It’s bf’s birthday! I wanted to do something to make him feel extra special this year, and, as if to affirm my notion to do so in the form of dessert, Food Network Magazine showed up at my door with a section dedicated to a year’s worth of birthday cakes. Out of 12 cakes, it wasn’t hard to choose which I would be making. My love for chocolate is borderline obsessive, so of course it had to be the Chocolate Blackout Cake.
I know what you’re thinking: “This cake is for her boyfriend, so shouldn’t she have indulged him in one of his choice?” Judging from the slice that disappeared before I could even snap a picture, I don’t think he minded too much.
It’s dense and distinctly deep in flavor. It’s got a custard filling and is topped with ganache. It requires a security guard after baking.
Chocolate Blackout Cake
For the filling:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee
For the ganache:
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee
For the cake:
- Basic Chocolate Cake, baked and cooled
- 9 inch round baking pans (one for each layer)
- medium sauce pan
- 1 medium heatproof bowl
- plastic wrap
- 1 medium bowl
- 1 large heatproof bowl
- liquid measuring cup
- spatula for spreading the frosting
- round cake pedestal or container
Follow the Basic Chocolate Cake recipe from Food Network Magazine.
Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and egg in a medium heatproof bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk half of the hot milk into the sugar mixture, then return to the pan with the remaining milk. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl (strain through a fine-mesh sieve if it looks lumpy), then stir in the chocolate until melted. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the ganache: Put the chocolate and salt in a large heatproof bowl. Bring 1 1/2 cups heavy cream to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; pour over the chocolate and let sit 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Stir in a 1/2 tablespoon of the coffee. Pour 3/4 cup of the ganache into a liquid measuring cup and set aside at room temperature. Refrigerate the remaining ganache in the bowl until thick but not set, about 1 hour.
Assemble the cake: Put 1 cake layer on a platter; spread the filling on top, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. Top with the second cake layer and press down gently.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream to the chilled ganache and beat with a mixer on medium speed until just fluffy, about 1 minute (do not overbeat). Frost the whole cake with the whipped ganache. Pour the room-temperature ganache on top, letting it drip down the sides. Let set before slicing, about 30 minutes.