Citizens, today is the esteemed and awesome birthday of The Food Dictatress, aka the wife of your beloved TFD!
To celebrate the momentous occasion of her birth and the subsequent joy engendered therein, a birthday cake recipe of truly epic proportion is in order – only the most legendary and mythic cake will suffice!
As a favored scion of the most noble of NYC boroughs (Brooklyn) and an avowed chocoholic, TFD knows there is but one option worthy enough to share in this context: the mighty Ebinger’s Chocolate Blackout Cake of epic repute!!!
TFD himself is of an age where as a mere wisp of a boy, I too was blessed to have sampled this noblest of cakes and its fulsome taste remains with me to this very day!
While the exact recipe for Ebinger’s triumphal masterpiece appears lost forever, this is a very close facsimile indeed and is completely, utterly decadent and delicious!
So, Happy Birthday o mightiest of females – long may you reign in the culinary firmament of destiny!!! 🎂🍽️
Battle on – The Generalissimo
For the filling:
1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa – TFD recommends using King Arthur Black Cocoa
1 ¾ cups milk
¾ cup sugar
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped – TFD prefers E. Guittard brand
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
¼ tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the cake:
Butter and flour for preparing the pans
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa – – TFD recommends using King Arthur Black Cocoa
3 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped – TFD prefers E. Guittard
¾ cup milk
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, slightly softened
4 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into small pieces – TFD prefers E. Guittard
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 ½ cups boiling water
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
½ tablespoon vanilla
Start by making the filling: Put the cocoa into a small saucepan, pour in the milk and place over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and chocolate and mix a few times to combine. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water to make a smooth paste. Whisk the cornstarch paste into the water and chocolate mixture, add the salt and slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute, stirring, until mixture looks thick.
Remove the pan from the heat and immediately whisk in the vanilla and the butter. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until cool. (Pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.)
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; butter and lightly dust two 8-inch round cake pans with flour, set aside.
Place the cocoa in a small bowl and whisk in the boiling water to form a crumbly paste. Combine the chocolate and milk in a saucepan set over medium heat. Stir frequently as the mixture warms and the chocolate melts, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk a small amount of the heated chocolate milk into the cocoa paste and then whisk the cocoa mixture into the milk mixture. Return to heat, stir for one minute until smooth, remove and cool until tepid.
Meanwhile, using an electric hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then add the vanilla. Slowly add the chocolate mixture and mix to combine.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using a rubber spatula, slowly add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture. Clean your mixer beaters well with cold water and dry thoroughly. In another bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-high until they form soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until tops just spring back when pressed (Don’t overbake, or the cake will be dry.) Cool on a rack in the pans for 15 minutes, then gently remove the cakes from the pans and continue to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare Pudding Frosting. Melt chocolate in a bowl over barely simmering water or in a microwave oven at 50 percent power
1 to 4 minutes, checking every 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth and set aside.
In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch, whisking to mix thoroughly. While whisking, pour boiling water over mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes.
Boil 1 minute to thicken, then remove pan from heat. Immediately whisk in melted chocolate. Add butter and allow to melt, then stir in vanilla. Pour pudding into a bowl, cover top with a piece of wax paper and cool completely at room temperature.
Assemble the cake. Use a sharp knife to slice each cake into two disks to form four layers. Set one layer aside. Place one layer on a cake round or plate. Generously swath the layer with pudding. Add the second layer and repeat. Add the third layer.
Quickly apply a layer of pudding frosting to the top and the sides of the cake and refrigerate for 10 minutes. (You can anchor the cake with toothpicks if it’s sliding). Meanwhile, crumble the remaining cake layer (you can use a food processor for this). Apply a second layer of pudding frosting to the cake, sprinkle liberally with cake crumbs and serve within 24 hours. Store cake in fridge.