Pama Blackout Cake

Ingredients:
  •  PUDDING
  • 1/4 cup Sifted Cornstarch
  • 2 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 6 ounce Bissinger's 75% Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 ounce Bissinger's 75% Dark Chocolate, finely chopped (to finish cake)
  •  CAKE
  • 3 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cup Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Sifted Natural Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Warm Tap Water
  • 1 cup 100% Pomegranate Juice, like Pom Wonderful
  • 2/3 cup Flavorless Vegetable Oil, such as Canola or Sunflower
  • 2 tablespoon Apple Cider or Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Pama Liqueur (to brush finished layers)

Directions:
For the Pudding: Place cornstarch in a small bowl. Use a four-cup measuring cup to measure milk and cream. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the milk/cream mixture over the cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Pour remaining milk/cream in a medium sized saucier pan then add cornstarch slurry, sugar, chocolate and salt. Cook over low-medium heat, whisking often, until chocolate melts, then watch carefully as you bring it to a gentle boil. Whisk often as it thickens and takes on a pudding consistency; it should simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes. Pudding should be thick, glossy and leave whisk marks on top. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla. Scrape into airtight container; cool to warm room temperature. Press plastic wrap onto surface, snap on lid and refrigerate at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. It should be thick enough to hold its shape.
For the Cake: Position rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat two 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment rounds, then spray the parchment. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to aerate and combine. Whisk together the water, juice, oil, vinegar and vanilla in a separate medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients, except Pama liqueur, over the dry mixture and whisk well until combined and very smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Firmly tap bottom of the pans on work surface to dislodge any bubbles. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center shows a few moist crumbs when removed. Cool pans on racks for about 10 minutes. Unmold, peel off the parchment, and place directly on the racks to cool completely. The layers are ready to use. Alternatively, place layers on cardboard rounds of the same size and double wrap in plastic wrap; store at room temperature and assemble or serve within 24 hours.
For Assembly: Have all components ready to use. Slice both layers evenly in half horizontally. Three layers will be used to assemble the cake. Half of the fourth should be crumbled by hand into a bowl and tossed with chocolate shavings; this will be used for the exterior of the cake. (The other half of that cake layer is scrap for snacking). Place one cake layer on serving plate, brush liberally with Pama and allow to absorb. Cover with a thick layer of pudding, then top with second cake layer, brush with Pama and another layer of pudding. Top with third cake layer, brush with remaining Pama. Cover top and sides generously with pudding, which will be thick enough to stick to cake. Use fingers and palms to completely cover cake top and sides with cake crumb/chocolate shavings mixture, pressing into the pudding to adhere. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 8 hours before serving.

Serves 12 to 14.