This cake is rich, intensely chocolaty, fudgy, moist and decedent. It’s almost black, brownie-like layers are sandwiched together with a smooth, bitter chocolate cream, before being covered in a sweet dark chocolate frosting and scattered with some reserved cake crumbs….it’s dark and mysterious and utterly divine.
This cake is too good to be simply labelled as a ‘cake.’ In my eyes this is not cake. It’s a sort of torte, gateaux, truffle, brownie, dessert, cake hybrid. It’s a dessert for serious chocolate lovers and is so rich and sophisticated that it should come with an ‘adults only’ warning.
As last Sunday was Fathers day I saved baking this until then, when I could present it to my dad over dinner. This is such a dark, moody creation, that it seemed the perfect ‘manly cake’ – no light fluffy fruity layers here!
The cake was meant to be a 9inch cake, which is then cut into 3 layers. I decided to halve this recipe and baked the cake in a 6inch tin, which worked fine, although only resulted in 2 tiers, rather than 3. Not that this mattered. I then discovered I didn’t have enough eggs to make the filling, so substituted this was a dark chocolate ganache (a decadent cream and chocolate combo) that I suspect was even more indulgent than the proposed filling.
The cake layers themselves are very moist and fudgy. Almost middle of a brownie in consistency. Their deep dark colour comes from copious amounts of cocoa powder and some hot strong coffee. The coffee seems to really enhance the chocolate flavour, without being obviously coffee. The cake layers become even more sticky and fudgy as they are stored over time.
The outer frosting was quite sweet, but this acted as a nice contrast to the rich cake and bitter chocolate ganache filling. My mum was in rhapsodies over her slice. We all agreed it was fabulous and definitely more of a dessert than an afternoon tea cake. One I’ll be sure to bake again (think I’ll stick to my ganche filling too). I strongly recommend you giving a go!
Click here to see the list of my fellow Cake Slice bakers.
(Recipe adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle)
Chocolate Blackout Cake
180g plain flour (I used Doves Farm plain GF)
80g cocoa powder
1½ tsp gf baking powder
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
400g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
115g butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
240ml hot brewed coffee (you can use decaf)
Chocolate Filling *(see notes below for my ganche filling)
4 egg yolks
130g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
1/8 tsp salt
160m double cream
85g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
115g dark chocolate, chopped
155g butter, softened
190g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Blackout Cake
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line two 9inch/22cm round cake tins.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the sugar and mix until all the ingredients are blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. While mixing the dry ingredients at low speed, add the egg mixture in a steady steam. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat for 1 minute, until well blended. (It will be quite thick)
Add the hot coffee and mix gently until combined. (It will now be very liquid)
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until starting to come away from the sides and firm to the touch. Cool the cakes in the tins before turning out.
In the bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and salt until pale, about 1 minute.
In a saucepan, combine the water and cream and bring to a boil before removing from the heat. Whisk half of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour this mixture into the remaining cream in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, whisking, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it is completely melted. Pass the filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Cover the surface of the pudding with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled.
Melt the chocolate until smooth and set aside.
Beat the butter until creamy, before gradually adding in the icing sugar. Beat until it starts to form a buttercream.
Beat in the vanilla extract and the cooled chocolate, mixing until blended.
Using a large serrated knife, cut the two chocolate cake layers in half, to create 4 layers. Set one layer aside and crumble half of it into crumbs to use as decoration later (you can eat the remaining bit).
Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread over half of the filling. Top with another cake layer, the rest of the filling and the final cake layer. You should have a three-tiered cake at this stage.
Spread the chocolate frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Don’t worry about being too neat as its going to get covered in crumbs.
Scatter the saved cake crumbs over the top of the cake (sides too if you wish)
Serve immediately or store at room temperature for up to 3 days. The cake becomes even more moist and fudgy over time.
* I halved this recipe and baked the cakes in 2 x 6inch tins. These made cakes a little too thin for cutting in half so my cake was only two-tiered instead of three.
* I didn’t have enough eggs to make the filling so I made a simple chocolate ganache using 160ml hot double cream, poured over 85g dark chocolate and stirred until smooth. Leave the ganache to cool and thicken before using – divine!