer of cake atop the filling.
  • Spread the icing over the top and onto the sides of the cake.
  • Crumble the reserved cake, and gently press it onto the top and sides of the assembled cake.
  • Serve immediately, or within a couple of hours. For longer storage, refrigerate. This cake is best served the same day it's made, or within 24 hours. Freeze, well-wrapped, for longer storage. You may also choose to freeze individual slices — for those times when you HAVE to have a piece of chocolate cake!
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