Black Out Cake From the Fifties

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs (pasteurized egg product to equal 3 eggs)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

TO MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9-inch pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2-teaspoon salt.
Set aside.

In a separate small bowl, gradually stir 1-cup milk into 1/3 cup of cocoa,
then whisk until the mixture is smooth.

In a large bowl, cream together 1/2-cup butter, 1/4 cup shortening and 2
cups sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs one at a time, beating well
with each addition, then stir in 1-teaspoon vanilla. Add the flour mixture
alternately with the milk mixture; beat well. Spread the batter evenly into
the prepared pans.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the layers shrink
from the sides of the pans and the tops spring back when gently pressed with a fingertip. The cake is dense and moist, so be careful not to over-bake it. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes then carefully invert them onto
the racks and cool completely.

TO MAKE THE FILLING: In a small bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup sugar, 2
tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups milk with sugar mixture.
Add 3 squares chopped chocolate, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring
constantly. Boil until the mixture is thick and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and stir in 1-teaspoon vanilla. Pour into a bowl and
cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface, to keep the pudding from
forming a skin. Refrigerate until cool.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING: In a medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2
teaspoons vanilla and 3 eggs until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’
sugar two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in
the melted chocolate until well blended. Refrigerate for 15 minutes while
you fill the cake.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using a long serrated knife, slice each layer in half
horizontally, making 4 layers. Spread the filling between 3 of the layers of
cake. Frost cake with the frosting, and then crumble the remaining cake
layer. Stick crumbs to the entire frosted surface of the cake. Sprinkle any
leftover crumbs over the top of the cake.

Store in a cool place, and serve within 24 hours.