- 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 recipe Chocolate Pudding, recipe follows
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 9 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch baking pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla and stir to combine well. Transfer batter to the prepared cake pan and bake until the cake is light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cake to cool slightly. Turn the cake out of the pan onto a rack and allow to cool completely.
Cut or break the cake into 2 to 3-inch pieces. Working on a large platter or in a large serving bowl, place a layer of cake pieces onto the platter and spoon or pour half of the pudding over the cake. Top with the remaining cake pieces and, using your hands, press the cake pieces into the pudding to form a round mound resembling a cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Place the heavy cream in a large, chilled mixing bowl and beat until mixture just begins to form soft peaks. Add the confectioners' sugar and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon whipped cream all over the mound of cake and pudding and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving. Serve with dollops of the remaining pudding.
5 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
10 ounces quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place 4 1/2 cups of the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt in a heavy, nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
In a mixing bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, the cocoa and the cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until smooth.
Slowly whisk some of the hot milk mixture into the bowl, then add the contents of the bowl to the hot milk mixture and whisk until completely incorporated. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Continue to boil gently until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolks together. Slowly add 1 cup of the hot cocoa mixture to the eggs and whisk to combine. Whisk this mixture into the hot cocoa mixture in the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, whisking constantly, until
pudding thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Melt the chocolate with the butter in a small saucepan or in a double boiler and, when slightly cooled, whisk the chocolate mixture into the pudding base along with the vanilla. Cover again with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator until chilled but still slightly pourable. Use half in the Ugly Cake assemblage and refrigerate the remaining half until thoroughly chilled and serve with the Ugly Cake.