Little Brown Koko
Once there was a little brown boy named Little Brown Koko. ... He had the blackest, little woolly head and great, big, round eyes, and he was the prettiest brown color, just like a bar of chocolate candy.
One day Little Brown Koko's nice, good, ole Mammy made a big seven-layer cake with seven layers of good, thick, sweet, brown chocolate frosting. She set it away in the pantry to save for Little Brown Koko's supper, and told him he must wait.
Well, Little Brown Koko waited--until his Mammy went to the hen house to gather eggs. Then he ran over to the pantry, lifted the curtain, and looked long and hard at the big brown cake. He looked, and looked. Little Brown Koko's mouth watered. He reached out one little, brown hand and touched the cake. When he pulled his hand away it held a large hunk of frosting, which immediately went into Little Brown Koko's mouth. Little Brown Koko rolled his big, round eyes and licked his fat, little, brown fingers and said, "Yum, yum."
Chocolate Blackout Cake
Serves: 10 to 12
Pudding Filling and Frosting:
1 1/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Half-and-Half
1 Cup Whole Milk
6 oz Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons Vanilla
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) Butter
1 1/2 Cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Cocoa, dutch-processed preferred
1 Cup Brewed Coffee
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
For the Pudding:
Whisk Sugar, Cornstarch, Salt, Half-and-Half, and Milk in large saucepan. Set pan over medium heat. Add Chocolate and whisk constantly until Chocolate melts and mixture begins to bubble, 2 to 10 minutes. Stir in Vanilla and transfer pudding to large bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding and refrigerate until cold, AT LEAST 4 hours or up to 1 day.
For the Cake:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325*. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and dust with Cocoa Powder. Whisk Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt in bowl.
Melt Butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in Cocoa and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in Coffee, Buttermilk, and Sugars until dissolved. Whisk in Eggs and Vanilla. Slowly whisk in Flour mixture, mixing well.
Divide batter evenly between prepared and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool layers in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool to room temperature, AT LEAST 1 hour.
Cut each cake layer in half horizontally. Crumble one half-layer into medium crumbs and set aside. Place one half-layer on serving plate. Spread 1 Cup Pudding over cake layer and top with another layer. Repeat. Spread remainin Pudding evenly over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle Cake Crumbs evenly over tope and sides of cake, pressing lightly to adhere crumbs. Cut and Serve. Cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Little Brown Koko is a story much-loved by my husband during his growing-up years. Little Brown Koko had a strong love for Choc'lit Cake and was always doing his best to get some more. He usually ended up in trouble for snitching the cake but he never seemed reform.
I found the recipe for this cake in Cook's Country, Oct/Nov 2006. The 'blackout' in the name refers to the blackout drills performed by the Civilian Defense Corps during World War II.
Be sure to give the pudding and the cake enough time to cool or you'll end up with runny pudding and gummy cake.