The blackout cake is the ultimate chocolate-chocolate cake. All the components are chocolate, making it perfect for chocolate fans. This blackout cake recipe is different from the original, and is a modern version using a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream.
BLACKOUT CAKE ORIGIN
The Blackout cake was invented by now bankrupted Ebinger’s Bakery. It was created to recognize blackouts during WWII. Also, called the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, it is made of a sponge-like chocolate cake, chocolate pudding filling, chocolaty frosting, and a cake crumb coating.
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
A Swiss meringue buttercream is a versatile frosting that is simple to make, but slightly more complicated than a traditional buttercream. A meringue is started with egg whites that are beaten with sugar to create a airy foam. Cream of tartar and salt is added to stabilize the meringue. There are 3 types of meringue:
|Method||whipped raw||heated over a double boiler||hot sugar syrup|
|Sugar||slowly added during mixing||heated with egg whites||sugar syrup streamed in during mixing|
|Mixing||gradual increasing of speed||high speed||high speed|
|Uses||recipes that require whipped egg white (e.g. mousse)||buttercream/frosting||meringue toppings (e.g. lemon meringue pie)|
After the meringue is whipped to stiff peaks, softened butter is added in little by little until the texture is “cottage cheese” like. To smoothen the frosting, it is beaten using the paddle attachment to knock out all the excess air in the meringue. Next, vanilla extract, and melted chocolate (chocolate version) are added in. The resulting frosting is lighter and more stable than a traditional buttercream.
If your butter is not softened correctly, it can separate from the meringue or turn “soupy.” If your butter separates from the mixture, it is due to the butter being too cold. To fix that, heat the outside of the bowl by placing a warm cloth around it. If your frosting turns into a soupy mess, it is because the butter was too warm. To fix this, cool the outside of the bowl, by wrapping a cold cloth around it. Finally, Swiss meringue buttercream can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the fridge for about a week. If storing in the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature, and re-whip before using.
Mix together the cornstarch, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepot.
Whisk in the milk and egg yolks.
Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly until simmering. Simmer for 1 minute.
Pass the pudding through a sieve into a bowl with butter, chocolate, and vanilla extract, mix until smooth.
Cover the surface with plastic wrap, and chill for 4 hours.
Grease and line a cake pan, and preheat your oven 350°F. Sift and mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light.
Whisk in the eggs until fluffy.
Mix in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and oil until combined.
Fold in half of the dry ingredients.
Stir in the buttermilk until mixed in.
Fold in the last of the dry ingredients until incorporated.
Divide among the cake pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
Cool in the cake pans before cooling completely on a wire rack.
Place egg whites, salt, sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Whisk over a pot of simmering water until the sugar dissolves.
Whip until stiff peaks form, and the bowl is cool.
Mix in the butter, little by little until it resembles “cottage cheese.”
Switch to a paddle attachment, and beat until smooth.
Mix in the vanilla extract, and melted chocolate until incorporated.
Trim the cake tops, and crumble into small, uniform pieces.
Pipe a frosting border around a cake layer.
Spread a generous amount of chocolate pudding within the border.
Place the other cake face down on top.
Crumb coat the cake by spreading a small amount of frosting over the entire cake. Chill to set for 30 minutes.
Evenly spread the rest of the frosting over the cake. Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides and top.
Coat the sides with the cake crumbs. Keep at room temperature or refrigerate (serve at room temperature). Cut into 10-12 slices.
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups full-fat milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp full-fat sour cream
- 1 cup full-fat buttermilk
- 1/3 cup strong coffee
- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 oz melted semisweet chocolate, cooled
In a small saucepot, stir to the cornstarch, salt, and sugar.
Whisk in the milk and egg yolks until combined.
Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly until it boils.
Simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat.
Pass through a sieve into bowl with chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract.
Stir until smooth, and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pudding.
Chill for at least 4 hours.
Grease and line 2 9-inch cake pans, and preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, sift and mix together the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until lightened.
Whisk in the eggs until fluffy.
Whisk in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and oil.
Fold in of the dry ingredients until barely incorporated.
Stir in the buttermilk until mixed.
Fold in the last of dry ingredients until combined.
Divide among the cake pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs.
Cool in the pans for 15 minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.
In a bowl of stand mixer, add in egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar.
Place over a pot of simmering water, and whisk until the egg whites are warm, and the sugar is dissolved.
Whisk in the stand mixer on medium-high to high speed until stiff peaks form.
Add in the butter, a little at a time until it resembles "cottage cheese."
Switch to a paddle attachment, and beat on high-speed until smooth.
Mix in the vanilla extract, and melted chocolate until combined.
Trim the tops of the cake layers on a turntable.
Crumble the cake tops into small, uniform pieces, and set aside.
Pipe a frosting border around the edge of a cake layer.
Spread a generous amount of chocolate pudding within the border of the cake.
Place the 2nd cake layer, face down on top.
Spread a thin amount of frosting over the entire cake.
Chill for 30 minutes to set the frosting.
Spread the rest of the frosting over the entire cake.
Use a bench scraper to smooth the outside.
Coat the sides of the cake with the cake crumbs.
Keep at room temperature, or refrigerate, (serve at room temperature).
Slice into 10-12 slices.